The History Of Star Wars' Imperial Super Commandos And What They Mean For Moff Gideon

This post contains spoilers for "The Mandalorian" Chapter 23, "The Spies."

The latest episode of "The Mandalorian" was full of surprises, one of the biggest being the return — in a fashion — of the Imperial Super Commandos. 

As the Mandalorians, led by Lady Bo-Katan Kryze, headed back to Mandalore in order to conquer and settle it once again in their own name, Moff Gideon sprung an elaborate trap to lure them in and destroy them once and for all. It didn't hurt that he had been operating a base on Mandalore for quite some time in order to steal the beskar from the planet and use it to outfit his own brand of Imperial Super Commandos — soldiers in white beskar armor with jetpacks who are loyal to the Empire. However, this isn't the first time they've been seen in "Star Wars" and with this episode ending on a cliffhanger, I doubt it will be the last.

Having Imperial Super Commandos loyal to him with beskar armor and jetpacks means that Moff Gideon can field an army of people ready to oppose the Mandalorians. Since his ultimate goal is to wipe them out, he'll need a specialized force — and now he has it.

Gar Saxon and his Imperial Super Commandos

The first time we caught a glimpse of these warriors was on "Star Wars Rebels" in the episode aptly titled "Imperial Supercommandos." The crew of the Ghost, including the Mandalorians Sabine Wren and her "prisoner" Fenn Rau, travel to the Mandalorian planet of Concord Dawn, which was shattered during a previous war. There, Fenn Rau's men, the Protectors of Concord Dawn, had lost contact with the Rebels and they went in to investigate. That's when they found Gar Saxon and his troops there.

When the Imperials had supplanted Bo-Katan Kryze as leader of Mandalore, they installed Gar Saxon as the leader of Mandalore and he remained totally loyal to Palpatine and his cause. His Mandalorian warriors, devoted to the Empire, bore white beskar armor and jetpacks that looked very similar to those used by Moff Gideon and his cadre. They were capable and deadly, but ultimately no match for the Rebels of Phoenix squadron.

Gar Saxon used these Super Commandos through the course of the Dark Times and the Galactic Civil War, but was eventually deposed once again by Lady Bo-Katan Kryze when she united Mandalore by wielding the Darksaber (as given to her by Sabine).

These episodes of "Star Wars Rebels" become more and more vital to "The Mandalorian" as days go by.

Legends of Super Commandos

The original idea of Imperial Super Commandos dates back to the 1970s, in the time between the release of "A New Hope" and "The Empire Strikes Back."

Early concept designs by Ralph McQuarrie for Boba Fett had him colored white, just like these Super Commandos, and they were labeled for use as an Imperial Super Commando. The first iteration of Boba Fett's costume was painted white as part of this concept, but it was abandoned pretty early on and Boba Fett's armor was painted and he turned into a bounty hunter.

It's no wonder Boba Fett became so intrinsically tied to the clones and the Grand Army of the Republic, with how George Lucas recycled discarded ideas until they found the right place. In "Star Wars" and its current status, the creatives behind the franchise continue to do the same thing. No design goes wasted. Dave Filoni and his team brought the white Imperial Super Commando in Mandalorian armor to "Star Wars Rebels" and now Jon Favreau has brought a new iteration of them to the fore in "The Mandalorian."

It's exciting for fans of the history and design of "Star Wars" and I can't wait to see more.

"The Mandalorian" is streaming only on Disney+. The season 3 finale airs next Wednesday.