The newest episode of The Mandalorian, Chapter 19, “The Convert” gave a glimpse into the street life of Coruscant. The different species, the spectacular lights, and the bustle of the city planet were front and center as we took a break from our main hero and checked in with Dr. Pershing, the Imperial doctor introduced in season one. With the Empire gone and Pershing out of a job, he can no longer pursue his research due to the current laws. And although he’s welcomed into the amnesty program of the New Republic, he feels there is much to gain from it.
An Awkward Shift
Dr. Pershing adjusting to his new life on Coruscant certainly feels awkward as he fumbles around the massive city. As a new resident, it’s only natural that things may feel strange at first, but something still feels amiss. Now that he is kept busy with menial work deleting data, Pershing feels that his abilities and research are being ignored and wasted. It is clear he’s unhappy and bored with this new life, but he’s also afraid of the New Republic and losing his newfound freedom.
The episode introduced his return with a Coruscant version of a TED talk. Pershing was delivering an explanation as to why his research can be useful. He has only good intentions, planning to use it to clone things like organs to save lives rather than to create armies, but even still, the New Republic prohibits any type of cloning. Pershing still shows a clear desire to continue, even going as far as to try to persuade the Galactic elite to support him, which poses a problem for not only the New Republic which is scrambling to regain order, but also the remaining Imperial Warlords who don’t need Palpatine’s secrets getting out to the public.
A New Friend
A friendship formed through trauma, Pershing meets Elia Kane, a Comm Officer aboard Moff Gideon’s ship. She handled some sensitive information relaying both messages to and from Gideon himself. She first appeared in season 2, Chapter 12, and was seen in Chapters 14-16. Although this may not seem like too significant a title, her role was pretty important. Her short appearances eventually led to the spotlight in Chapter 19, as she befriended a new and awkward Dr. Pershing.
Their friendship had shown that after the fall, the ex-soldiers, scientists, and any Imperials were willing to move on and rejoin a Republic. Abandoning their training, way of life, and purpose is a difficult adjustment. So much so the amnesty program feels they should be tested, which is precisely what Elia Kane does to Pershing. Knowing full well he wants to persuade the New Republic to keep working, Kane preys on his hopes and good intentions.
Too Good To Be True
Through gifts, sight-seeing, and tender compassion, Kane was able to gain Pershing’s trust. The yellow biscuits were proof she can “leave” the amnesty program’s designated zone which shows Pershing there must be more to this woman than what meets the eye. As they chat and discuss his research, Kane encourages his pursuit of it all, claiming she can help gather the necessary equipment. Even with her kindness, there is still this awkwardness between the two; especially when she pushes Pershing to agree to continue his work.
Pershing agrees to Kane’s offer to leave the zone to find the necessary equipment for a lab, and that is where things go south. Kane is an undercover agent for the New Republic’s amnesty program. Her role was to convince Pershing to abandon the progress he had made assimilating himself into this society, and she succeeded.
It is clear that although he believes he can do great things with the cloning technology developed by the Kaminoans. The issue is not the New Republic laws, but the fact that Kamino was destroyed by the Empire, leaving knowledge of the subject limited. One of Palpatine’s best-kept secrets can’t be getting into the hands of top researchers and scientists on Coruscant, so surely something must be done about those who know the science behind it.
During Pershing and Kane’s first meeting, when they learned they both worked on the same ship, the other soldiers alluded to the notion that Gideon escaped the war trials and is free. His threat remains a serious one because he commanded a large number of stormtroopers and had plenty of firepower at his disposal. The beginning of the episode showed a huge threat to Bo and Din as we saw her home get leveled by Imperial bombers. So, could Kane still be working for Gideon? And if so, how did Gideon escape?
There is a huge chance that Kane is still working for Gideon and the Empire. Her behavior in the episode still felt very Imperial-like. Although she tried to show Pershing how to cut loose and enjoy his freedom, there was still something sus about it. The ending proved her behavior when she cranked the voltage and fried Dr. Pershing’s mind. The New Republic’s attempt to “soothe” the traumatic memories of the Empire was her perfect opportunity to remove a threat to the information he had.
Pershing posed a threat to Palpatine’s hiding. Gideon was the Moff that led the cloning department after the fall. It would make perfect sense for Moff Gideon to cover the tracks similarly to how the Empire destroyed Kamino in The Bad Batch. For Palpatine to “somehow” return, there must be an element of surprise achieved through eradicating those who know the Kaminoan technology and cloning practices. Dr. Pershing’s mind was flayed to remove that threat.
As for Gideon’s escape, that could be Thrawn. The next big threat to the New Republic, the Mandalorians, and Ahsoka Tano, he may have played a role in getting Gideon out of his prison cell. The two collaborating together would mean disaster for the Outer Rim. The fighters that attacked Bo and Din in the cold open flew in a formation last seen in Rebels under the command of Thrawn.
Ahsoka Tano has teased her desire to find the Grand Admiral and recover her friend Ezra Bridger. Hopefully, the next few episodes of The Mandalorian will give insight into their return. We will find out Wednesday.
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