What is Project Necromancer in The Mandalorian Season 3?

By Kieran Burt
Published: April 12, 2023 (Last updated: December 17, 2023)
View all

What is Project Necromancer in The Mandalorian season 3? We’ll explain what the details are of the Imperial Remnant’s new project that’s introduced in The Mandalorian. There will be spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3, episode seven. 

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 7 shows two tribes of Mandalorians coming together — the Children of the Watch and Bo-Katan’s Nite Owls, and they join forces to retake their homeworld. But they meet unexpected resistance from Imperials, and ones especially keen to harness beskar.

The episode continually references both Legends and the sequel trilogy, with the opening filling in the gaps of the Star Wars timeline and hinting at the future storytelling. It opens with an ominous Imperial meeting, with Moff Gideon and several other officials talking about their plan to take down the New Republic.

What is Project Necromancer in The Mandalorian season 3?

Project Necromancer isn’t explained when it’s first introduced in The Mandalorian, but it’s heavily implied that it’s the codename for Imperial efforts to resurrect Palpatine through cloning. Necromancy is the art of using black magic to communicate with and resurrect spirits.

Instead of using magic, though, the Imperials are using science. Doctor Pershing was a cloning scientist, and Moff Gideon mentions “the cloners,” a reference to the Kaminoans.

The Empire destroyed their civilization in an attempt to gain control of cloning but kept their research. The Imperials are trying to push it further and clone a Force-sensitive, something that’s incredibly difficult.

The Mandalorian has continually referenced cloning, starting from its first season. Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are adding explanations to the sequel trilogy, just as Star Wars: The Clone Wars helped to flesh out the world of the prequel trilogy.

As the story that they’re telling continues, audiences can expect more references to the sequels.

What is the Shadow Council?

The Shadow Council is a secret organization in Star Wars, created to maintain order within the Imperial Remnant. Their first appearance is in the novel Aftermath: Life Debt, with the body being made by Gallius Rax in five ABY. It met its end during that same year, but it was reformed four years later in nine ABY.

This advisory body had several purposes. Its main goal was to establish the Empire. It wanted to achieve this by resurrecting the dead Emperor, further cloning research, and preparing for Thrawn’s return to the galaxy. Keeping order within the Remnant was also important to prevent them from fracturing further.

The are several high-ranking Imperials at the meeting. Moff Gideon is part of it, as are Commandant Brendol Hux and Captain Gilad Pellaon. Brendol Hux is the father of Armitage Hux, the First Order General who appears in the sequels and is played by Domhnall Gleeson.

Brendol was first introduced in the novel Servants of the Empire: The Secret Academy and has a prominent role in Aftermath: Life Debt and Aftermath: Empire’s End. He was a part of the Shadow Council when Rax started it.

Hux has several Praetorian Guards at his disposal, a group that was introduced in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. They are the continuation of the Emporer’s Royal Guard, the red-helmeted figures that accompany the Emperor.

Here, the Praetorians wear a slightly more Mandalorian-looking helmet than in The Last Jedi but wield the same weapons. They’re likely guarding Project Necromancer.

Captain Gilad Pellaeon makes an appearance too. He first appears in the novel Heir to the Empire, where he is Thrawn’s right-hand man.

He goes on to appear in several other Legends books. Pallaeon does make an extremely brief appearance in Star Wars: Rebels, having one line of dialogue in the finale over comms. He was taken by the Purgill with Grand Admiral Thrawn.

How does Project Necromancer connect to Star Wars?

Project Necromancer has several connections to Star Wars. The first and most apparent is the sequel trilogy. As mentioned, Brendol Hux is the father of the First Order villain that appears in all three sequel films, and Project Necromancer is likely the codename for resurrecting Emperor Palpatine. This came to fruition in The Rise of Skywalker, where the reborn Emperor plays a considerable role.

Another connection is to the upcoming Ahsoka series. Thrawn will make his grand return to the galaxy, Captain Pellaeon will likely return to his side, and the Shadow Council will rally around Thrawn and his efforts to defeat the New Republic. This meeting helps set that up, name-dropping Thrawn and introducing Pellaeon properly into the canon.

Thrawn’s relationship with the First Order and Project Necromancer has yet to be explained, but this is something that will likely get clarification in the future. Here, it seems like Thrawn’s goal is to distract the New Republic long enough for Project Necromancer to be completed.

The project also connects to Star Wars: The Bad Batch. At Mount Tantiss, Doctor Royce Hemlock oversees Imperial cloning efforts, using clone troopers as test subjects for his evil plans.

Again, it’s heavily hinted that this project is to create a Palpatine clone. Mount Tantiss is an Imperial cloning facility first introduced in Heir to the Empire and will appear in season three of The Bad Batch.

The Bad Batch is set before The Mandalorian, so it remains to be seen if Mount Tantiss will remain operational or if it gets destroyed.

If it does survive, then it is likely to show up in live-action in connection with Thrawn and Palpatine. The patch that Doctor Pershing wears is the same one worn by scientists at Mount Tantiss, furthering the cloning link.

Disney+, Features, News, RSC Originals, Streaming Service
View all