After being absent for the entirety of the season, Moff Gideon made a triumphant return to The Mandalorian, leaving fans speculating about the fate of Din Djarin. However, for those interested in the deep lore of the Star Wars universe, the episode offered a tantalizing glimpse into the inner workings of the Imperial Remnant with the mention of “Project Necromancer.”
The name first surfaces in a tense scene between Moff Gideon and other Imperial warlords, referred to as the “Shadow Council.” During the exchange, Gideon suggests that the Remnant needs new leadership, to which Brendol Hux (father of Armitage Hux of the First Order) accuses Gideon of conducting his own experiments with cloning. Gideon responds by deflecting the accusation, claiming that cloning is Hux’s obsession, not his own.
This reference to Brendol Hux’s appearances in the Expanded Universe, specifically in the novel Star Wars: Phasma, sheds light on his desire for Clone troopers over the indoctrinated children who populated the First Order’s ranks. However, it also hints at something far more sinister – the possibility that Project Necromancer is an effort to resurrect Emperor Palpatine.
The implications of such a project are staggering. Palpatine, the perennial Star Wars villain, was believed to have been killed in Return of the Jedi, but his return in The Rise of Skywalker threw the entire Star Wars universe into chaos. If Project Necromancer is indeed an attempt to bring back the Emperor, it could have far-reaching consequences for the galaxy far, far away.
Of course, at this point, it’s all speculation. The mention of Project Necromancer could be a red herring, or it could be a plot point that will be explored in future episodes of The Mandalorian or other Star Wars properties. Still, it’s exciting to see the show delving deeper into the lore of the Imperial Remnant and hinting at what could be a major development in the Star Wars saga.
Almost certainly, Project Necromancer is an effort to clone a new Palpatine.
The Star Wars franchise has always been known for its intricate storylines and shocking plot twists. In the opening scenes of “The Rise of Skywalker,” Kylo Ren discovers that Palpatine was not only alive but was also “every voice” he ever heard in his head. It is implied that Palpatine is a clone and that the tanks filled with Snoke-like bodies are part of the cloning process.
In “The Mandalorian’s” episode “Chapter 12: The Siege,” viewers get a glimpse of how the cloning efforts are progressing. Dr. Pershing’s recording indicates that Grogu’s “high M-count” (likely referring to midi-chlorians) makes his blood valuable for their experiments. As the characters look into the cloning tank, Snoke’s theme from “The Force Awakens” can be heard in the background music.
In the animated series “The Bad Batch,” we are introduced to the Mount Tantiss cloning lab, where Dr. Hemlock and others try to crack the cloning code. Nala Se, a surviving Kaminoan scientist, is their prisoner. During Season 2, Nala Se reveals that she knows what the Emperor wants cloning for but does not approve of it. The aquatic species that were great cloners kept their secrets and went extinct when Vice Admiral Rampart destroyed their cities.
As the Star Wars universe continues to expand, it’s possible that we may learn even more about Project Necromancer and the Empire’s efforts to clone a new Palpatine. Some speculate that this could include the introduction of Snoke and his role as the “new leadership” that the Imperial Shadow Council desires. However, the return of Thrawn would likely need to occur and be defeated before any of this happens. Despite being part of the Legends stories, Thrawn’s character is making the transition to canon, hinting at the possibility of his return.
In the Star Wars animated series, The Bad Batch, the Mount Tantiss cloning lab was introduced as a secret location where Dr. Hemlock and others in uniforms resembling Dr. Pershing’s work to crack the cloning code. Nala Se, a Kaminoan scientist, is being held captive there. During Season 2, Nala Se revealed to Dr. Hemlock that she knew the Emperor’s intentions for cloning and did not agree with them. Unfortunately, the secrets of the aquatic-world species that made them successful cloners were lost when Vice Admiral Rampart destroyed their cities, leaving the future of cloning in question.
Fans of The Mandalorian may have uncovered more details about Project Necromancer and its efforts to clone a Force-sensitive body for their leader. The stories told by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni in the New Republic Era may even introduce the enigmatic Snoke, who could be the “new leadership” sought by the Imperial Shadow Council. However, the return of Thrawn seems inevitable, and he will likely have to be defeated before any of these events can take place.
Interestingly, the Emperor and his clones played a significant role in the Thrawn stories in the Star Wars Legends canon. Some of these stories are already being incorporated into the new canon, so it’s possible that they could provide clues to the direction that the story is headed in. As more information is revealed, fans can expect to see a lot of speculation about what might happen next in the Star Wars universe.
Where Have Thrawn and Palpatine Gone While Project Necromancer Is Getting Started?
The world of Star Wars is full of mysteries, and one that has fans intrigued is Project Necromancer. Through The Mandalorian, fans may discover even more about this project and how close they are to cloning a Force-sensitive body for their leader. The canon stories surrounding the First Order put Brendol and Armitage Hux closest to Snoke, but it’s possible that Thrawn and Captain Pellaeon are also involved in Project Necromancer.
Thrawn is amassing military might for the Imperial Remnant to wage war on the New Republic, and it remains to be seen whether he and Captain Pellaeon are involved in the project. As a Grand Admiral, Thrawn may want to keep control of the Empire for himself, as seen in his canon novels. While Thrawn is almost a hero, he’s still a totalitarian who may want to stop taking orders from anyone else.
In The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine implies that he may already be in a cloned body. However, he also suggests that due to his power in the dark side of the Force, the bodies wear away quickly. Project Necromancer may have used something similar in their fantasy science since they could reanimate the dead. Moreover, for Palpatine’s clone to father Rey, he would have to not contain Palpatine’s consciousness. It’s possible that, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Palpatine is in a state of limbo, surviving by sheer force of will.
The canon stories of Star Wars provide fascinating insights into the Empire, its remnants, and the projects it conducted. Project Necromancer is one such mystery that continues to intrigue fans. While they know how it all ends, the story of what happened is made even more interesting because of it.