It's been a while, but The Mandalorian's ultimate hype man has returned.
Star Wars fans undoubtedly remember the dark times leading up to the hit Disney+ series' sophomore season when Lucasfilm was radio silent, one of many marketing droughts they've endured over the years. But in times of desperation, there is often a beacon of hope.
For The Mandalorian, this came by way of Giancarlo Esposito. The actor, who ironically plays the villain Moff Gideon, often dropped tidbits on what fans could expect to see in The Mandalorian Season 2, and few subjects were off-limits.
Esposito shared that his Imperial enforcer would be going toe to toe with Din Djarin, something that finally came to fruition in the second season's mindblowing finale. While noting that he performed all of his stunts, the actor also made emphasis on the importance of the Darksaber - something that will surely carry over into Season 3.
Speaking of Season 3, what can the Star Wars faithful expect for Gideon going forward? Esposito has a few answers...
Giancarlo Esposito Talks The Mandalorian Season 3 Return
In an interview with Variety, actor Giancarlo Esposito expressed his desire to return as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian Season 3:
"I have to imagine you would [see Gideon return]. I can't speak for [Lucasfilm], but I know I have desire."
The actor said Gideon's presence would be necessary to "continue the story":
"I think we need to see Moff to continue the story, and to continue the pressure and edge that someone with the big brain that Moff has thinks about."
While he couldn't make a guarantee for a return, he made...a guarantee:
"I can almost guarantee it, but there's never a guarantee. But... you'll see me, baby. Come on!"
Esposito, nominated for an Emmy for his contributions to the show, has nothing but gratitude and joy for his experience on The Mandalorian:
"The fact that I'm here tonight, and the position I am to be nominated for Moff Gideon? I thank Jon Favreau, and I thank Dave Filoni, and I thank Disney, and Kathleen Kennedy for producing. This show has taken people by storm, because there's so much to love."
He's Coming Back, Baby
There's absolutely no chance that Moff Gideon's participation in The Mandalorian has concluded.
The calculating mastermind was notably left alive by his captors during the Season 2 finale, despite an effort to take his own life when Luke Skywalker unexpectedly appeared and decimated his Dark Trooper platoon. A former ISB officer and one of the few remaining Imperial warlords, Gideon has information that could be vital to the New Republic as the events of the narrative unfold.
As Esposito noted, Gideon has a "big brain" and undoubtedly has contingencies up his sleeve in the event that he were to be apprehended. Someone with seemingly infinite resources and an extremely large role to play in the wake of the Empire's demise won't be incarcerated for long.
While it's possible he could appear in some of the tie-in series, like Rangers of the New Republic, Gideon's story is best fit to serve directly as the villain in The Mandalorian. Grogu is no longer at risk of being captured by the Moff, but there's a very personal story between the survivors of Mandalore and their foe, all rooted in one common target: the Darksaber.
In the Season 2 finale, Gideon lost possession of the weapon fairly quickly in the aforementioned battle with Mando. But given his scheming nature, it's a fair bet that he didn't have high expectations of coming out on top in the conflict. The Moff correctly assessed that Bo-Katan and her contingent would storm the bridge, and she absolutely would have killed him.
In hedging his bets on Din sparing his life, Gideon had the opportunity to manipulate the Mandalorians into potentially killing each other over the sword. If not, the Dark Troopers would have handled them for him, and he'd have reclaimed his prized possession.
With the Darksaber now under the ownership of someone unwilling to carry the burden it brings, The Mandalorian Season 3 will likely revolve around the conflict for the weapon and who will lead the charge to reclaim Mandalore. Gideon will surely be in the thick of it; after all, it was Esposito who revealed that fourth season of the series is also planned, and he wouldn't know that if his character weren't involved.
Moff Gideon will return when The Mandalorian Season 3 debuts later next year on Disney+.