By the end of Chapter 3 of The Mandalorian, titled “The Sin,” it’s pretty clear that Baby Yoda is the most important creature in the galaxy, but why? Dr. Pershing (the scientist with the glasses) says he’s trying to protect Baby Yoda, but what the heck does that mean? And why should we believe him?
Maclunky! Spoilers ahead for the Episode 3 of The Mandalorian.
Toward the end of the episode, when Mando decides to rescue Baby Yoda after all, we briefly see that Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) is doing some kind of experiments on Baby Yoda. He’s also, clearly, resisting whatever pressure is being put on him by the Client (Warner Herzog). On some level, the Client is kind of done with all of this and just wants the “sample” from Baby Yoda at any cost, but Dr. Pershing clearly doesn’t agree. So what’s really going on here?
Now that things have gotten serious, here are three theories for what the Empire actually wants with Baby Yoda.
3. Dr. Pershing is a cloner who made a deal with the Empire
It seems safe to assume that everyone who theorized that Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) works for some kind of cloning organization was right. This is mostly because he’s rocking the Attack of the Clones Kamino cloner patch on his arm, and because he talks about taking “samples” from Baby Yoda in the third episode.
So what does this mean? There are two ways to look at it: Pershing either made Baby Yoda in a lab, or he wants to do something that could jumpstart a new breed of Baby Yodas by sampling its DNA. Either way, he’s convinced himself he’s doing the right thing either for science or the adorable green species by getting involved with the Empire (or what’s ledt of it, anyway). This is kind of like corrupt scientists working for Jurassic World in the movie Jurassic World, only this time, there’s no hybrid dinosaur clone, just an adorable Yoda.
2. The Client is actually playing both sides
The Client’s desire to just kind of get rid of the problem echoes the instructions he gave Mando in the first episode. Though this character appears to be some kind of Imperial War Lord (he’s got an Imperial symbol on that necklace he’s wearing), it’s possible he isn’t really working for the remnants of the Empire either.
Sure, he’s got some Stormtroopers around him, but that doesn’t mean the Client actually cares about following orders. Basically, he could be a kind of slum lord who is being offered a certain amount of power and influence if he delivers Baby Yoda. Maybe the Client never really cared about Baby Yoda coming back alive, but just wanted to go through the motions so his superiors wouldn’t get mad at him.
Think about it. The Empire is pretty much on the run at this point in Star Wars history. Even bounty hunting seems to be regulated in a way that is much more civilized than it was a few years prior. During the time of the Empire, it didn’t seem like Boba Fett was working with tracking fobs he got from a bounty hunters guild. Perhaps the New Republic has made everything a little more low-key, and maybe, just maybe, the Client doesn’t really care about making his Imperial superiors happy, because he knows, on some level, everything will be easier if he just says this Baby Yoda died on accident.
Bottom line: the Client doesn’t strike anyone as being an Imperial loyalist hell-bent on restoring the Empire. He’s not a Tarkin type or even a Krennic type. He’s sleazier than that.
1. The Empire wants to use Baby Yoda to make a comeback
Despite the shadowy motives of both Dr. Pershing and the Client, the order to steal (or steal back) Baby Yoda had to have come from somewhere.
We know that later in the series we’ll meet a character named Moff Gideon, played by Giancarlo Esposito. It feels reasonable to assume that this guy is a real-deal Imperial officer, mostly because he still has the title of “Moff.” (Kind of like Grand Moff Tarkin.)
So, if the Client and Dr. Pershing are just middle-men, perhaps Moff Gideon will be the guy who actually knows what’s going on. Obviously, if Gideon is an Imperial officer, he really only wants one thing: to get the Empire’s mojo back.
Clearly, the lingering remnants of the Empire think Baby Yoda can help them. That could shake out in a number of ways. The Empire could be trying to clone Baby Yoda. They could be trying to harvest midichlorians from Baby Yoda. But, either way, this adorable creature is literally the thing the Empire wants the most. And if it’s good for the Empire to capture them, it’s almost certainly bad for everyone else.
The Mandalorian streams new episodes on Disney+ each Friday morning.