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The Mandalorian S3 Chapter 23: Grogu's Newest Power Upgrade Could Be Bad News For The Fan-Favorite Character

Contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" Season 3 episode "Chapter 23: The Spies"

Remember when Grogu was a mostly helpless bundle of joy? Those days are long gone. His brief Jedi training under Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) has given him an increasing amount of control over his Force push and somersault abilities. His communication skills are improving by the day. What's more, "The Mandalorian" Season 3 has made him a Mandalorian-in-training, and he's been acquiring gear, skills, and even titles roughly once per episode. 

In "Chapter 23: The Spies," the "let's see how overpowered we can make Grogu" train fully abandons the concept of brakes, as that strange little IG-11 (Taika Waititi) subplot from the beginning of the season pays off in an unexpected, glorious fashion. The Anzellans have been able to rebuild the bounty hunter droid into a non-autonomous IG-12 unit, which serves as a battle mech and rudimentary communication system for Grogu. 

If it wasn't already clear from the fact that Grogu comes from the same species as noted Jedi master Yoda (Frank Oz), "The Mandalorian" is increasingly driving home the fact that the kid packs an awful lot of punch for someone his size. With IG-12's capabilities at his disposal, the freshly power-armored "Baby Yoda" is now mightier than ever — but this might not be an entirely positive thing. As it happens, Grogu's most recent Season 3 development closely mirrors that of the villainous Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) ... and since the latter has essentially been set up to fail, this may mean that Grogu fans have a reason to be worried, as well. 

Grogu's droid suit upgrade mirrors Moff Gideon's new armor

Yes, Grogu's constant power-ups have now culminated into full-on battle armor, which is obviously awesome. Unfortunately, this character arc parallels that of the show's most obviously doomed character, which makes us worry about Grogu's long-term survival. 

Grogu's IG-12 suit isn't the only power armor upgrade in "Chapter 23." Near the end, Moff Gideon premieres his ominous, Darth Vader-meets-Boba Fett Beskar Darktrooper armor. While old Moff ends the penultimate episode of Season 3 at the height of his powers, it's hard to imagine a "Star Wars" villain who's been set up to fall harder. In his very first "Chapter 23" scene, Gideon openly questions Grand Admiral Thrawn's (Lars Mikkelsen) leadership — a colossally bad move now that we know Thrawn will be the main villain in "Ahsoka." Later, he openly gloats at every single Mandalorian within earshot, and attempts to kill them all. He captures the nominal protagonist (Pedro Pascal) for the grand finale, a move that has historically rarely gone well for villains. He even haughtily demands that Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) gives him the Darksaber, thus teasing a situation where she'll do exactly that ... blade first, and with some force. In other words, Gideon has managed to anger just about everyone, to the point that the question isn't whether he's toast — it's how crispy said toast will be. 

Now, does the fact that the villain is marching toward his doom in a cool new battle suit mean that Grogu — who also just so happens to acquire a cool new battle suit of his own — is destined to walk the same path toward oblivion? Not in itself. However, the suit thing is just one of the major, ongoing parallels between the two. The other one is that Gideon and Grogu are the two "The Mandalorian" characters who absolutely, positively won't make it out of the show as they are right now. 

Grogu will leave us at some point, the only question is how

A decent percentage of "The Mandalorian" characters are Legends holdovers who are wrapping up their stories in live-action. Others are just working stiffs who have little to do with the grand scheme of the movies — even Din Djarin himself is explicitly just a random Mando who keeps getting pulled into all sorts of shenanigans. All of them have their own thing going on, and most of them can exist without mention in the Skywalker Saga movies. 

With two exceptions, that is. If they'd still be active by the time "The Force Awakens" rolls up, power armor bros Grogu and Moff Gideon would both be way too influential to remain invisible or unmentioned. Gideon would almost certainly rank among the First Order's top brass, and as for Grogu ... "Oh, we need to find Luke Skywalker? Why not call his former student who's friends with everyone in the galaxy, has Yoda-level Force sensitivity, pilots a murder droid, and has an army of heavily-armed Mandalorians as a family? Actually, let's skip Luke altogether and ask this Grogu guy to mop the floor with whatever Ben Solo is calling himself this week."

Knowing this, it's not hard to see the simultaneous costume upgrades as a not-so-stealthy hint that both of these characters are on a trajectory that will lead them to exit the franchise in the foreseeable future ... or, at the very least, to find a way to stay inconspicuous. In Gideon's case, he's made so many enemies that he's unlikely to survive much further than "The Mandalorian" Season 3 finale. As for the artist formerly known as Baby Yoda, the means and timing of his imminent departure are somewhat less clear, though hopefully significantly less violent. The best-case scenario is that he'll eventually earn his helmet, and the rest of the Galaxy Far, Far Away just manages to conveniently miss the pint-sized, telekinetic Mandalorian with ear holes cut in his helm.