As a great Jedi once said: The times, they are a-changin’. In The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5, the Children of the Watch take a surprising step. They decide to come out of the shadows and find a new home alongside the people of Nevarro. Even the ultra-orthodox Armorer seems open to change and sends Bo-Katan Kryze on a mission to reunite the fractured Mandalorian tribes. But something seems off.
As the final scene of The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5 reveals, Moff Gideon never made it to his New Republic trial. Instead, Captain Teva discovers that his transport ship was attacked and Gideon was freed. But by who? The only clue is a shard of beskar, a metal directly associated with the Mandalorian people.
The obvious answer is that Moff Gideon was liberated by the Super Commandos, a tribe of Mandalorians who fought for the Empire. But could these two plotlines have more in common than it seems? We’ve got a theory that could explain everything, and it all comes back to the Armorer.
Is the Armorer losing control of her Mandalorians?
The Armorer has led the Children of the Watch for years, but Din Djarin and Bo Katan-Kryze are now undermining her complete control. Season 3 may lack a central conflict, but perhaps it has been lying under the surface the whole time. If you look at The Mandalorian through the helmet slits of the Armorer, it is a completely different story. It’s the story of a cult leader slowly losing her grip on her subjects. Reuniting the entire Mandalorian diaspora would likely only lead to the assimilation of the Children of the Watch and the final nail in the coffin for The Armorer’s rule.
Din Djarin punched a massive hole in the Armorer’s doctrine this season. He proved that Mandalore was habitable and brought the one she believed doomed Mandalore into the covert. Din has unintentionally chipped away at the foundation of the Armorer’s control. Especially in this episode, Din and Bo-Katan appear to be running the show. Mix in the fact that Din carries the Darksaber and Bo-Katan saw the Mythosaur, both powerful symbols of Mandalorian leadership, and The Armorer can see that her days as leader are numbered.
Fearing that the little empire she built from the ashes of Mandalore would be taken from her by a foundling and a heretic, perhaps she made a move that would get them both off her back.
The Armorer and Moff Gideon
Moff Gideon and The Armorer mirror each other in a very specific way. They are both leaders that rose out of the ashes of fallen empires. Gideon has risen in stature in the Remnants of the Empire, and the Armorer has etched out a living as the Children of the Watch’s leader. They are both opportunists, capitalizing on the fate of their fallen predecessors. But now, the same two people threaten to undo their hard work.
Perhaps they struck a deal. The Armorer frees Moff Gideon, allowing him to continue his pursuit of Grogu and forcing Din Djarin back on the run — or, better yet, eliminating him entirely. She retains control of her cult, and Gideon gets Grogu. With Din out of the picture, that only leaves one more challenger.
Bo-Katan, the One True Mand'alor?
In The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 5, the Armorer appears to throw her support behind Bo-Katan, telling her that she is the future of Mandalore and must leave to unite the clans — but this does not quite add up. For starters, Bo does not have the (seemingly forgotten) Darksaber. That still belongs to Din. Second, it was only a short time ago that the Armorer was spouting off how Bo-Katan brought about Mandalore’s doom.
The Armorer has always been overwhelmingly critical of Bo-Katan. In keeping with the theme that The Armorer is trying to retain control, it makes more sense that she is simply sending her rival away, maybe even into a trap set by Moff Gideon. Gideon has a score to settle with the Heiress, after all.
This theory makes even more sense when you realize it might not be the first time The Armorer tried something similar. In The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3, Din and Bo-Katan are attacked by the Remnants immediately after leaving Mandalore, but how did they know they were there? Only a few select people knew of Mando’s quest for redemption. Armed with the knowledge that Moff Gideon escaped, we can assume he ordered the attack. But to further close this conspiracy loop, the Armorer has the most to gain from tipping them off.
Moff Gideon is back and out for blood
Years of captivity have likely upgraded Gideon’s crusade to obtain Grogu from simple obsession to the sole purpose of his existence. Add to that a need for revenge against Mando and Bo-Katan and you have a dangerous man with little to lose and everything to gain. If he and the Armorer made a deal, then Din and Bo-Katan are in for a rough future. Threats from inside and out would fracture the group of Mandalorians and create the conflict desperately needed for the tail end of season 3. Though Pirates and flying monsters are fun, Din needs something more to overcome.
The Armorer’s betrayal would provide this crossroads moment. Once Din Djarin discovers the truth, there will be no going back. He would be forced to flee or stand against the Armorer.
We have seen Din become a leader in Season 3, which is good because he can not face Moff Gideon and the Armorer alone. He is going to need help. Luckily, Din’s history of kindness and sacrifice give him a roster of people willing to return the favor.