Moff Gideon really wants Baby Yoda, but why? The first season of The Mandalorian failed to explain why the Empire is so determined to get their hands on The Child, but a new theory could explain Gideon's plan for Baby Yoda in Mandalorian Season 2 by bringing back a Star Wars villain who's been overlooked for far too long: Grand Admiral Thrawn.
If you're not familiar, Thrawn was a blue-skinned military leader in Sheev Palpatine's Empire. A member of the Chiss Ascendancy, an isolated species located in the Unknown Regions, Thrawn (full name Mitth'raw'nuruodo) rose through the ranks of the Empire. But despite his impressive career, we've never seen him in live-action.
Thrawn is best known by his series of self-titled book series, written by Timothy Zahn (who created the character in 1991). He's shown up in various comics too, but his most-high profile appearance is likely the animated series Star Wars Rebels, which takes place shortly after the events of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
That's where things get interesting. Thrawn is one of the primary villains in Rebels, and the series ends with both him and the show's protagonist, Ezra Bridger, being teleported through hyperspace into the Unknown Regions. That's the last we've heard of either character in the Star Wars timeline. So, as far as we know, Thrawn and Ezra are both lost somewhere out in the Unknown Regions.
You might be wondering how the Chiss can live in and navigate the Unknown Region in the first place. Well, it turns out the answer is pretty surprising. As revealed in the Thrawn books, the Chiss actually use Force-sensitive children to navigate hyperspace in real-time. Basically, these kids (who the Chiss refer to with a term that roughly translates as "skywalkers") can see into the near future, making it possible to avoid objects by rerouting on the fly through un-mapped outer space.
So why does any of this matter? Well, by the time of The Mandalorian young Force-users are pretty rare, but we know of at least one... Baby Yoda. That's where this theory from u/Prophet_Comstock comes in. On the Star Wars Speculation subreddit, they argue that Moff Gideon wants to use Baby Yoda to navigate through the unknown region, find Admiral Thrawn, and recruit him to help rebuild the Empire.
This might sound like pure fan fiction, but it's not as ridiculous as it seems. After all, Ahsoka Tano (another Rebels character) is expected to make her live-action debut in The Mandalorian Season 2. So it's totally possible Thrawn could show up too. At the very least, Ahsoka may mention him, since the last time we saw the ex-Jedi she was setting out to locate Ezra and Thrawn in the Rebels series finale.
And even if Thrawn isn't involved at all, it's still possible Moff Gideon could be after Baby Yoda for similar reasons. After all, Thrawn isn't the only villain currently missing in action. As we learned in The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine is still alive and hiding out in the Unknown Regions too while The Mandalorian plays out.
If Moff Gideon gets his hands on Baby Yoda, it could be a crucial first step in explaining what Palpatine was up to in the long gap between Star Wars: Episode VI and Episode IX.
The Mandalorian Season 2 premieres October 30 on Disney+.