The Mandalorian: What Is the Shadow Council?

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Episode 7 of The Mandalorian season 3 opened up more possibilities in the world of Star Wars by allowing us to meet several new characters that will affect the trajectory of events between the era of the New Republic and the rise of the First Order. That was when we saw a group called the Shadow Council early on in the episode. But who are they?

The Shadow Council is a group of officers that are still loyal to the Empire and are leaders of certain groups of Imperial remnants that are still active in different sectors across the galaxy. They all work in secret to carry out plans that are meant for the return of the emperor and the re-emergence of the Empire.

We all know that the remnants of the Empire eventually became the First Order. That means that the Shadow Council is secretly plotting the eventual rise of the Empire and the emergence of the First Order. All of these events are crucial in the history of Star Wars, as we all know that they lead up to the events that transpired in the sequel trilogy. Now, let’s talk more about the Shadow Council.

The Shadow Council, Explained

Back when the Empire was defeated during the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, we saw that only Emperor Palpatine was defeated and killed. That means there were still other Imperial officers operating throughout the galaxy. As such, the Rebels and the New Republic worked hard to defeat these Imperial remnants until they were no longer threats as far as the New Republic was concerned.

But the truth is that there were still Imperial remnants that were secretly working and plotting to overthrow the New Republic in the hopes of ushering in a new age for the Empire. This has always been known since the start of The Mandalorian, as Moff Gideon himself is one of the remnant officers of whatever remained of the Empire. And we learned in season 2 of The Mandalorian that Thrawn, set to return in the Ahsoka series, is still alive.

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Episode 7 of season 3 of The Mandalorian, however, allowed us to see that there were a lot more of these Imperial remnant officers still at large during the era of the New Republic. The worst part was that these remnants were all secretly meeting and working with one another and operating on their own so that the New Republic wouldn’t suspect something larger at play. And this group was called the Shadow Council.

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The Shadow Council, however, has been around since the time of the fall of the Empire. Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax created this group in 5 ABY, a year after Emperor Palpatine’s death. This council was created to govern the fragmented Empire from the shadows, as no clear leader could stand up and take command over the remnants. 

However, because Gallius Rax wanted to consolidate all of the powers of the Imperial remnants to himself, he secretly plotted to kill all of the members of the Shadow Council, except for Commandant Hux, who he saw was important to the future of the Empire. Rax was killed during the Battle of Jakku, which was seen as the grandest victory on the part of the New Republic because this was the battle they believed was responsible for eliminating the Empire.

Nevertheless, Imperial remnants still survived and reorganized the Shadow Council. These remnants were seen as warlords that simply commanded smaller fleets that were troublesome to the New Republic but not entirely dangerous. But the truth was that the members of the Shadow Council operated under the nose of the New Republic so that they could work individually and collectively on the different plans and projects that were put in place to help usher in the new era of the Empire.

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As we saw in the events of The Mandalorian, the Shadow Council still lives. The members attended secret meetings so they could discuss matters related to the different projects they were supposed to work on while also ensuring they were in control over their own sectors in the galaxy. However, the purpose of this new Shadow Council was to prepare for the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was going to be the one to usher in the new era of the Empire.

Who Are the Members of the Shadow Council?

As seen in the events of The Mandalorian, there are at least nine members of the Shadow Council. Of course, we are not counting Grand Admiral Thrawn, whose absence was something Moff Gideon brought up to make the other officers realize that a new leader is needed to help lead the remnants in fulfilling the grander plan they were ordered to accomplish. The only named members of the Shadow Council in the events of The Mandalorian are Grand Admiral Thrawn, Moff Gideon, Captain Pallaeon, and Commandant Hux. 

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Thrawn is out there in the galaxy and is set to return in the events of the Ahsoka series. We all know who Moff Gideon is as he is the main enemy of The Mandalorian. Pallaeon, meanwhile, is a captain that is loyal to Thrawn and was assigned to him during the reign of the Empire. And Commandant Brendol Hux was the commandant of the Arkanis Academy and is the one in charge of Project Necromancer.

It is possible that there are more members of the Shadow Council and that some of them could not attend the meeting involving the nine Imperial officers that we saw in episode 7 of The Mandalorian. But the point is that all these Imperial officers are working secretly to put together the different plans and pieces meant to help usher in a new era for the Empire, which eventually became the First Order.

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