Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season Finale Has a Subtle Breaking Bad Reference

Chapter 8 of The Mandalorian appeared to include an Easter egg nodding to the history of Moff Gideon star Giancarlo Esposito, who played another big bad, Gustavo Fring, on Breaking Bad. Spoilers: Esposito's time on that series ran out in Season 4 finale "Face Off," which ended with Walter White (Bryan Cranston) — a meth-making chemistry genius — orchestrating Fring's death by rigging an explosive to detonate at close range, triggered by the bell-tapping of Fring's hated rival Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis). Realizing the imminent destruction, Fring shouted in frustration seconds before the explosion that would claim his life.

A similar beat plays out in The Mandalorian season finale, "Redemption": there the titular armored bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) comes under fire from a TIE fighter piloted by Gideon, who takes aim at the Mandalorian and allies Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Carga (Carl Weathers). Realizing he's outgunned by the Imperial ship, the Mandalorian dons his "Rising Phoenix" — more commonly known as a jet pack — and launches into the air, slinging a grappling hook he uses to cling to Gideon's ship.

When the Mandalorian fails to penetrate the cockpit with blaster fire, he manages to attach an explosive to the side of Gideon's ship before throwing himself clear of the imminent boom. Gideon, recognizing what's about to happen, lets out a desperate "No!" But it's too late: the bomb detonates, sending Gideon's ship spiraling down to a crash landing on the planet below.

Unlike Fring, who perished when losing half his face after falling victim to White's genius, Gideon survives to menace the Mandalorian another day: the episode ends with Gideon very much alive and using the legendary darksaber to free himself from his downed ship.

Audiences will learn about the mysterious moff when he returns in Season 2, already in the works under creator Jon Favreau.

“He seems to know everything, and no one knows why he knows everything, but he’s just one of the wardens of a certain area of territory that’s been given to him. That’s what we know right now,” Esposito said during a recent convention appearance when teasing his shadowy character. “We don’t quite know whether he’s good or bad, but we do know that people want order. Like children, they need order in their day. They need to be able to know what they’re gonna do or have an idea of what that is, and to go through their day knowing that they have some kind of order, some kind of regimen. And so Moff Gideon is here to create order again.”

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