The Mandalorian Season 3 Finale Finally Reveals What Moff Gideon Wanted With Grogu

The backbone of The Mandalorian since its beginning has been Moff Gideon's pursuit of Gorgu, a.k.a. The Child, a.k.a. Baby Yoda. Din Djarin's mission to retrieve Grogu for the Imperial Remnant is what changed Djarin's life. Grogu became his foundling in the ways of the Mandalorians. Yet, it hasn't ever been clear why Gideon wanted to get his hands on Grogu. The Mandalorian Season 3 finale, "Chapter 24: The Return," finally makes Gideon's motivations clear, and it may have something to do with Snoke and Emperor Palaptine's return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. SPOILERS follow for The Mandalorian Season 3 finale episode, "Chapter 24: The Return." 

Though the episode doesn't dwell on it much, The Mandalorian Season 3 finale reveals a room within the Imperial Remnant's hidden base beneath Mandalore's surface where Moff Gideon has several clones of himself. Din Djarin destroys the clones, which angers Gideon, leading him to explain his now-foiled plans. Gideon wanted to use Dr. Pershing's research to create clones with Force sensitivity. He had seemingly achieved this goal in the destroyed clones, with plans to expand his cloning productions into a Force-wielding clone army.

What did Moff Gideon want with Grogu?

It seems likely that Gideon's desire to create Force-sensitive clones is why he wanted Grogu. It seems this is what Dr. Pershing's research was all about.

What better species to study and experiment with for Force-sensitive cloning than Yoda's? It seems they have particularly strong connections to the Force, which Pershing would likely attempt to duplicate.

What does Moff Gideon's cloning research have to do with Snoke, Palpatine, and Project Necromancer?

If Pershing was indeed researching Force-sensitive cloning then it makes sense that he'd be a valuable asset to Project Necromancer, which sought to resurrect the Emperor. But it's unclear if Pershing's research ever made it to Project Necromancer, or if those involved with the project are aware of Grogu.

The meeting of the Shadow Council in The Mandalorian Season 3's penultimate episode made it clear that the Imperial Remnant is fractured. Gideon seems to have a contentious relationship with Project Necromancer's faction, represented by Commandant Hux, and Thrawn's faction, spoken for by General Pellaeon.

As best we can put together, Project Necromancer sent Gideon to find Pershing and bring him and his research to them. It seems Gideon, seeing the potential in Perhing's work, decided to keep him close by instead. Whether he got that idea before or after discovering Grogu's existence is unclear.

But it all seems to be part of the internal power struggle. We know that the First Order, which seems tied to Project Necromancer, will eventually come to be the Empire's successor. With Gideon off the board, it only remains to be seen whether Thrawn joins the First Order or falls, either before them or to Ahsoka and some other old enemies.

The Mandalorian Season 3 is streaming now in its entirety on Disney+Ahsoka debuts in August on Disney+.