‘Mandalorian’ early release and post-credits scene may hint at ‘Skywalker’ link

Could these stories cross over?


Can Baby Yoda from The Mandalorian show up in The Rise of Skywalker? Is it possible for Mando to still be alive so many years later? Episode IX hits theaters in just a few days. An early release date for The Mandalorian Episode 7 this week — along with a post-credits scene that’s an exclusive Rise of Skywalker clip — is either just a brilliant way to promote the show and movie or a hint that there’s a legitimate connection between the two.

Disney has been upfront about The Mandalorian’s release schedule all along. Episodes have gone live on Disney+ every Friday morning at midnight on the West Coast since the launch of the streaming service. With The Rise of Skywalker’s release on Friday, Disney has moved up the release of The Mandalorian Episode 7 to Wednesday at the same time. Therefore, The Mandalorian Episode 7 will go live on Wednesday, December 18 at 3 a.m. Eastern.

Here’s the official description for the episode on Disney+:

“An old rival extends an invitation for The Mandalorian to make peace. This episode will include an exclusive sneak peek at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in theatres everywhere on December 20.”

Giancarlo Esposito's Moff Gideon hasn't appeared in the series yet, so is he the "old rival"?


Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul actor Giancarlo Esposito will appear in either Episode 7 or 8 of The Mandalorian this season as Moff Gideon. For him to be the “old rival” makes sense, because his title marks him out as a high-ranking official in the remnants of the Empire. He may have been a badass bounty hunter in his own right before joining the Empire, which would explain how Mando would consider him a rival.

Werner Herzog’s “Client” character probably takes his orders directly from Moff Gideon. When speaking with the scientist earlier in the series, the Client implies he’s receiving orders from someone. If it’s Moff Gideon, perhaps he’ll appear to strike a bargain directly with Mando. For this dramatic plot thread to come to a head in this way puts the fate of Baby Yoda in jeopardy.

If the Imperial troops succeed in capturing Baby Yoda in Episode 6, it could set up a dramatic cliffhanger that’s followed up on in The Rise of Skywalker, when Baby Yoda might be on the cusp of adulthood. Is it possible that Palpatine spends the intervening years ahead of Episode IX draining Baby Yoda of his Force energy? Anything seems possible at this point.

If something even remotely like that happens, then the “exclusive sneak peek at The Rise of Skywalker” could be something closer to the post-credits scene that establishes a connection between the two storylines. Otherwise, it might just be Disney taking an opportunity to do a bit of cross-promotion.

The Mandalorian Episode 7 will be released Wednesday, December 18 at 3 a.m. Eastern, and The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.