The Next Episode Of The Mandalorian Teases The Return Of A Major Star Wars Villain

This post contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" episode 7 — set to air April 12, 2023, on Disney+ — which was partially previewed for the crowd at Star Wars Celebration in London.

Star Wars Celebration 2023 just kicked off with the Lucasfilm panel to beat all Lucasfilm panels, a true news bonanza with all the announcements you could possibly want. (Whether these projects actually get made or not is another matter entirely). Arguably the most exciting news of them all is a big tease about the return of everyone's favorite blue Grand Admiral, Thrawn himself.

Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Rick Famuyiwa took the stage — with a bit of assistance from Pedro Pascal via video message — to talk about the ongoing third season of "The Mandalorian." Filoni talked about how the storyline of the Mandalorians and the Children of the Watch cult came out of a desire not to retcon anything, but instead use the possibility given by the Mandalorians on the show never removing their helmets and making that a part of the story. To explore what it means to be a Mandalorian, what the title of the show itself means, and to explore different aspects of the culture and how they can be different, but also stronger together.

It was reiterated that Famuyiwa is directing the last two episodes of season 3 of "The Mandalorian," and we saw the first eight or so minutes of next week's episode 7. We see the return of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who never stopped making plans. Turns out, he is anticipating something, a grand welcome for a Grand Admiral. That's right, "The Mandalorian" is bringing Thrawn back!

Welcome back, Thrawn

We see Gideon walk into a big meeting room, which he accesses past a group of brand new Death Troopers in white outfits and those red laser doors from "The Phantom Menace" that are very annoying. He enters a conference room with some Imperial warlords hologramming in, which includes some familiar faces like Captain Pelleon (fans of Timothy Zahn's "Thrawn" trilogy might recognize him) and Brendol Hux (father of General Armitage Hux, played by Domhnall Gleeson in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy).

The former Imperial officers are talking about their plans to come back, and how they are purposely appearing to be unorganized so as to trick the New Republic. But plans are in place. For one, there is the grand return of Thrawn, which Pelleon keeps teasing and teasing without ever confirming when exactly he is returning. (Gideon is surely annoyed about this.) But perhaps more intriguing is the mention of a "Project Necromancer," which we don't find out much about, but it has to be connected to Palpatine, right?

"The Mandalorian" season 3 episode 7 clip ends with Gideon requesting and getting even more security and weapons. He is concerned about Mandalorians becoming organized, and he is going to nip this problem in the bud. A restored Mandalore is bad news for the new Empire, and he will not have it.