The Mandalorian Chapter 19: The Convert Thoughts


Season three of The Mandalorian evolves the storytelling further into the Star Wars MandoVerse. Season one was wholly from Mando’s perspective. Season two remained mostly through Mando’s perspective but did give more time to other characters like Bo-Katan, Ahsoka, and Boba Fett. This season continues what The Book of Boba Fett started: moving from one character’s POV to another.

Academy Award-nominated director, Lee Isaac Chung, takes the reins in this episode and delivers one of the most memorable chapters in the series.

The Mando and Grogu Show…

Mando, Grogu, and Bo arrive at the doorstep of The Watch | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

“The Convert” starts with enough action almost to sustain the entire episode. With Mando redeemed, having bathed in the Living Waters, he, Grogu, and Bo make their way back to Bo’s castle. Bo mentions nothing of the Mythosaurus she saw in the water but asks Mando if he saw anything. Mando only remembers the chasm when he fell, not realizing it was so deep (Bo says that the bombs from the Purge triggered seismic activity). 

Mythosaurs are land creatures (at least from Legends), but the one Bo saw seemed to live underwater solely. For now, the creature’s existence is still a secret. When the two return to Kalevala, they are greeted by a TIE armada, and we, the viewers, are treated to a second great aerial battle. Bo’s antics of stealing from Imperial factions have caught up with her as an Imperial war-lord (redundant) sends the TIE fighters and bombers after her.

RIP Bo’s castle but the two jump to hyperspace and evade the rest of the TIE Fighters. It is a plot device to get Bo out of her castle (permanently!) and go with Mando and Grogu.

But then, instead of following the two to wherever Mando set the coordinates, we jump across the galaxy to a different character.

…becomes the Dr. Pershing and Elia Kane Show

The coldness of this scene is match with its symmetry and overabundance of blue. I see you Lee Isaac Chung | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

If you did not skip the recap, it might not be surprising that we are now in Coruscant following Dr. Pershing from the previous seasons of The Mandalorian. It is probably the best case thus far for skipping the recaps because it would have been a pleasant surprise for many viewers.

We last saw Pershing in “Chapter 16: The Rescue”. He got his right ear singed while caught in a standoff between an Imperial pilot and Cara Dune. During this episode, Pershing touches that right ear quite a bit, and I wonder if there is a more meaningful connection tied to duress. But I am getting ahead.

Pershing is giving a talk at a Coruscant Opera House on his motivation for becoming a specialist in cloning. He reiterates that his work was misused by the Empire but hopes that he can serve the New Republic. The over-showing of gratitude seems to be a defense mechanism, not just for Pershing (aka Amnesty Scientist, L52), but for the other members of the rehabilitation program. This includes Amnesty Officer M34, G27, M40, and G68 (Moff Gideon’s Communications Officer, Elia Kane). Naturally, Pershing is surprised to see her there. The conversation almost takes an awkward turn as rumors of Moff Gideon’s whereabouts are debated (escaped, the victim of a mind wipe, etc.). Still, Kane insists that she is taking her second chance seriously.

Not for one second are we made to believe that Kane is being sincere, from the music cues to Katy O’Brian’s mannerisms as she slowly convinces Pershing to start his work again. 

Although the New Republic helps to steer Pershing in that direction as well. The impersonal questioning from the New Republic droid and the meaningless job of destroying Imperial data (instead of repurposing) further isolates Pershing.

Coruscant post-Empire is less intense but still a sense of unease between two ex-Imperials | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

But since Kane was working with the New Republic and reported Pershing, did the New Republic purposely push Pershing into a trap? Either way, the New Republic comes across as incompetent at best and cruel at worse. This a perspective that we often get in the canon novels but one that is welcome in live-action. Even in Rebels, Agent Kallus was ultimately sympathetic and redeemed because he defected to the Rebellion. The Mandalorian series is starting to explore how the New Republic fell into mimicking elements of the Empire while profusely insisting that they are nothing like them, allowing the First Order to rise.

Dr. Pershing ends up with a mind flayer set to max (thanks to Kane). We will surely discover what that will do to his mind, but we still do not know Kane’s end game. Whatever it is, I am sure Moff Gideon is around the corner, waiting to reappear.

The Tale of Two Converts

Bo lost her home but found another potential family with Mando and The Watch | credit Lucasfilm ltd.

Dr. Pershing and Bo-Katan Kryze find themselves in entirely different positions by the end of the episode from where they started. Bo was sitting on her thrown in her palace with just a droid. Now she finds herself in a cult with Mandalorians who live by the old ways. The Armorer welcomes Bo to join since the Mandalorian Princess also bathed in the Living Waters (rescuing Mando) and had yet to remove her helmet. Now she has a community and knows about the Mythosaur in the mines of their homeworld. What is her next step?

Bo has more options than poor Dr. Pershing, once full of hope for a second chance at a new life with the New Republic. Now his mind is probably lost because he trusted the wrong person. 

We also learn that there are shipyards on Coruscant full of Imperial Star Destroyers and other spacecraft. And, if we believe Kane, she is regularly visiting. When we first met Kane, I could not imagine that she would have a significant storyline in this series. Now the mystery of who she works for (if you believe Moff Gideon as I do or someone else) is the most exciting thing this season.

No disrespect to the Mandalorians, but the next time Mando and Bo jump to hyperspace, I am ok with spending more time on Coruscant.