Star Wars

Project Necromancer? The Mandalorian Episode 7's Opening Scene, Explained

The Mandalorian just introduced a bunch of new characters. Let’s discuss.

Emperor Palpatine
The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 7 finally answered a question fans have been asking from the pilot: What is going on with the Empire? The answer came in the form of a meeting of the minds led by Moff Gideon, in his first appearance this season. After speaking with his woman on the inside, Elia Kane, he convenes a meeting of the “Shadow Council” — the remaining leaders of the Empire. But just who are these people, and what’s their plan?

Let’s break down some of the biggest players and reveals from the opening scene of The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 7. Warning: Major spoilers ahead!

The meeting of the Shadow Council in The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 7.


Commandant Brendol Hux

Probably the most Easter-Egg-y member of the Shadow Council was Brendol Hux, who had yet to appear in live-action but was best known as the abusive father of Armitage Hux. It’s interesting that he would appear in an episode entitled “The Spies,” knowing where his son’s loyalties will rest later in the Skywalker Saga.

Brendol’s son Armitage Hux in the Star Wars sequel movies.


Hux would later meet an unfortunate end at the hands of his own son and his protégé Phasma, poisoned by a rare beetle from her homeworld of Parnassos. But those events are still 20 years in the future. For now, he’s described as the head of something called “Project Necromancer.”

Project Necromancer

Necromancy is sorcery used to communicate or resurrect the dead, and when it comes to Star Wars that can probably only mean one thing: “The dead speak!” Essentially, the most likely explanation for this secret mission is something that The Mandalorian has been hinting at for a long time: the resurrection of Palpatine using clone technology

Then again, since Gideon is in charge of the cloning research Dr. Pershing was doing, this project could have a more boring, metaphorical explanation: since the Empire is dead, revitalizing it with a new mission and plan would technically be necromantic in nature. But the cloning explanation feels more relevant to The Mandalorian.

Captain Pellaeon

Captain Gilad Pellaeon’s first live-action appearance in Star Wars.


Fans of Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy will recognize Captain Pellaeon. Pellaeon served in the Imperial Navy and acted as a true devotee of the Empire, even turning against his own commanders when he thought their judgment was incorrect. It’s no wonder that he’s still loyal to the Empire a decade after his fleet was lost near Lothal in the Battle of Yavin.

Much like Ahsoka Tano and Sabine Wren, Pellaeon is looking for one of his own. Thrawn was lost at the end of Rebels, and now the “Mando-verse” is setting the stage for him ahead of the upcoming series Ahsoka, which will officially bring the fearsome military tactician into live-action.

Grand Admiral Thrawn

Thrawn in Star Wars Rebels.


Thrawn is the greatest Star Wars icon to never make it into live-action. He’s the poster child of a Star Wars Legends success story, starring in his own trilogy beginning with Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn, which takes place in the aftermath of the original trilogy. In the Disney era, Dave Filoni brought him back into canon with Rebels, and he had yet another trilogy of books written about him also by Timothy Zahn.

In the Mando-verse, it seems that everyone from Ahsoka Tano to Moff Gideon is asking the same question: Where is Thrawn? We know the Star Wars villain is out there somewhere, but so far, it seems like nobody actually knows how to find him.

Thrawn’s name-drop in this episode is the first echo of what is sure to be a new chapter in Mandalorian history: bringing this conniving strategic Chiss genius into the mainstream Star Wars fold, decades after his first introduction.

The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+.

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