A recent preview of the upcoming The Mandalorian trading card set may have leaked the literal vehicle for the return of a major character many fans have been looking for since the premiere of the second season.
As discovered by io9, one of the cards in Topps’ soon-to-be-released trading card set based on The Mandalorian depicts what appears to be an Arquitens-class Imperial light cruiser, first seen as a Jedi ship in The Clone Wars and later reclassified when the Empire took power over the galaxy.
However, as fans of The Mandalorian know, this light cruiser has not yet been seen within the events of the show, but as io9 notes, while “we can’t be 100% sure what it is but since these images are official and approved by Lucasfilm, it leads us to assume The Mandalorian will feature a big-ass Imperial ship soon.”
Given the ship’s depiction as an Imperial-controlled vessel, complete with a squadron of TIE fighters, many have come to speculate that the ship’s arrival may also signal the return of Moff Gideon, the Darksaber-wielding war criminal portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito.
The mysterious fan-favorite was last seen at the conclusion of The Mandalorian’s first season, cutting himself free from the wreckage of his TIE Fighter with the Darksaber following his ships destruction by a quick-witted use of thermal detonators by the titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin.
Though he has only been seen to have had only a small band of Stormtroopers under his command and only a single, now-destroyed TIE Fighter at his disposal, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this ship could appear under the command of Moff Gideon, as it’s possible that the audience has not seen the full extent of the forces under his command.
Granted, Gideon is put forth as the primary candidate for command of the yet-unseen cruiser due to his prominence as the only uniformed Imperial officer seen thus far, but it’s also possible that Topps’ card hints at either a glimpse into Gideon’s past or a separate Imperial contingent all together.
What do you make of Topps’ card? How do you think the Imperial cruiser relates to the events of the Mandalorian?