In this chapter of The Mandalorian we return to the planet where it all began: the planet of Nevarro. This is probably the most any Mandalorian episode has tied into the Skywalker Saga, with story arcs that help explain how the remaining Imperials managed to fight back against the New Republic, and maybe even where Snoke came from.
What did we learn?
As many people are likely to have questions about the amount of information that was squeezed into this chapter, I have summarised what we know from current Star Wars canon and how that has been expanded or touched on in this chapter.
The Imperial base on Nevarro helped to create Snoke
When entering the laboratory we see many glass bacta tanks holding several disfigured humanoids. The squad stopped to take a closer look at one of them, allowing us to see what’s inside it fairly clearly.
What we can see is some kind of mutated mash-up of The Emperor (Palpatine/Darth Sidious) and Snoke, with what appears to be The Emperor’s nose and head on a body eerily similar to Snoke’s.
As we learned in Star Wars XI: The Rise of Skywalker; Snoke was actually a being known as a strandcast. They’re creations rather than natural births, a splicing of DNA from different species and sources in order to create an artificial being. Snoke was an extremely powerful strandcast, being able to manipulate the dark side of the Force.
Considering that we already know the Sith Eternal and the First Order were developing clones of The Emperor as well as various other force-sensitive Strandcasts, this is a massive hint that this facility must have been one of the early attempts at this process. Three things seem to confirm this:
- The desperation of the scientists to delete their research. Secrecy was the key component of the project.
- How the being in the tank compares to Snoke, Palpatine and the similar abominations on Exegol in Star Wars XI.
- The message from Dr. Pershing…
Dr. Pershing’s message to Moff Gideon reveals why they wanted Baby Yoda in the first place – The “M-Count”
The message addressed to Moff Gideon says how they extracted blood from Baby Yoda due to his high M-Count. If we piece this together with what we know about Star Wars and The Force, this almost certainly refers to a midi-chlorian count. Midi-chlorians are what essentially allows a connection to the force: the higher the count, the more powerful that connection is.
In Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace, we hear Obi-Wan Kenobi say this about Anakin’s midi-clorian count: “Over twenty-thousand… even Yoda doesn’t have a count so high”. This points us in the direction that M-Count is just an abbreviation of midi-clorian count and also supports the fact that they were attempting to create a force-sensitive being.
Dr. Pershing also mentions a volunteer to have the blood transfused into. Who this volunteer is, we don’t know. However, it certainly appears that as well as attempting to create test-tube Sith Lords, they may be trying to change already living, non-force sensitive beings into Force-users. This could also factor into the next massive reveal…
Dark Troopers have finally made an appearance on the screen
Dark Troopers have been bouncing around Star Wars canon for decades, long before even the prequel trilogy was a glimmer in George Lucas’ eye. They’re essentially super-powered stormtroopers, having been trained in some dark side force abilities and being equipped with a heavily armed and armoured exo-skeleton. They are made to be foot-soldiers capable of taking on even Jedi.
In the final shot of the chapter we see Moff Gideon inspecting a room full of these Dark Trooper Exoskeletons. This ties in perfectly with what we learned earlier on the episode: that volunteers are being given force-sensitive blood. Should that exercise succeed, and they manage to grant an already living person force sensitivity, then they would be the perfect candidate to become a Dark Trooper.
We know that there are no Dark Troopers in the Skywalker Saga, so it will be interesting to see what becomes of this part of Nevarro’s research.
Just one of these factors would get me excited, but all three together are mind-blowing. It seems to perfectly align with the fact that Baby Yoda, or his blood at least, are integral to the Imperials’ plans to not only resurrect their emperor but to create Snoke. I think we’re going to be surprised about how tightly the main Skywalker Saga and The Mandalorian could be entwined from now on.
The evidence certainly leads us to believe that we’re going to see more tie-in with the main saga as well as some real live-action Dark Troopers. To say I’m excited would be the understatement of the century.