The Mandalorian Season 3 ended with a bang, then a whimper. A lot of plot points finally paid off: The Mandalorians returned to their planet, Bo-Katan and the Armorer led their united clans, the Darksaber was destroyed, Moff Gideon was defeated, and Grogu finally became the Mandalorian apprentice he wants to be. But one element the show has been building up since Season 1 didn’t get its due as, according to a star’s Instagram, the scene that would have fixed it landed on the cutting room floor.
More than a week after the Mandalorian Season 3 finale, Giancarlo Esposito shared several behind-the-scenes shots from his stint in the last two episodes. Two of these images are especially interesting, as they show Moff Gideon looking back on his clones after they were destroyed.
These shots suggest there was a plan to give more time to Moff Gideon’s clones. Cloning was a key part of The Mandalorian from the very first episode; Moff Gideon’s search for Grogu was fueled by cloning research, which set the stage for Snoke’s appearance in the sequel trilogy.
But while the Season 3 finale finally showed the fruits of Gideon’s labor — a room full of Moff Gideon clones ready to be activated — they were destroyed minutes later without much fanfare. These clones have been Gideon’s endgame for years. Why didn’t they get the screen time they deserve?
These images prove there was meant to be at least a brief scene showing Moff Gideon mourning the loss of his creations. Gideon’s the villain, but showing him wallowing in defeat would flesh out his generally stoic character while making Din Djarin’s victory all the sweeter. Much like the loss of the Darksaber, it felt like an anticlimax.
Cloning is trendy in Star Wars, stretching from The Clone Wars all the way to Bad Batch and The Book of Boba Fett. The Mandalorian spent three seasons building up its cloning plotline, and it deserved a proper conclusion. Season 3 was already overstuffed, but without squeezing in some reflection on the clone plotline, the whole affair felt pointless.
The Mandalorian Season 3 is now streaming on Disney+.