The Mandalorian has been busy with its epic crossovers, calling out multiple, interconnected storylines while picking up unresolved plot arcs of the wider Star Wars universe with the promise of finally resolving them. Its latest episode has taken one such unexpected step towards solving a rather disputed query i.e., the origin of the Supreme Leader, Snoke. And as director Carl Weathers puts it, the revelation cements the fact that this Disney+ series is "bigger than we thought."
When it comes to the backstory of Snoke and establishing his roots, the Star Wars sequel barely connected all the dots, leaving fans to cook up their own theories. But the latest installment of the show, the action-packed Chapter 12: The Siege, which marked Greef Karga's (Carl Weathers) return after Season 1's finale and his first Star Wars directorial debut, also included major plot revelations.
The episode saw Mando landing in Nevarru for some much-needed repair for his ship, only to get involved in Greef Karga and Cara Dune's plans to wipe out the Imperial base left behind on their planet after the "death" of Moff Gideon. The catch? The base ain't home to just old weapons and contrary to Karga's intel of it having a "skeleton crew," there are mini-armies of Stormtroopers ready to annihilate any intruders.
In the ensuing chaos, Mando, Cara, and Karga discover that the base is not only operating at full steam but is also secretly a laboratory. It is where Moff Gideon is overseeing the experiments with midi-chlorians, taken from the little blood Dr. Pershing (the scientist from Season 1) managed to extract from The Child before Mando daringly rescued him, to create Force-sensitive clones.
But the revelation of Moff Gideon's true intentions behind seeking Baby Yoda aren't the only disclosures as we see a rather familiar figure floating in one of the tanks-- Snoke or rather the prototype that will one day lead Emperor Palpatine to create the proxy ruler of the First Order. But while there has been some on-point speculation about Moff Gideon's motives, the sudden reveal of the Snoke-like creature is what Weathers wanted it to be like-- an unexpected twist.
"I loved it, because there was almost no track laid to tell you what this was going to be about. And so as you followed it, the challenge for me as a director - and I'm certain the challenge for Jon [Favreau] as a writer-producer - was keeping people engaged, wanting to know what's going to happen next. And when you find out what's really involved here, you finally get to, 'Oh man, this thing is much bigger than we thought.'"
In case viewers still have any queries about the future of the Empire and what its presence means for Baby Yoda and Mando, Weathers has suggested rewatching the episode as it contains all the answers you need.
"When you listen to the dialogue, it's pretty much explained, without saying, 'OK, now let us tell you what this means! We all find out almost simultaneously, which means the audience finds out. Then the character in the hologram comes in and underscores what it's all about and who is really responsible for it all. So we understand now that this episode really is calling back to all of the stuff that's been going on out there, and what the Mandalorian is up against, and what we're all up against with that guy called Moff Gideon."
If this mid-episode twist wasn't enough to set off massive debates amongst Star Wars fans, the episode ended on another out-of-the-blue cliffhanger-- Moff Gideon smugly smiling amidst a giant army of what looked like Dark Troopers from the 1994 video game Star Wars: Dark Forces. This puts the future of Mando and Baby Yoda in major jeopardy as this special army isn't "just souped-up" as according to Weathers, "they are on uber-steroids." This news comes to us via Empire