Giancarlo Esposito confirmed that he'll be back in a larger role in Season 2, which makes sense since The Mandalorian Season 1 ended with a shot of his Moff Gideon standing on his TIE Fighter wielding the Darksaber. The shock of seeing the Darksaber distracted a lot of fans, but back to the big picture -- why does Moff Gideon want Baby Yoda?
Well, Giancarlo Esposito can't come right out and say why, but he made it clear he knows why and he's willing to share a clue:
I know ... Like any great leader or scientist -- clue, clue, clue -- with someone who is advanced in a certain way, yeah, you could want to be their best friend, or you could want to co-opt what is inside them to figure out how to make all of us a little better at humanity. So it's that power and control of a Moff leader who is trying to put the universe back together. But, how does he know everything? How does he know everything that's going on? He's a very interesting character and I'm so honored to be a part of this production.
Yes, as Giancarlo Esposito told IGN, Moff Gideon does seem to know a lot about what's going on. He knew Cara Dune's full name and that she's from Alderaan. He knew Mando's name was Din Djarin. He has the Darksaber, somehow. And he knows a lot more about Baby Yoda than we do after The Mandalorian Season 1. As he told our team:
You have something I want. You may think you have some idea of what you are in possession of, but you do not. ... It means more to me than you will ever know.
Why? Giancarlo Esposito mentioned science. As Bustle noted, one theory about Moff Gideon is that he wants to use Baby Yoda to form the First Order. That could connect back to Dr. Pershing's experiments on The Child in The Mandalorian Season 1 Episode 3/Chapter 3. In that episode, it was noted that they needed to "extract the necessary material" from Baby Yoda. What material? Midi-chlorians?
The Mandalorian is set just a few years after Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, the final movie in the original trilogy. So the Disney+ series bridges the gap between the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy with The Force Awakens. Fans have been speculating whether The Mandalorian's storyline might connect to Snoke, or I guess Emperor Palpatine.
Whatever the case, Giancarlo Esposito has to work to not get mushy over Baby Yoda on set. He previously gushed about Baby Yoda's cuteness and "brilliant intelligence." He just told IGN his four daughters watch the show and they warned him not to hurt the baby. He joked that he would "squash that little big-eared bastard," but in real life he loves Baby Yoda too:
Are you kidding me? It melts my heart, because the reality is, this little baby does things that you could never imagine and when you look at those eyes and that little body, how can you not help but fall in love? Even me as Giancarlo, even me as Moff Gideon, I gotta walk away, I can't look too much at that baby because that baby will put a spell on you.
Yes "a spell" is one way to describe the past two months since The Mandalorian arrived on Disney+. The world -- and especially Laura Dern? -- caught Baby Yoda fever and it's probably going to stay viral until Season 2 arrives. Series creator Jon Favreau already confirmed when we can expect Season 2 while sharing an intriguing photo. Meanwhile, Giancarlo Esposito can also be seen returning to Better Call Saul as Gus Fring in the new season that premieres February 23 on AMC.