'The Mandalorian' Subtly References Some Prequel Pseudoscience in Season 2, Episode 4

Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?


For the most part, The Mandalorian Season 2 has been steering clear of what is building up to be a Big Plot, sending Mando and his charge on little side quests and pitting him against giant spiders and sandworms rather than the remnants of Imperial forces. But the honeymoon period never lasts forever, and in the show’s latest episode, titled “The Siege,” we get a pretty big info dump about what the evil ex-Empire is up to these days-as well as a reminder that the big bad from the end of Season 1, Moff Gideon, is still alive.

If you recall, Gideon and his creepy scientists wanted the Child for some dastardly secret experiment, but we had no idea exactly for what. After this episode, we have a better idea of how Gideon was planning to use the Child’s special abilities. Our clue? A reference to a very controversial plot device from none other than the Star Wars prequels

In the episode, Mando and his Nevarran buddies Greef Karga and Cara Dune infiltrate an Imperial remnant base, which turns out to be not a base, but a creepy villain lab where bodies are suspended in goop and Stormtroopers guard every corner. Dr. Pershing, the weird scientist guy from Season 1, makes an appearance as a little hologram message intended for Moff Gideon’s eyes only. In the message, he refers to previous failed experiments in which some substance did not agree with the innards of the subjects, and that he had already exhausted his supply of blood he got from the Child after Mando delivered it to him in the previous season. 


One of the phrases Pershing uses is “M-count,” describing the properties of the Child’s blood. We know by now that Baby Yoda is not only Force-sensitive, but an extremely powerful wielder of the Force. Obviously, this “M-count” can only be a reference to midi-chlorians, the microscopic entities present in the blood of Jedi that were invented pretty much exclusively for the weird pseudoscience of the Star Wars prequels. 

Midi-chlorians exist inside everyone, but only a special few have enough floating around inside them to be able to harness the power of the Force. During the old days of the Republic, the Jedi Order would use midi-chlorian counts found in blood tests to find fledgling Jedi before the practice was banned at the dawn of the Empire. One Sith lord, Darth Plagueis, was said to have been so powerful as to be able to use the midi-chlorians to create life. It’s implied that Anakin Skywalker, who had the highest midi-chlorian count ever recorded, was conceived by them. 

It sure sounds like Moff Gideon was trying to use Baby Yoda’s midi-chlorian-rich blood to inject more of them into his test subjects, perhaps hoping to artificially increase Force-sensitivity in certain individuals. We have no idea if Gideon himself is Force-sensitive, but it seems like he isn’t. Maybe he’s planning on turning himself into a Sith, or creating an army of Force-sensitives he can use at his command. If only there was some cautionary tale out there about using creepy science to artificially manufacture an army to bring “balance” to the galaxy. Oh, well. Need help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.

Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.


Where to Celebrate Lunar New Year 2023 in Australia

And what it means to be in the year of the Rabbit.

where to celebrate lunar new year australia

Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.

What is special about the year of the Rabbit?

As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.

What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?

There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.

New South Wales

Darling Harbour Fireworks
When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.

Dragon Boat Races
When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.

Lion Dances
When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining
When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.

Auntie Philter
When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.


Lunar New Year Festival
When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.

Lunar New Year at the National Gallery of Victoria
When: Celebrate the year of the rabbit at the National Gallery of Victoria’s festival of art, food, and art-making activities for everyone from 10 am-5 pm.


BriAsia Festival
When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.

South Australia

Chinatown Adelaide Street Party
When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.

Western Australia

Crown Perth
When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.

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