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The following contains spoilers for The Mandalorian Chapter 12, "The Siege."
Star Wars has always been a controversial franchise. While millions of people love it as a whole, there are probably few who would claim that Star Wars hasn't made any missteps, even if there is debate as to what those missteps actually were. If there's one place that Star Wars fans are largely in agreement that the franchise took a wrong turn it's... The Star Wars Holiday Special. But if there are two places where Star Wars fans are in agreement that the franchise took a wrong turn, the other one has to be the introduction of the concept of Midi-chlorians. And yet, it looks like The Mandalorian is about to wade waist deep into into still largely unexplored, and largely unpopular, part of the galaxy far, far away.
The newest episode of The Mandalorian, titled "The Siege," gave us a piece of the information fans have been looking for regarding why Moff Gideon wanted The Child in the first place. While it was easy to assume it had something to do with Baby Yoda's natural Force abilities, it turns out it is more specifically The Child's blood that Moff needs for some sort of major experiment. While we only have the barest understanding of the ultimate goal of this experiment, we know why the blood of The Child is so important.
The Child's M-Count
"The Siege" reunited The Mandalorian with his friends Cara Dune and Greef Carga. He traded his services for (shady) repairs to the Razor Crest and the three, along with a returning Horatio Sanz as Mythrol, attack an Imperial base on the far side of the planet Nevarro. We eventually discover that this base was a key part of the experiment that caused Moff Gideon to go in search of The Child in the first place. A recording from Dr. Pershing, the same doctor who was working on The Child back at the beginning of the series, says that this central experiment, which focused on blood transfusions from The Child, have shown early success but that the blood is ultimately rejected by the body of whoever it's being injected into.
But at one point Dr. Pershing says "I highly doubt we'll find a donor with a higher M-count," which is concrete reasoning for why The Child is so desired, and it seems pretty clear what's being referred to here. Moff Gideon is interested in transfusing The Child's Midi-chlorians into another being, assumedly to give Force abilities to another being via blood transfusion.
Will We Learn More About Midi-chlorians?
This revelation feels wild for more than one reason. First off, the simple fact that Midi-chlorians are being brought up feels like creator Jon Favreau is wading into controversial waters. The idea that The Force comes from microscopic organisms, and that a high concentration of them in the blood is what makes some better or more susceptible to The Force, was a topic that fans really didn't like very much when it was introduced. When the franchise explained why and how The Force worked, it took a lot of the magic out of it for many fans. Plus, it's been fairly clear that the franchise took the fan response to heart, because other projects' references to Midi-chlorians since the prequel trilogy have been minor and mostly irrelevant.
But this feels different. Though the base exploded and whoever (or whatever) was being kept in that tank went up in flames with it with it, Moff Gideon is certainly still interested in The Child. His experiment is continuing, and so it seems like Midi-chlorians are going to continue to be important. And with that, we might start to learn more about what they are and how they work. Will transfusing Force abilities prove to be ultimately possible? If so, it could completely change the way The Force works in Star Wars going forward. The reason fans didn't accept Midi-chlorians at first was because it all felt so mundane. Being a Jedi wasn't necessarily special, since it was just an accident of blood. If anybody who gets a dose of midi-blood can move things with their mind, then being a Jedi becomes even less special.
Or maybe we'll learn that transfusing Midi-chlorians doesn't work at all, meaning Midi-chlorians themselves are not the ultimate source of Force sensitivity, thus effectively removing them from future consideration. Does it "fix" The Phantom Menace? Probably not, but at this point, who knows where things are headed? This is certainly another direction that things could go, but either way, we could see a broader explanation as to what Midi-chlorians are, where they come from, and how they truly work.
What Is Moff Gideon's Ultimate Goal?
At the end of the latest episode, we see Moff Gideon standing among a series of suits of black armor. They appear to be some new breed of Stormtrooper, and are clearly part of whatever Gideon's larger plan is. Are these new troopers directly related to his experiments with The Child, or are they something else? Considering that Moff Gideon holds the Dark Saber, and clearly knows more about the Jedi and The Force than most do in this place and time in the Star Wars universe, I would have expected Gideon was looking to give himself Force abilities, but perhaps that's not the goal.
Are we moving toward a collection of Force-wielding Stormtroopers? That seems mildly terrifying, though I would guess if that happens, Gideon will also gain Force abilities, since it would be difficult to keep the Troopers in line otherwise. Of course, this new breed of Stormtroopers could be something totally different, and their appearance here is merely foreshadowing that The Mandalorian will have to deal with them before too long.
Perhaps it isn't too surprising that we're seeing Midi-chlorians become an important plot point in The Mandalorian, as a number of loose threads of the Star Wars universe – from Boba Fett to Ahsoka Tano – will be dealt with in some way by the end of this season. And then of course we have The Child himself, who promises to eventually reveal more about Yoda's race than we ever knew before. Revealing answers to questions fans have, and even those they don't has been a big part of the show. And now we could be on the verge of learning everything we didn't know about what is literally the smallest part of the Star Wars universe that we're aware of.
The Mandalorian drops new episodes on Fridays on Disney+ at 3:01 a.m. ET. While waiting for new episodes, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule to see what else is on the way soon.