'Mandalorian' theory: Episode 8 could reveal how Emperor Palpatine survived

Baby Yoda's new power could be even more important than you think.


After a series of fun but mostly self-contained episodes, The Mandalorian jolted back to life in Episode 7, revealing a new Baby Yoda Force power before ending on a major cliffhanger. We’ll have to wait until the season finale in Episode 8 to find out how things shake out, but one major reveal from this week’s episode could already have big ramifications for The Rise of Skywalker and the core Star Wars movies in general.

Warning! Spoilers below for The Mandalorian Episode 7 and Rise of Skywalker.

If you’re still reading, you hopefully already watched the latest episode of The Mandalorian. If not, here’s what you need to know: Baby Yoda is now capable of using the Force to heal other people (he’s also got a mean Vader-style Force choke). This is a totally new power in the current Star Wars galaxy, though it’s happened before in the non-canonical Extended Universe and also happens to line up perfectly with a similar reveal in The Rise of Skywalker.

Anyway, getting back to Mandalorian, in Episode 7, Baby Yoda uses his newfound power to heal Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) after a flying dinosaur monster attack (yes, really). But could this Force ability have bigger implications? And does it explain why the Empire (or what remains of it) is so hellbent on getting their hands on the Baby Yoda?

“The Imperial client is obsessed with obtaining this asset,” Karga tells Mando earlier in the episode.

Carl Weathers in 'The Mandalorian'


Later, after the Mandalorian has killed Werner Herzog’s character (some sort of ex-Imperial governor), an even more dangerous enemy shows up. Played by Giancarlo Esposito, ex-Empire leader Moff Gideon arrives in a TIE Fighter to deliver another ominous line.

“You may think you have some idea of what you are in possession of, but you do not,” he tells Mando. “It means more to me than you will ever know.”

Again, why does the Empire want Baby Yoda so bad? It can’t be a coincidence that this all happens just moments after the infant used the Force to heal someone. It feels like The Mandalorian it trying to tell us that those same healing powers could be used to save someone in even worse shape. Someone like… Emperor Palpatine.

Palpatine in 'Revenge of the Sith'


Could the Empire be plotting to capture Baby Yoda and harness his powers to save the Emperor? And if so, does that mean everyone’s favorite Star Wars meme is as good as dead? I seriously hope not, but you have to admit, it’s not looking good.

It’s even possible Emperor Palpatine created Baby Yoda as some sort of contingency plan. After all, we still don’t know where this green 50-year-old infant came from, but his age suggests he was “born” at around the same time as Anakin Skywalker. So maybe Palps created Anakin and Baby Yoda at the same time, just for very different purposes.

The Mandalorian Season 1 finale airs Friday, December 27 on Disney+.

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