We don’t know a lot about “The Child,” better known as Baby Yoda, from Star Wars: The Mandalorian, but we do know he is being hunted by the Empire. While many versed fans have assumed that it is the Imperial Remnant destined to become the First Order, ScreenRant proposes another theory: it could actually Emperor Palpatine searching for Baby Yoda.
The multi-faceted theory explains that, based on a plot thread created in Clone Wars, Palpatine has been kidnapping Force-sensitive children and performing surgical procedures on them in order to turn them into Sith spies. However, this could be unlikely due to the timeline; at this point, Palpatine has already created Order 66.
The website continues to explain that in George Mann's Star Wars: Myths & Fables, he reveals that Darth Vader slaughtered Force-sensitive children’s parents and took them from Rim-worlds, likely on Palpatine’s orders. According to the lore, these kidnappings lasted for many decades.
It is also possible that Palpatine has been pursuing Baby Yoda for a long time. As we know from the successful first season, the little green creature is 50 years old, which means that he lived through not only the Dark Times of the Empire's reign, but also the Galactic Civil War. One idea is that, during this time, Palpatine cloned Baby Yoda from Yoda's own DNA, but that he escaped with the help of unknown forces. Another belief is that Palpatine wants “The Child” to inflict his power of "Essence Transfer," which allows his spirit to move from one body to another, in order to inhabit the same powerful species as Master Yoda.
Could the evil Emperor be the one that Din Djarin and his little friend are running from? We will have to wait until The Mandalorian returns in the Fall 2020 to (hopefully) find out.