The Mandalorian episode 8, titled “Redemption,” is an action-packed ending to the first season of the live-action Star Wars series. A standoff between Mando, his friends, and Moff Gideon and his Imperial forces reveals more about the Mandalorian’s past as well as the extent of Baby Yoda’s powers. But the episode also might leaves fans with a few questions about this particular corner of the galaxy far, far away.
Luckily, we have some answers, thanks to the larger Star Wars lore:
Who is Din Djarin?
Episode 8 finally confirms Mando’s name, and it’s not Boba Fett. All along we’ve been following a Mandalorian by the name of Din Djarin. Before you ask, no, he doesn’t have a prior history beyond what we’ve learned about him on the show thus far. So what do we know about Din after the season finale?
We know that his parents were killed in a Separatist attack during the Clone War, leaving Din an orphan at a very young age, which explains his extreme hatred for droids. In a flashback, it’s revealed that, if it hadn’t been for the last minute arrival of a squad of Mandalorian warriors, Din would have met the same fate as his parents. A Mandalorian comes to the boy’s rescue right as a super battle droid is about to eliminate him.
Mando explains to Cara and Greef during their standoff with Moff Gideon that he was taken in by the Mandalorian tribe and raised as a “foundling.” He was then trained to become a Mandalorian warrior himself. Mando alludes to the fact that he witness the Great Purge on Mandalore, where the Empire exterminated much of the Mandalorian race and sent the survivors into hiding.
In the finale, we see Din complete a major milestone of his life as a Mandalorian, receiving his very own signet, a symbol of his Mandalorian clan, which he now shares with the Child.
Where is Baby Yoda from?
As cute and cuddly as the Child is, there’s not much we really know about him, except that he’s the most sought after “asset” in the Outer Rim and that he’s powerful in the Force. How powerful? He can levitate a mudhorn about 100 times his size as well as stop a ball of flame in its track. Like Yoda and Yaddle before him, it seems that Baby Yoda is destined to become a great Jedi Knight.
Too bad no one in this corner of the galaxy really knows what a Jedi even is. The Armorer gets closest to the correct explanation, calling Jedi “sorcerers” who were once enemies of the Mandalorians. She suggests that Mando’s new calling is to help this “foundling” find his home.
So where’s Baby Yoda from? We don’t know. Even in the days of Yoda and the Old Republic, the home planet of Yoda’s species (which doesn’t have a proper name, either) remained a mystery. And it’s not even clear whether this baby was naturally born or if he was engineered in a lab like the “strand-casts” Kuill mentioned in episode 7. It’s possible that Baby Yoda was genetically engineered by Dr. Pershing or perhaps cloned from Yoda’s DNA.
Whatever the case, we talked way more about Baby Yoda’s possible origin here.
Who is the Armorer?
Baby Yoda isn’t the only character shrouded in mystery. Throughout the first season, the Armorer has remained one of The Mandalorian‘s most enigmatic characters. Clad in golden armor, furs, and a Viking-inspired helmet, we know little about the Armorer except that she has earned the respect of her tribe, possibly as its de facto leader, although she’s not a Mand’alor (the ultimate leader of the Mandalorian people).
During a confrontation between Mando and Paz Vizla in episode 3, we see her break up the fight with her commanding presence. And in episode 8, she is the only Mandalorian left standing on Nevarro after the Empire kills the rest of the tribe. We find out why the Armorer survived when she’s surrounded by a squad stormtroopers and makes quick work of them with her hammer.
Some have speculated that she might be former Mand’alor Bo-Katan Kryze herself, although that seems unlikely considering the character is played by Emily Swallow and not Katee Sackhoff, who voiced Bo-Katan on The Clone Wars and Rebels. Another theory is that this is Sabine Wren, the young Mandalorian rebel from the latter animated series who at one point wielded the Darksaber. Whoever the Armorer is, she seems to be someone of significance, sharing wisdom, guiding her people, and unlocking the next phase of Mando’s journey.
How did Moff Gideon acquire the Darksaber?
Moff Gideon has arrived as the show’s big bad, a ruthless Imperial warlord who will stop at nothing to acquire “the asset” for undoubtedly evil reasons. We learn in episode 8 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.