‘The Mandalorian’: Why Is There a Bounty on Grogu?

Why Is There a Bounty on Grogu (Baby Yoda)?
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After seeing Grogu (then referred to as “Baby Yoda”) at the end of episode 1 of The Mandalorian Season 1, he quickly became a fan-favorite. But, we also learn that there was a bounty put by the Empire on him. Why is that? What does the Empire want from Grogu?

  • Article breakdown:
  • Due to his high midi-chlorian count, Grogu was a very valuable asset to the remnants of the Galactic Empire.
  • The Empire needed Grogu for his blood; they needed him for experiments, and that is why they put out a bounty on him.

Why is there a bounty on Baby Yoda?

When we meet Baby Yoda, he is a highly sought-after asset by the unnamed Client, who is a former high-ranking Imperial officer. When Mando finds him and even after he saves him, we don’t actually know why the Empire is looking for him.

A certain Dr. Pershing is planning to test him and experiment on him, but it was not revealed as to what goal. In the first season, we see Baby Yoda being experimented on, but nothing more is revealed.

Dr Pershing the mandalorian

The actual revelation came during season 2, in the episode “The Siege,” where Mando and his allies stumble upon a prerecorded message by Dr. Pershing, who informs Moff Gideon that the initial experiments have failed and that he has run out of blood for further testing. This is the scene:

So, as we can see and hear, Dr. Pershing is conducting some kind of experiment using Grogu’s blood. Since the Imperial remnants are still loyal to the Sith, it’s no surprise that they would have a plan on how to (ab)use the blood of a Force-sensitive living being, especially someone who has an incredibly high midi-chlorian count, which Grogu does have.

Midi-chlorians make a being more Force-sensitive if their value in the blood is high; if you remember your Prequel Trilogy (which canonized midi-chlorians), Anakin Skywalker had a midi-chlorian count (or M-count, as Dr. Pershing says) higher than even Master Yoda, whose M-count was the highest until Anakin’s was measured.

The fact that Grogu has such a high M-count also seems to confirm that Yoda’s race has a naturally high midi-chlorian count, but until we find out more about the race, we’ll just have to wait for the confirmation of this theory.

So, we know that Dr. Pershing needed Grogu’s blood because of the midi-chlorians, as he wants to do some experiments. Still, even after having seen season 2, we still don’t know what these experiments really are but we do have two theories. The first one connects to the Sequel Trilogy and the revelation that Palpatine is alive, while Snoke was just a generic decoy, a Force-sensitive clone that was completely expendable.

According to this theory, Dr. Pershing needed the blood to make the Snoke clones Force-sensitive, but his initial experiments failed, as witnessed by the disfigured clones in the laboratory; the fact that they resemble the unused Snoke clones from Episode IX gives credibility to this theory.

A second theory states that Dr. Pershing needed the blood to make some other Force-sensitive clones or to induce Force sensitivity in already existing characters, but there is nothing that we can expand on regarding this theory. There is also a theory that the Empire plans on making Baby Yoda clones, but we don’t think that’s credible.

And that’s all we know. Whatever the reason may be, Grogu was certainly quite valuable to the Empire, and we are certain that Favreau and Filoni are going to reveal the exact reason or reasons why that is.

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