The Mandalorian season 3 episode 3 sets up the return of a major villain

The Mandalorian season 3 episode 3
(Image credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian season 3 episode 3 has set the stage for the return of a key villain. A warning that the following will contain spoilers for the new episode, so turn back now if you're not up to date! 

The latest installment in the Star Wars show takes a surprising detour from Din Djarin, Bo-Katan Kryze, and baby Grogu to focus mostly on Doctor Pershing, who is living on Coruscant thanks to a rehabilitation program aimed at former Imperials. 

There, he meets a group of other onetime Imperials, and one one of them is Elia Kane; she used to work on Moff Gideon's ship. When Pershing points this out, one of the other former-Imperials comments that he heard Gideon escaped on his way to the War Tribunal. Another counters that this is just a cover story, and he was actually subject to the sinister-sounding mind flayer. 

It's not cleared up in the episode where exactly Moff Gideon is, or what happened to him – but what is clear is that his influence is still being felt, even if he's missing in action. Kane betrays Pershing and sets him up for capture by the New Republic. When he's hooked up to a device similar to a mind flayer, Kane, left alone with the doctor and the machine, turns the intensity up to the max. 

Pershing was working unwillingly with Gideon on cloning experiments, and this was why Gideon was so desperate to get his hands on Grogu. With Gideon's whereabouts unaccounted for, but Kane seemingly still carrying out his bidding, it looks like Gideon could be about to make a big comeback in The Mandalorian. 

Elsewhere in the episode, it sounded like Baby Yoda attempted to say his first words, and an iconic location from Revenge of the Sith made a reappearance. 

You can keep up to date on the Star Wars show with our The Mandalorian release schedule, and see what else is coming soon from the galaxy far, far away with our guide to all the upcoming Star Wars movies and Disney Plus TV shows.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.