The Mandalorian Just Set Up a Major Star Wars Sequel Trilogy Character

The Mandalorian's Imperial Shadow Council features unexpected family ties to the First Order.

The First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Photo: Lucasfilm

This Star Wars: The Mandalorian article contains spoilers.

The penultimate episode of The Mandalorian season 3, “The Spies,” features the return of Moff Gideon and the introduction of the Shadow Council that governs what’s left of the Empire five years after Return of the Jedi. While the mention of Grand Admiral Thrawn and more hints of Palpatine’s cloning plan may have been some of the larger takeaways from this scene, there’s an important connection to the First Order and the Sequel Trilogy that shows just how dangerous this council is to the future of the New Republic.

We learn one of the members of the Shadow Council is Commandant Brendol Hux. Yes, that’s right, he’s the father of future First Order General Armitage Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) from the Sequel Trilogy. His son will one day become an important part of the First Order’s plan to destroy the New Republic and defeat the Resistance. But even if this fatherly connection wasn’t a cool enough easter egg, Brendol is played by Domhnall’s brother, Brian Gleeson, in The Mandalorian.

While Brendol doesn’t directly appear in the Sequel Trilogy, the canon The Force Awakens prequel novel Phasma shows that he is more than just Armitage Hux’s father and another cog in the First Order’s wheel. In fact, he’s one of the First Order’s forefathers. He was there when the Empire retreated to the Unknown Regions where it would reorganize into the First Order and begin to rebuild its war machine. During the First Order’s rise to power, Brendol spearheaded the stormtrooper training program that Finn was forced into and that Armitage later inherited. Brendol was responsible for training Captain Phasma in her youth, forging her into the powerful warrior we meet in the movies. 

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However, despite being Brendol’s beloved protégé, Phasma’s thirst for power led her to team up with Armitage to kill him. (Brendol showed his illegitimate son very little affection, which earned him Armitage’s hatred.) Thanks to a venomous beetle from her home world, Brendol’s death is untraceable and the two are able to use his death to rise in rank. As we know from the Sequel Trilogy, Phasma becomes a Stormtrooper Captain and Armitage becomes the Commander of Starkiller Base.

But that’s a fate that’s still about three decades in Brendol’s future. For now, he’s very much in control of his domain as an Imperial warlord. During the Shadow Council meeting in “The Spies,” Brendol is one of the few Imperial officers bold enough to question Moff Gideon rather than appease him out of fear. He is also in charge of Project Necromancer, which based on the name and Gideon’s mention of cloning, sounds like it could be a precursor to one of the major events of the Sequel Trilogy – Palpatine’s return from death in The Rise of Skywalker.

Because of the Sequel Trilogy, we already know that the fall of the New Republic and rise of the First Order is inevitable, but thanks to the appearance of the Shadow Council and Brendol Hux, we finally get to see how these plans began to come together. Season 3 of The Mandalorian has shown us how much the New Republic is struggling to separate itself from the Empire, and the existence of the Shadow Council further proves the naivete of this new government. The New Republic is so wrapped up in trying to be better than the Empire that, even when people like Carson Teva try to bring up legitimate concerns, they are failing to see that the Empire isn’t as dead as they think it is.

The Mandalorian season 3 streams on Wednesdays on Disney+.