When The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+ on November 12, the series might start out as a procedural adventure of a lone bounty hunter with a new target each week, but one theory based on a few recent leaks could reveal how the show’s overarching plot involves a surprising connection to Yoda, of all people — or at least another member of his species.
Last week, someone posted a complex theory to the Star Wars Speculation subreddit, and it connects to The Mandalorian footage shown during Star Wars Celebration in April.
“We know from the preview scene they showed at Celebration that Herzog’s character gives Mando a bounty for a 50-year-old who is of vital interest to him,” they write. “He wants this person either dead or alive, with his Imperial scientist objecting. He for whatever reason wants the bounty brought back alive.”
We have no way to know who or what they’re talking about yet, but the identity of this person could be the big secret at the heart of The Mandalorian and how it connects to wider Star Wars canon.
“I think the 50-year-old will in fact be a child/infant of [Yoda’s] species,” they write.
Yoda was around 900 years old when he died. So given his species’ life expectancy, a 50-year-old would appear considerably younger than a human of that same age.
Both the viewer and the Mandalorian expect a mature humanoid, but if it instead “ends up being a young little cute Yoda creature,” then it might complicate matters. “When Mando finds out he has been hired to kill/capture a baby for Imperials that’s when a moral struggle begins,” the theorist writes.
Early leaks and rumors indicate that the main conflict of the season emerges from a plotline just like this “Lone Wolf and Cub type scenario,”, and there are other more surprising leaks that indicate the baby could be of Yoda’s species. In October, Making Star Wars reported that George Lucas contributed story elements to The Mandalorian’s sixth episode, specifically that the episode will include several members of Yoda’s species and that the species will get a name.
We saw Yoda die in Return of the Jedi, but we never saw the death of Yaddle, the Jedi Master of the same species featured in the prequel trilogy. Could Yaddle (or one of her offspring) make a triumphant return in The Mandalorian?
We know very little of their race, but if the only two we’ve ever met are strong enough in the Force to become Jedi Masters and members of the Jedi Council, then it stands to reason that the entire race might be immensely powerful and exceedingly rare. It wouldn’t be surprising that the remnants of the Empire might want to experiment on such a creature.
If you want to read this very long theory in its entirety, here it is:
Keep in mind potential spoilers for Rise of Skywalker abound later in the post.
So we know from the preview scene they showed at Celebration that Herzog’s character gives Mando a bounty for a 50 year old who is of vital interest to him. He wants this person either dead or alive, with his Imperial scientist objecting. He for whatever reason wants the bounty brought back alive.
Now I have two theories for who this person may be. One of them may be a spoiler for TROS. I will save that one for last, and spoiler mark it beforehand. This first one may be a Mandolorian spoiler.
The bounty is a member of Yoda’s species. Previous rumors of the show said that the species and their background will be introduced for the first time ever in the show, and that puppets and animatronics of these Yoda-creatures were created for filming.
I think the fifty year old will in fact be a child/infant of this species. The fifty year old line misdirects the audience and the Mando into thinking this is going to be an older individual, but really it ends up being a young little cute Yoda creature. Herzog and the scientist want the child for research of some kind (maybe to find a key to longer biological life or something to do with the force?), but when Mando finds out he has been hired to kill/capture a baby for Imperials that’s when a moral struggle begins.
An early leak/rumor for the show had a major plotline of the show revolve around the Mando protecting a child throughout the season in a Lone Wolf and Cub type of scenario. We have seen a human child quite a bit in trailers, but almost always accompanied by a mother and not by the Mando, so I doubt this is the rumored child he protects throughout the show, barring anything else (like say the mother dying).
Perhaps this baby Yoda creature may be that child?
Now for the possible TROS spoiler theory…
2) The fifty year old is Palpatine’s long lost son and (revealed later in TROS but not in The Mandalorian) Rey’s father. First off, the ages line up if the leak/rumor that Palpatine is Rey’s grandfather pans out. A fifty year old during The Mandalorian would have been 9 years old during The Phantom Menace, meaning Palpatine would have had his son 9 years before the prequel trilogy. In legends Palpatine is I believe 53 during Phantom, making the age he had his son around a believable 44 years old. This son in turn would have had Rey four years after the events of Mandalorian, so 54 which is entirely possible (since Rey is 19 in TFA).
Now you may be thinking, that’s great but this all sounds like information relevant to TROS not The Mandalorian, why bog the show with information that has nothing to do with the main character of the show?
Well we have to keep in mind this show was made to be enjoyed (in Jon Favreau’s words) by people who have never seen Star Wars, but also by people who are hardcore fans and will appreciate the story elements and plot.
We know the show will in fact tackle somewhat the origins of the First Order and the actions of the defeated Imperial Remnant, so this show may have a focused story but it will be grand in scope and feature story elements that maybe unveal groundbreaking new aspects of the canon.
I think Herzog and the Imperial Scientist are looking for the heir to the Empire, someone that may rally the remaining Imperial Remnant together under one banner once again. Herzog wants him dead or alive bc he simply wants to eliminate the threat of a new heir to the Empire, either bc he sees himself as the new potential emperor, or bc he views someone else as the next potential ruler of a new Empire (Snoke? Thrawn? A revived Emperor?). The scientist maybe sees the Emperor’s son as a vital component in finding the emperor in the unknown regions, and wants to study him and his bloodline to find a way to revive the emperor somehow.
In other words, all that other information of Palpatine’s son and the implications that may have in the wider story of the Sequel Trilogy 25 years later and how it affects Rey is irrelevant to the show. The importance of such a reveal is that it could be seen as a big reveal for the fans, but also for the story it serves to show that the Imperial Remnant is a huge threat in this criminal world post-ROTJ and introduces the Mando into a larger conflict beyond bounty hunting that may get him involved in a larger galactic scale conflict that involves his home world of Mandalore.