The Mandalorian has revealed the war between the New Republic and the Empire never actually ended – and the galaxy never knew peace.
The Mandalorian has revealed the war with the Empire never truly ended. The Emperor may have (apparently) died in Return of the Jedi, but that wasn’t the end of the Galactic Civil War. The Rebel Alliance gradually transformed into the New Republic, and for a while the fighting became more fierce and intense than ever before. Palpatine’s probe droids initiated Operation Cinder, the ultimate scorched-earth strategy, launching genocidal attacks across the galaxy in a brutal act of revenge for the Emperor’s death.
As recounted in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, matters built to a climax at the Battle of Jakku. The planet had been transformed into a giant bomb, rigged to explode when both the Imperial and New Republic fleets were overhead; only the most loyal Imperials had been given coordinates into the Unknown Regions to allow them to escape. New Republic agents successfully disarmed the bomb, and as a result the Battle of Jakku became the moment the balance of power shifted decisively in the galaxy. The New Republic had become the dominant galactic power, and finally Palpatine’s old aide Mas Amedda surrendered on behalf of the Empire. The Galactic Civil War had come to an end. Or so fans thought – until The Mandalorian.
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It’s now clear not every Imperial accepted Mas Amedda’s negotiated surrender. While it is true the Empire has retreated, there are holdouts far from the galactic core. One appears to be centered in the sector around Tatooine, under the command of Moff Gideon, and according to The Mandalorian season 2, episode 3 he commands a fleet. Bo-Katan and other Mandalorian raiders have been interfering with arms shipments for his fleet, which appear to be dedicated to arming ground troops. Moff Gideon is clearly preparing to launch an attack upon the New Republic, and it’s possible he is coordinating with other Imperial commanders as well.
The sector around Tatooine was traditionally outside New Republic control, with the Hutts remaining the dominant force during the reign of the Empire. Jabba the Hutt’s death in Return of the Jedi created a substantial power vacuum, and it makes sense that Imperial warlords would try to fill it. Apparently reports of Imperial activity have reached the New Republic, because The Mandalorian season 2, episode 2 confirmed the New Republic Defense Fleet is patrolling the region.
The Mandalorian is rewriting fans’ understanding of galactic history. While the Galactic Civil War officially ended, it looks as though it was replaced by smaller-scale conflict between the New Republic Defense Fleet and Imperial holdouts. It’s possible these skirmishes continued for decades, explaining why the New Republic remained so paranoid about Imperial activity in Claudia Grey’s novel Bloodline, nearly 20 years later – just before the First Order emerged from the Unknown Regions.
Next: The Mandalorian Season 2: Biggest Questions After Episode 3
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