Chapter 22 of The Mandalorian saw Bo-Katan reclaim her fleet, take possession of the Darksaber and become the chosen one to lead the Mandalorian Renaissance. It was all too easy. Chapter 23, The Spies, brought all the good Mandalorian mojo to a quick halt. While fans expected the episode to feature the return of Mandalorian archnemesis Moff Gideon, the episode also contained a delightful surprise that portends continuing bad news for the heroes of the story.
The opening moments of The Spies not only quickly added Gideon back into the mix but also introduced a group of high-ranking Imperial loyalists known as the Shadow Council. The Shadow Council made its first canonical appearance in Chuck Wendig‘s 2017 novel Aftermath: Life Debt where, led by Admiral Gallius Rax, they planned to overthrow the New Republic. The machinations of the Shadow Council, which consisted of Rax, Rae Sloane, Brendol Hux, Ferric Obdur, Grand Moff Rand and Hodnar Borrum, were thought to be thwarted with their defeat at the Battle of Jokku, however, as seen in Chapter 23 of The Mandalorian, it has been reformed.
While the identities of every member of the Shadow Council weren’t revealed, their goals–by in large–remain the same: reestablish the Empire. Two members of the council, Grand Admiral Thrawn’s Number 2, Gilad Pellaeon, and soon-to-be First Order General Brendol Hux, who is heading the mysterious Project Necromancer, seem to be allotted a disproportionate amount of the resources available the Imperial loyalists as they work. As seen in The Spies, however, Gideon is less than impressed with his fellow council members, who seem content to wait for the return of the Heir to the Empire, Thrawn.
Gideon’s speech in the opening moments of Chapter 23 certainly stirred the Shadow Council to action as the agreed to move on the accumulating Mandalorians before they were able to rise to their full strength and offer a much more real threat to the reemergence of the Empire. Given what’s known about the future of the Star Wars universe, Hux’s work on Project Necromancer, likely being done in the Unknown Regions, will lead to the creation of Snoke, a reborn Emperor and the rise of the First Order. However, with Thrawn set to make his return in Ahsoka and the future of Gideon’s feud with the Mandalorians yet to be written, there are certainly some tense moments ahead for the beskar warriors.