DURING A surprising end credits scene following The Mandalorian Season 3 finale, we see a hand, gloved, dark, gripping the edge of a destroyed landing pad, and then hoisting into camera frame a face—bloodied, missing an eye, the cheek tendons exposed alongside bare teeth: Moff Gideon, back from the dead, his camera stare signaling a desire for vengeance.
Moff Gideon is probably dead.
We see him engulfed in a fireball after a whole ass ship (excuse us: a whole ass Imperial Star Destroyer) crashes into his base on Mandalore. That’s an almost mile-long starship capable of housing 10,000 personnel and probably weighing close to 40 million tons. That’s 109 Empire State buildings. That’s 400 aircraft carriers. (Forbes once estimated that to build just one would cost, like, $663 billion.)
Think of all that fuel. Whatever a Star Destroyer burns would have to be basically otherworldly, meaning it could burn at temperatures that far exceed the heat of jet fuel—which burns around 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. (Or so. These numbers are hard to verify and Googling will lead you into the land of 9/11 conspiracies. Be warned.)
But! Beskar armor—what Moff Gideon was wearing in the explosion—has a melting point somewhere beyond a lightsaber, since it’s supposed to withstand such blows (and has before in The Mandalorian). Lightsabers produce something close to 20,000 degrees Fahrenheit. So even if the fuel from a Star Destroyer burns ten times higher than Earthly jet fuel, it still wouldn’t reach a temperature higher than the melting point of Beskar armor.
Obviously, there are other things that could have killed Gideon, including smoke inhalation and whatever fall he may have sustained after being blown off the landing platform. (Als0, we know there’s an opening between the helmet and neckline of the armor. So perhaps high temperatures would burn through Moff’s neck and bone and basically decapitate him. Who knows.)
So could he actually be alive?
Is Moff Gideon dead?
The only sure answer would be to look for production clues—namely, whether actor Giancarlo Esposito will be returning for The Mandalorian Season 4.
No clues as of yet exist.
Narratively, the series could go in either direction. The Mandalorian could operate both without a main antagonist—which, for the next season, appears to be the case, with Mando and Grogu likely fighting other remnants of the empire—or with one major antagonist, which could be Admiral Thrawn or Commandant Brendol Hux. The series has options.
Moff Gideon returning from the dead isn’t exactly stupid either—for reasons mention above, but also because the genre of The Mandalorian, (something between an action blockbuster and a Saturday morning adventure saga), which allows for some galactic suspension of disbelief. Also, we already saw him with several clones of himself—what’s to say there’s not another one in storage somewhere. We can hear it now: “Somehow Moff Gideon Returned…”
Until then, we like to imagine that hand still gripping a burning platform.
Joshua St Clair is an Assistant Editor at Men’s Health Magazine.
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