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Who was the person at the end of The Mandalorian chapter 5?

The hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian loves to lob mystery after mystery at us with every episode, and the fifth — titled "The Gunslinger" — was no different. The episode was something of a love letter to Star Wars fans, as it returned us to where it all started: the desert planet of Tatooine, where "Mando" heads to get his ship repaired after it sustains damage in a dogfight with another bounty hunter. 

After leaving adorable lil' Baby Yoda in the care of mechanic Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), Mando heads to a very familiar cantina looking for work. There, he finds Toro Calican (Jake Cannavale), a guild member who just happens to be posted up at the very same table where a certain Rodian bounty hunter met his end so very long ago. He offers to split the take if Mando will help him bring in his bounty: Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen), a notorious assassin who has apparently made enemies of the wrong people.

Of course, it turns out that Calican, like many of the characters Mando comes across, isn't telling the whole truth; he's not exactly a member of the guild, but he sure wants to be, and hauling in Shand is his ticket in. He offers to give Mando all of the dough to assist in bringing in the extremely dangerous, hardened killer — and while our hero is just a bit hesitant, well, money talks.

After meeting back at the mechanic's (where Calican happens to catch a glimpse of Mando's infant charge), the two set out on speeder bikes, and it doesn't take them long to find and corner Shand, who puts up a heck of a fight, but is eventually subdued by the power of deception and teamwork. Unfortunately, Mando now has a bigger problem: Shand, in attempting to convince Calican to free her so they can team up to kill Mando and get custody of Baby Yoda, instead convinces him to blast her so that he can attempt the double-cross on his own.

This endeavor, of course, doesn't go well for the inexperienced bounty hunter. After a confrontation back at the mechanic's, Mando manages to get the better of Calican, and use the credits he had on him to pay the mechanic for his ship's repairs. He and Baby Yoda continue their flight — but somebody knows they've been there. We see Shand's (presumably) dead body being approached and examined by an unknown party, dressed all in black with a long, flowing cape — and what looks like a blaster on their hip. Who the heck is this person? We can hazard a few guesses.

Is it just another bounty hunter stalking the Mandalorian?

There is always the possibility that this person will be one of the many bounty hunters we've seen on Mando's trail over the course of the season; Baby Yoda is the hottest commodity in the galaxy, and so far, it's apparent that everywhere Mando goes, there will be some guy with a blaster in his hand and dreams of credits dancing in his head following. Heck, one such random pursuer made a surprise appearance at the end of the previous episode, just when we thought Mando might finally have found a safe haven for Baby Yoda; if he can be tracked to the remote outpost of the planet Sorgan, he can certainly be tracked to the comparative hot spot (no pun intended) of Tatooine.

However, we don't find this to be likely for one simple reason: why not show the person's face? If he or she will indeed be another rando in pursuit of Mando (sorry, we couldn't resist) who will otherwise be relatively unimportant to the plot, then there's no real reason to conceal their identity. Sure, this party could very well be someone we haven't gotten a formal introduction to yet — but it's probably someone who will play a vital role in episodes to come, hence the mysterious tease. Of course, the possibility also exists that this is a character we have met before — just not in this series.

Could the Mandalorian come helmet-to-helmet with Boba Fett?

Since you're a fan of the show (we assume; otherwise, it's kind of weird that you're reading this article), you probably know that The Mandalorian takes place five years after the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Hey, do you know who has a loose but significant connection to the Mandalorians, whom we last saw in that film falling to his presumed death into the gaping maw of the Sarlacc pit on Tatooine? That's right: Boba Fett, whose armor differs from Mando's only in color scheme and accessories, and who (like Mando himself, it now appears) isn't so much a Mandalorian as he is a guy who really, really identifies with the culture. 

Of course, it's up for debate whether Boba actually survived his encounter with the Sarlacc; fans really want to think so, the extended canon (which has been blasted to smithereens by Disney) states so explicitly, and the House of Mouse has been very, very quiet on the matter. We find it likely that ol' Boba has been cooling his jets on Tatooine for the last half-decade, perhaps taking the odd job or, who knows, maybe tending bar part-time in the Mos Eisley cantina. If indeed it was he who discovered Shand, it would make sense to hide his helmeted dome for a big reveal in another episode — but, if we're being honest, we're pretty sure that this isn't the case. We know that there's a major character getting set to come into play within the next episode or two, and we're thinking we just got our first look at him — well, his boots, anyway.

Is this our introduction to Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian?

Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we know that Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul) is going to be a major player in The Mandalorian's narrative. We're familiar with that "Moff" title; this is an old Empire guy, obviously, but what exactly is he after? Esposito himself gave EW a few clues.

"He's an Imperial remnant of a very fine officer who then switches to become sort of the guardian of the people," the actor explained. "But what does he really want? This guy is going to be a big player because he has an idea of how to keep order."

That's an interesting statement, because so far, the hunt for Mando has been pure chaos. The logline for an upcoming episode, though, indicates that Gideon may have more on his mind than simply bringing Baby Yoda in to collect a bundle of cash. We recently got a pretty strong indication that The Mandalorian's seventh episode (which will drop two days earlier than the rest, on Wednesday, December 18) will bring Gideon and Mando face-to-helmet. The logline reads: "An old rival extends an invitation for the Mandalorian to make peace."

Sure, this could be referring to someone else — The Mandalorian is a show that loves to keep us guessing. Nevertheless, we're going to go ahead and register our guess that the black-booted figure seen crouching over Fennec Shand (whom, for the record, we don't believe to be dead) is indeed Moff Gideon. We can't wait to see Esposito, one of our favorite actors, make his Mandalorian debut — and to see what duplicitous schemes his character might be cooking up.