We know Baby Yoda can use the Force, but what about anyone else in The Mandalorian? While everyone wonders about which characters from the rest of the Star Wars galaxy will show-up in Mandalorian Season 2, it seems like fans are divided about the status of one character who we 100 percent know will appear. The cliffhanger of Mando Season 1 featured Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) carving his way out of a downed TIE Fighter with the ancient Mandalorian Jedi lightsaber known as the Darksaber.
But does this mean that Moff Gideon is Force-sensitive? Or is he just a guy wielding a saber? Star Wars fans are divided, and of all the mysteries that Mandalorian Season 2 has to solve, it might be this one: Can Moff Gideon use the Dark side of the Force?
Recently Inverse conducted a reader survey about fan's hopes, dreams, and theories for The Mandalorian Season 2. And one topic where there wasn't a clear consensus was on this question: Is Moff Gideon Force-sensitive?
Out of the 1,457 responses, it was basically a three-way tie:
- 31.5 percent said NO, Moff Gideon is not Force-sensitive.
- 30.5 percent said YES Moff Gideon IS Force-sensitive.
- And, 37.5 percent said MAYBE.
Why does this matter? Well, in the same survey 59.4 percent of readers surveyed believed The Mandalorian will never reveal Baby Yoda's parents, and 51.6 percent think Boba Fett is certainly showing up, and a staggering 56.7 percent feel that Emperor Palpatine will NOT appear in the series, despite being retroactively alive thanks to The Rise of Skywalker.
Basically, of all the questions Inverse asked, Moff Gideon's Force-sensitivity was the only one that seems like there is a genuine debate. This is interesting simply because Moff Gideon is a character we've actually seen in the series, versus Palpatine and Boba Fett, who we have not. The split between what fans believe we might learn about Moff Gideon speaks to how much more The Mandalorian can still reveal about things it's already set-up. Gideon didn't actually appear until the very end of the series, which means, that in some ways, Mandalorian Season 2 is as much his season as it is Mando and Baby Yoda's.
But here's the thing this question reveals: The Mandalorian Season 2 MUST answer it. By 2021, this can't stay "maybe."
The case for Moff Gideon NOT being Force-sensitive
From an in-universe perspective, having Moff Gideon being some kind of low-key Sith, or even non-aligned Force user creates a power imbalance between the heroes in the show and the bad guys. If Moff Gideon can use the Dark Side, a la Kylo Ren, then suddenly it's not a fair fight. Unless Mando is suddenly going to be revealed to also have Force powers, creating a villain who can use the Force means that the rules of the game have changed.
To use a Lord of the Rings analogy, Moff Gideon getting Force powers is a little like revealing that one of the lead Orcs in Mordor was a part-time wizard. It just feels unfair. (Unless Ahsoka shows up, of course.)
Yes, Moff Gideon having a lightsaber could tell us that he's Force-sensitive, but that seems like a red herring.
The case for Moff Gideon totally being Force-sensitive
Having said that, I actually think the case for Gideon having some kind of Force powers is stronger than saying he has none.
First of all, say what you will about the sequels, but those films (and Rogue One) have established a broad spectrum for how people who aren't Jedi or Sith access the Force. Maz Kanata can use the Force, but she's not a Jedi, Finn is Force-sensitive, but only to a point. Ditto for Chirrut Îmwe in Rogue One. The funny thing is, we've never actually seen a Dark side equivalent of this. The good guys have been given a bunch of part-time Force users (again Finn and Maz are a BIG part of the new films) but the forces of darkness have zero amateur Darksiders.
This feels like a void that Gideon could easily fill. If he is able to wield the Darksaber with skill, it's possible that's because he can feel, and to some degree, use the Force. This doesn't mean he needs to have Kylo or Anakin-level skills, it just means he needs to be proficient. Why would this be a secret? Well, despite Emperor Palpatine being a Sith Lord, most citizens of the Empire openly distrusted people who believed in the Force.
Maybe Moff Gideon can use the Force, but because he was aware of the failures of Vader and the Emperor, he's kept his status as a part-time wannabe Stih, safely, anonymous... for now.
The Mandalorian Season 2 premieres October 30 on Disney+.