For the better part of three seasons of The Mandalorian, Giancarlo Esposito‘s Moff Gideon was the thorn in the side of Din Djarin, Grogu and Bo-Katan before seemingly meeting his ultimate fate in Chapter 24, The Return. While Gideon put up a good fight against the trio of heroes in the Season 3 finale, his part in their story looks to have come to an end but not before his true nature was revealed, not only to the heroes but also to the audience. As threatening as he may be, Gideon was really just a big nerd obsessed with all the cool stuff in the Star Wars galaxy. Behind all his deception, treachery and posturing, it turns out Moff Gideon is just an 80’s kid.
While most fans guessed it some time ago, The Return confirmed that Gideon had hoped to use Grogu’s blood to infuse himself with The Force. More accurately, Gideon had hoped to infused himselves with The Force as the season finale revealed that Gideon and Doctor Pershing were not working with Shadow Council member Brendol Hux on Project Necromancer but rather putting the finishing touches on what he viewed as his ultimate form. But as it turns out, his ultimate form is essentially an 80’s Stars Wars kid’s fantasy come to life.
For all of Esposito’s talk about how Gideon was the galaxy’s “top warden” looking to restore order to the galaxy after the fall of the Empire, the character’s true nature turned out to be much more selfish and his goals seemingly much smaller in scope. Gideon, like me and many of you, is a collector. While we collect action figures and memorabilia from the fictional Star Wars universe, Gideon was doing the same thing inside the Star Wars universe. His obsession with the Sith, Jedi and Mandalorian cultures–all the cool tricks, toys and trinkets that come along with them–is no different than ours. At some point, alone in his room at the ISB, Gideon definitely tried to summon something to his hand using The Force; while holding a broomstick in a mirror, he absolutely “bzzzzzzd” up a lightsaber and took a few swings; and he most definitely wondered how cool it would be to be screeching across the sky wearing a jet pack and suited up in Mandalorian armor.
The difference, of course, is that Gideon lived within that world and had the means and willpower to make those fantasies real. For Gideon, that meant being a Force-wielding, beskar-wearing bad guy: the best of all worlds! While the rest of the Shadow Council waited for the return of Thrawn or for Project Necromancer to be completed, Gideon used his considerable resources to set up shop on Mandalore and put together the coolest damn cosplay costume he could imagine in his very own bad guy lair. While it’s unclear exactly what was left undone, it’s clear his plan didn’t come to completion. Perhaps Project Necromancer’s work was necessary to transfer his consciousness into his clones? A bunch of Gideons without his memories wouldn’t be of much use, after all. It seems like we’ll never know exactly what his grand plan for the galaxy was (although…you never know) but as he went down in a blaze of glory, he did it in style and I, for one, am extremely jealous of his collection.