Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Mandalorian season 3 finale.
One of the long-running mysteries since The Mandalorian season 1 is why Moff Gideon wants Grogu’s blood. While there have been hints throughout the series, the season 3 finale “Chapter 24: The Return” confirms the answer to this mystery.
When Din Djarin and Grogu discover vats of clones while infiltrating Gideon’s command center, a closer look shows that they are clones of Gideon. Din proceeds to destroy the vats and the clones inside of them.
According to Gideon, these clones were finally going to be perfect, with the best parts of him, and the one thing he doesn’t have–the Force. This confirms that Grogu’s blood was being used to create an army of Force-sensitive Gideon clones.
The season 2 episode “Chapter 12: The Siege” revealed vats of grotesque, dead clones at the Imperial base on Nevarro. These were the initial attempts to create Gideon clones, using the blood that Dr. Pershing extracted from Grogu, but these clones were unable to survive and unable to be imbued with the Force.
Dr. Pershing said that these clone bodies rejected the blood they were given. More of Grogu’s blood was needed to continue with the experimentation, which led to Grogu being captured in season 2. Dr. Pershing also referred to the high M count in Grogu’s blood, which is a reference to midi-cholorians. Like Anakin Skywalker, Grogu has an unusually high midi-chlorian count, which is why Gideon believed he could use Grogu’s blood to make his clones wield the Force.
The season 3 episode “Chapter 19: The Convert” further explains how Dr. Pershing conducted this research. During his speech at the Galaxies Opera House on Coruscant, Dr. Pershing said, “What my work explored was the hopes of combining multiple genetic strands to create replicas that incorporated the best genetic attributes of both donors.”
It is now clear that he was taking genetic attributes from Gideon and Grogu in the hopes of creating Force-sensitive Gideon clones. This explains why Elia Kane ensured that Dr. Pershing was framed and had his mind wiped by a mind flayer. The New Republic knew about the basic principles of Dr. Pershing’s research, but Gideon didn’t want them learning about the full extent of his cloning plans.
Since Din destroyed the Gideon clones, it will probably never be confirmed whether they could actually wield the Force. Gideon definitely made progress as these clones actually looked like him, as opposed to the grotesque, dead clones in season 2.
Even with the new batch of blood Gideon got from Grogu in season 2, the clones probably weren’t Force-sensitive as the Force isn’t something that can be simply transplanted. Gideon also said the clones were finally going to be perfect, not that they already were perfect.
Gideon and his clones may be dead, but the Mandalorians, the New Republic, and the rest of the galaxy will still have to contend with Imperial remnants and their nefarious cloning agenda. The rest of the Imperial Shadow Council still exists and is working on their own cloning initiative with Project Necromancer. Grand Admiral Thrawn is also returning to menace the galaxy in the upcoming Ahsoka series.
“The Return” isn’t just an end to season 3, but marks the end of The Mandalorian‘s main antagonist and confirms the answer to one of the show’s biggest mysteries.