The Mandalorian ends its eight-episode run of excellent Western-inspired adventures with an action-packed episode that pits Mando and his friends against a new Imperial villain. Moff Gideon has arrived as the show’s big bad, a ruthless Imperial warlord who will stop at nothing to acquire “the asset” (aka Baby Yoda) for undoubtedly evil reasons.
We learn in the season finale that Gideon was once a member of the Imperial Security Bureau, the elite intelligence agency charged with making sure citizens of the Empire remained loyal. As such, Gideon took part in the Great Purge — dubbed the “Night of a Thousand Tears” — the Imperial invasion that killed off most of the Rebel-sympathizing Mandalorian people on Mandalore and sent the survivor’s of the race into hiding. Mando even knows Gideon by name because of his reputation during this Purge.
The Mandalorian‘s cliffhanger ending also reveals one more detail about Gideon’s history with the Mandalorians: he now wields the Darksaber, the ceremonial weapon carried by the leader of Mandalore. The last to wield it, as far as we know, was Bo-Katan. The Darksaber, which is a unique black-bladed version of a lightsaber created by a legendary Mandalorian Jedi named Tarre Viszla, switched hands several times before it finally came to Bo-Katan, though.
It was passed down to Pre Viszla, the leader of the bounty hunter group Death Watch. After staging a coup on Mandalore, removing the pacifist Mandalorian government, Viszla was killed by Maul, who took the Darksaber for himself, becoming the new ruler of the planet in the process during the Clone Wars. As well as a symbol of his rule, Maul used the Darksaber in a duel against his former master, Darth Sidious, a fight he’d eventually lose.
Sabine later found the Darksaber on Maul’s home planet of Dathomir, using it to help free Mandalore from an Imperial puppet government, before passing on the blade to Bo-Katan, the new Mand’alor. The fact that Gideon now has the Darksaber decades later might mean that Bo-Katan was killed during the Purge.
Is The Mandalorian setting up a possible ascension for Mando as the new leader of his people with the return of the Darksaber? It’s very likely that Gideon and Mando will meet again at some point in the second season, and that the confrontation will be a second chance for the Mandalorian to take out the Imperial who killed so many of his brothers and sisters during the Great Purge. Will he then wield the Darksaber himself and restore the status of his people? That wouldn’t be completely out of left field considering Star Wars‘ space fantasy formula that often sees unlikely heroes rise to become powerful leaders and saviors.
With so many questions left to be answered, all we can do is wait for The Mandalorian season 2.