Who knew that attempting to revive the Imperial war machine from the ashes of defeat would be no easy feat? Such an endeavor requires meticulous strategizing, some classic political back-stabbing, and maybe even a plan involving a little bit of necromancy. Standard Empire business, in other words!
In order to pull off such an ambitious scheme, the leftover Imperial remnants somehow need to coordinate their efforts. Enter the Shadow Council, which finally made its live-action debut in the latest episode of “The Mandalorian.” First introduced in author Chuck Wendig’s novel “Aftermath: Life Debt” in 2016, the top-secret board is revealed to be the brainchild of Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax in the immediate aftermath of the Death Star 2.0’s destruction in “Return of the Jedi.” Rax, touted as the Counselor to the Empire and a protégé of the Emperor himself, is also a main character from the “Aftermath” trilogy of novels and plays an outsized role in guiding the transition from the Empire to the First Order.
Created with the express purpose of reviving the now-fragmented Empire in the wake of the Emperor and Darth Vader’s untimely demises, the Council counted on the unwavering support of Brendol Hux, the father of General Armitage Hux from the sequel trilogy, whom we see verbally sparring with Gideon during their session (and yes, the family connection is further strengthened as Brendol is portrayed by Brian Gleeson, the brother of original Hux actor Domhnall Gleeson) and Captain Gilad Pellaeon (Xander Berkeley), a key proponent of paving the way for Grand Admiral Thrawn’s return. Although viewers will (likely) have to wait for “Ahsoka” to see Lars Mikkelsen suit up as the fan-favorite big bad, it’s clear that “The Mandalorian” season 3 has major plans for its final episode.