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The Mandalorian Season 3, Episode 7 Ending Explained

Dec 07, 2023Dec 07, 2023

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 comes to an explosive climax, setting up a stunning finale, the Ahsoka Disney+ TV show, and even the Mando movie!

This article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7.The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 came to an explosive conclusion, finally revealing the true scale of the Imperial threat. The New Republic believed Palpatine's death was the beginning of the end for the Empire. As seen in Chuck Wendig's "Aftermath" trilogy, the Galactic Civil War lasted only another year afterward, as the Emperor initially lashed out in a fury before retreating to the planet Jakku for a final battle with the forces of the nascent New Republic. In the aftermath of the Battle of Jakku, the Republic signed a peace treaty on Coruscant.

Related: Star Wars: What Happened At The Battle of Jakku Explained

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1 strongly suggested the Republic was foolish to believe the Empire defeated, and even more unwise to disarm. Set five years after Return of the Jedi - four after the official end of the Galactic Civil War - it revealed a rising Imperial presence on the Outer Rim. One key player was Giancarlo Esposito's Moff Gideon, a mysterious figure who wielded the Darksaber, the legendary blade of Mandalorian leadership. Now, though, The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 has finally revealed the true scale of the Empire in this time period, setting up a dozen potential plots that could bring the Empire down - and dealing the Mandalorians a terrible defeat.

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 reveals the Empire has taken Mandalore as a base. This was foreshadowed in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 3, when TIE Interceptors attacked Bo-Katan's Gauntlet - a fleet of ships lacking hyperdrive units, and yet present in Mandalore's planetary system with no sign of a capital ship dropping them off. It's easy to see why Moff Gideon was drawn to claim Mandalore as a base; the Purge of Mandalore disrupted the world's electromagnetic field, meaning it's impossible to scan the planet from space. He no doubt deliberately spread rumors the planet was poisoned and uninhabitable, ensuring nobody would ever return there.

Unfortunately for Moff Gideon, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) learned Mandalore could actually be reclaimed. Moff Gideon had established his base around the Forge, a holy place for Mandalorians because it was where beskar had first been shaped and molded. This was a logical choice for Gideon, because the Forge will likely be situated near to rich deposits of beskar, some of the first to be mined by the Mandalorians, and he has his own plans for this rare metal alloy. Sensing the Mandalorians planned to reclaim their homeworld now they had learned it could be lived upon, Moff Gideon set a trap for Din Djarin and the Mandalorians.

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 sees Moff Gideon go to surprising lengths to capture Din Djarin. It's unclear why he expended such effort; it may simply be to avenge himself, because Din was the one who defeated him in an earlier duel. More likely, though, is that he believes Din Djarin to be a unifying factor among the Mandalorians, one who has helped bring opposing factions together. Gideon seems to be a plotter and schemer, too, so it's also possible he believes Din useful bait. He knows Grogu cares about Din Djarin, and clearly has designs on the Child.

With Din Djarin captured, Moff Gideon believed the Mandalorians would surrender to him - as they had done years ago, as they attempted to avert the Purge of Mandalore. But the Mandalorians have been forged by their experiences, just as heat and pressure allow for the forging of beskar, and they are even more resistant now than they were before. This time, all the Mandalorians are agreed there will be no surrender, and they retreat from Moff Gideon and his forces, no doubt planning a counter-attack. Tragically, Paz Vizsla (Tait Fletcher) recognizes the forces arrayed against the Mandalorians are too great, and that his fellow Mandos need a chance to escape. Given he has the greatest firepower, he stays behind to cover their retreat.

Pz Vizsla's heroic sacrifice feels perfectly in keeping with the Mandalorians' warrior culture. It's also reminiscent of some of the most powerful moments in Star Wars' old Expanded Universe - notably the death of Jedi Knight Ganner Rhysode in Matt Stover's novel Traitor, part of the original Star Wars "New Jedi Order" saga. His death will surely be remembered in songs of heroism for as long as Mandalorians endure.

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 marks the chronological debut of three members of the Praetorian Guard - crimson-clad warriors who seemed to be the logical successors of the Emperor's personal guards. Trained in several martial arts - including Teräs Käsi, one that allows a non-Force-user to go toe-to-toe with a Jedi - the Praetorian Guards are a true force to be reckoned with. As formidable as they may be, though, Moff Gideon is clearly wary of wasting them; they only emerge when the firefight is over, when their skills will be most useful. The Praetorian Guards are destined to become part of the First Order, guardians of Supreme Leader Snoke himself. They will finally be slain in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a testament to the skills of Rey and Kylo Ren.

The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 finally answers a mystery that's been rumbling in the background since the Darksaber made its live-action debut at the end of the first season; it reveals how Moff Gideon initially acquired the Darksaber in the first place. It seems Bo-Katan attempted to prevent the Night of a Thousand Tears by surrendering to the Empire, hoping her homeworld would be spared. Ironically, of course, this act of surrender means Moff Gideon would never have been seen as a legitimate owner of the Darksaber anyway; he never won it in battle. Moff Gideon, of course, betrayed Bo-Katan and initiated a planetary bombardment anyway.

It's long been clear The Mandalorian season 3 has been setting up a rematch between Bo-Katan and Moff Gideon. This time, she knows Moff Gideon cannot be trusted, and she isn't going to surrender. Given Moff Gideon was defeated by Din Djarin season 2's finale, and Bo-Katan is clearly a superior fighter, he's surely going to be bested.

But The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 confirms Moff Gideon is only one of the Imperial leaders; he is part of a Shadow Council, a body formed in Wendig's "Aftermath" trilogy but believed to have been defunct after the Battle of Jakku. The scattered Imperial warlords are actually part of a conspiracy, co-ordinating their efforts to bring back the Empire. Only two are named: Xander Berkeley's Gilad Pellaeon and Brian Gleeson's Brendol Hux. Pellaeon is an important character from the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, while Brendon Hux is the father of Armitage Hux from the sequel trilogy - and a founder of the First Order.

Even more exciting, though, is the mention of Lars Mikkelsen's Grand Admiral Thrawn, who the Shadow Council believe to be their great hope. Thrawn was name-dropped in The Mandalorian season 2, with Rosario Dawson's Ahsoka Tano sensing he is out there somewhere, a growing threat to the galaxy. Lucasfilm has already confirmed Thrawn will have a major presence in the upcoming Ahsoka Disney+ TV show, and he's expected to be the main villain of the upcoming Star Wars movie set in The Mandalorian era. It makes sense for Thrawn to be mentioned in this context, and particularly for him to be associated with Pellaeon; Captain Pellaeon was originally envisioned as the Watson to Thrawn's Sherlock Holmes, working under his command and learning from him.

Related: Who Is Grand Admiral Thrawn? Star Wars Villain Origin & Future

All this means The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 is really the return of the Empire. Star Wars Legends set up Thrawn as the "Heir to the Empire," and the same approach is being taken in the Disney canon as well. He will fail, of course, but at this moment it's difficult to see how he will be defeated, especially with the New Republic unwisely choosing to disarm after the end of the Galactic Civil War. Meanwhile, he is working with multiple Imperial warlords, each of whom could be just as significant going forward as Moff Gideon himself. The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7 is sending the franchise in a thrilling new direction.

Episodes of The Mandalorian release Wednesdays on Disney+.

Tom Bacon is Head of Screen Rant's Star Wars coverage. Although he's now dedicated to Star Wars content, he's a lifelong fan of several other major franchises including Doctor Who and Marvel. You can find him on Twitter @TomABacon. A graduate of Edge Hill University, Tom remains strongly connected with his alma mater as a volunteer chaplain. He's heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will swiftly learn he's into British politics too.