Entertainment

'The Mandalorian' Subtly References Some Prequel Pseudoscience in Season 2, Episode 4

Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?

mandalorian baby yoda
Disney+

For the most part, The Mandalorian Season 2 has been steering clear of what is building up to be a Big Plot, sending Mando and his charge on little side quests and pitting him against giant spiders and sandworms rather than the remnants of Imperial forces. But the honeymoon period never lasts forever, and in the show's latest episode, titled "The Siege," we get a pretty big info dump about what the evil ex-Empire is up to these days—as well as a reminder that the big bad from the end of Season 1, Moff Gideon, is still alive.

If you recall, Gideon and his creepy scientists wanted the Child for some dastardly secret experiment, but we had no idea exactly for what. After this episode, we have a better idea of how Gideon was planning to use the Child's special abilities. Our clue? A reference to a very controversial plot device from none other than the Star Wars prequels

In the episode, Mando and his Nevarran buddies Greef Karga and Cara Dune infiltrate an Imperial remnant base, which turns out to be not a base, but a creepy villain lab where bodies are suspended in goop and Stormtroopers guard every corner. Dr. Pershing, the weird scientist guy from Season 1, makes an appearance as a little hologram message intended for Moff Gideon's eyes only. In the message, he refers to previous failed experiments in which some substance did not agree with the innards of the subjects, and that he had already exhausted his supply of blood he got from the Child after Mando delivered it to him in the previous season. 

mandalorian
Disney+

One of the phrases Pershing uses is "M-count," describing the properties of the Child's blood. We know by now that Baby Yoda is not only Force-sensitive, but an extremely powerful wielder of the Force. Obviously, this "M-count" can only be a reference to midi-chlorians, the microscopic entities present in the blood of Jedi that were invented pretty much exclusively for the weird pseudoscience of the Star Wars prequels. 

Midi-chlorians exist inside everyone, but only a special few have enough floating around inside them to be able to harness the power of the Force. During the old days of the Republic, the Jedi Order would use midi-chlorian counts found in blood tests to find fledgling Jedi before the practice was banned at the dawn of the Empire. One Sith lord, Darth Plagueis, was said to have been so powerful as to be able to use the midi-chlorians to create life. It's implied that Anakin Skywalker, who had the highest midi-chlorian count ever recorded, was conceived by them. 

It sure sounds like Moff Gideon was trying to use Baby Yoda's midi-chlorian-rich blood to inject more of them into his test subjects, perhaps hoping to artificially increase Force-sensitivity in certain individuals. We have no idea if Gideon himself is Force-sensitive, but it seems like he isn't. Maybe he's planning on turning himself into a Sith, or creating an army of Force-sensitives he can use at his command. If only there was some cautionary tale out there about using creepy science to artificially manufacture an army to bring "balance" to the galaxy. Oh, well. 

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.