Last Friday’s Chapter 12: The Siege gave us the first time Giancarlo Esposito appeared in the flesh in the second season of The Mandalorian following a brief appearance in the previous episode in hologram form. Following that up, Lucasfilm recently released a character poster for Moff Gideon, and the actor was also interviewed by Entertainment Weekly, where he discussed his character in the second season and the show as a whole.
First of all, the Emmy-nominated actor answered one of the questions that we all assumed had a positive answer, but we didn’t really know for sure: is there going to be more Gideon in this season? Here’s what he said:
I hope that everyone gets excited when I finally get into the season. Also, I think it’s partly a design of the construct of the show – you focus your attention on the journey. Let’s see where The Mandalorian and The Child will go and what their allegiances may be as they flow through that.”
He followed that up with some eyebrow-raising comments about the fate of his character next season:
But I have a feeling you’ll see more of me next season. More than likely you’re going to see a lot of Moff Gideon. I can’t be sure of that, but it seems as though this iconic journey that they want you to feel it. I think you’re going to start to see other storylines start to creep in. When we start to realize there’s such a deep connection [between the show’s storylines and] the rest of the galaxy and what’s really happening. Maybe you’ll get an inkling of what he wants.”
The Siege introduced the audience to the idea that Moff Gideon is after the “m-count” of The Child, most likely talking about his midi-chlorians (by the way, a name-drop that hasn’t raised as many complaints as one would have thought, so full credit to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni for that). But Gideon’s ultimate goal still remains a mystery – some are speculating it might be linked to Snoke’s creation, maybe even Palpatine, or that he is just trying to have some control over the Force and Force-sensitive beings.
After the events of Chapter 3 and Chapter 12 of The Mandalorian, it seems plausible to assume that Gideon is after some kind of experimentation with living things and the Force. Hence, the question: are you trying to create your own line of Force-sensitive super-soldiers? Here’s what Esposito said about that:
I think we’re all trying to figure out what does he really wants. Somewhere in my brain, I hold out something and he has some kind of ethical consideration here. When people flow out of control and there are all these different Moffs who’ve been assigned different areas to be wardens of, isn’t there one person or someone that may have guidance over all of them? They’re questions that are answered. It could be super soldiers. It could be that he wants to save the galaxy. Also, why does Moff Gideon know everything about what’s going on everywhere? He has some kind of incredible intelligence source. So I always hold out that there may be an altruistic reason that he is taking control or trying to. Certainly, the child represents the possibility of a new humanity of a new consciousness.”
Also, what about that upgraded armor, which some people are saying kind of looks like Vader’s? Esposito weighed in on that, but didn’t really give an answer:
It’s any adult manchild’s dream come true to be equated in a certain way with Darth Vader. But I don’t wear a helmet. I don’t know what the storyline might bring up in regard to Moff Gideon’s relationship to Darth Vader. But I certainly correlated one in my own brain.
I trained my attitude and I’m a physical actor so I do things to keep my body high and tight, and thank goodness I did, because as you will see in episodes to come I have a certain physicality to exude.
Giancarlo Esposito has made a name for himself on TV over the last few years since he found fame playing Gustavo Fring in Breaking Bad (and the subsequent spin-off show, Better Call Saul). His history of playing villains has continued, both on The Mandalorian and to some degree on The Boys. But he is quick to establish a certain point of view regarding Moff Gideon.
You know, we all have our dark and our light side. And then we justify our reasons for doing what we do. We don’t know what his reasons are yet. But for me, to make him a well-rounded human being, there has to be some kind of consciousness within me that allows me to go, “Maybe there’s something there that he really wants to do that will help people.” It could be doubtful, but it could be true as well. He’s playing a long game and I think that’s why you see me interspersed in this season the way I am.”
The actor also gave his take on the big question of season 2 of the show: is Baby Yoda a terrible being for eating those eggs in Chapter 10?:
No, I don’t think so. Baby Yoda is a very pure spirit, and yet 50 years old, so he’s someone who’s very highly intelligent, but also has to survive. And we need to keep that baby happy. We’ve all fallen in love with The Child and The Child has some compassion and is funny and is absolutely the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.”
To finalize the interview, the actor beautifully explained where the show stands inside Star Wars lore and also pop culture, as well as teasing some what’s to come.
I’ll tease the past. We are able to refer to the historical nature of mythology that has already been laid down in previous Star Wars incarnations. This particular incarnation allows us as family members to really plant the seeds to realize a more cohesive world. So I love the fact that we’re in such a futuristic show that throws back to the history and knowledge of what a warrior really is and where the line between good and evil sometimes gets blurred with desire. It allows me to dream really big and to realize that no matter what we want to do in life, if we have the aid of people and entities that share the same feelings, then there’s hope again.
So there’s going to be a lot of battles and stormtroopers and all the dark troopers – everyone will get involved. We’re all in a fresh new place to bring it home. I’m so excited to be a part of the show that is the best there is.”
Well there you have it, dark troopers. Hard to not be excited for what’s ahead for The Mandalorian, which continues this Friday on Disney Plus.