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The Mandalorian: What Chapter 11 Reveals About The State Of The Empire

The Mandalorian's 11th chapter, "Heiress," treats fans to the return of a familiar character, a crucial informational bombshell, and a massive name drop. But in the background of all of that, the remnants of the Empire, headed (at least in part) by Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), are stockpiling their weapons for something.

In the Star Wars timeline, The Mandalorian takes place not long after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, decades before the rise of the New Order in The Force Awakens. The New Republic is in power, as we were reminded in Chapter 10 when a pair of New Republic X-Wings tried to arrest the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal). Fresh off of that escape, Mando now arrives on the water planet Trask, reunites the Frog Lady with her husband, and finds three new Mandalorians.

While he was hoping they would help him take the Child to the Jedi, it turns out these Mandalorians have a culture that clashes with that of our protagonist, who was actually raised by a different clan called the Children of the Watch. They agree to help him if he, in turn, helps them with their mission on Trask. While Trask is quite intriguing with its space fishing village vibe, it's also home to a thriving black market, where members of the fallen Empire buy weapons with the plunders of Mandalore.

The Imperial remnants are still strong

According to Entertainment Weekly, The Mandalorian is going to explore the origins of the First Order, the Imperial group that Rey and friends fight in the sequel trilogy. So far in the series, we've only seen Imperial remnants under control of Moff Gideon, a sector governor of the Empire. Now, he seems to have some sort of plan involving the Child and a whole bunch of weapons, leaving us wondering how this might lead to the rise of the First Order.

In the episode, Mando and his new allies infiltrate an Imperial Gozanti freighter, killing a whole troop of Stormtroopers as they make their way to the cargo hold and then the bridge. During this sequence, the captain of the ship reveals a few things about the state of the Empire we didn't know before. He's trying to rendezvous with "the fleet," so we know this crew of Gideon's is at least several ships strong. On top of that, he mentions that multiple other freighters under Gideon's control have been attacked by the same Mandalorians. It seems they've been buying multiple cargo holds' worth of weapons.

The captain (Titus Welliver) seems pretty confident in their power, as he tells the Mandalorian Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), "If you think you're going to escape with those weapons, you are sadly mistaken. Even if you've managed to jettison a few of those crates, we will comb the entire area until you are hunted down and killed."

In the end, though, he's overwhelmed by the attackers and not backed up by Gideon's other forces. When Bo-Katan offers to let him live in exchange for information about the Darksaber, the captain kills himself with a capsule in his teeth. Evidently, Moff Gideon's slice of the Empire still has some serious loyalists, but is willing to sacrifice one freighter. This all points to him still holding onto a lot of power — more power than it seemed before.

"The Empire is gone, Mando," Greef Karga said during the first season. But that's clearly not true.