SERIES: Star Wars: The Mandalorian
EPISODE: S3:E3 – “Chapter 19: The Convert”
STARRING: Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Omid Abtahi, Katy M. O’Brian, Emily Swallow
WRITERS: Jon Favreau, Noah Kloor
DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
PREMIERE DATE: March 15, 2023
SYNOPSIS: Now in an amnesty program, Dr. Pershing seeks to do more for the New Republic.
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By Rob Siebert
I recently stumbled across an article from ComicBook.com in which Jon Favreau briefly discusses all the Mando/Grogu stuff that took place on The Book of Boba Fett. As I’ve talked about that in this space, it’s worth looking at now.
Favreau said: “I knew that I didn’t want to dedicate a lot of screen time within The Mandalorian to a period of time where there wasn’t a lot of character progression. Both [Din Djarin and Grogu] were kind of stuck, as far as character progression goes, until they were reunited. So, my feeling was that it would allow me to do both of those things and freed me up now two years later to have a whole new context for these two characters to have a relationship and move forward.”
While I acknowledge and respect on Jon Favreau for having led the creation possibly the best Star Wars content since the original trilogy, I don’t buy his reasoning there. Having Mando in The Book of Boba Fett was fine. Heck, him acquiring the N-1 during Boba Fett was fine with me. But the reunion between Mando and Grogu should have taken place on The Mandalorian. They could, and should, have led off this season with it. You talk about character progression? Grogu abandoning his training with Luke is a hell of a progression in my book…
This might be the only episode of The Mandalorian we’ve seen thus far that won’t hold up well to repeated viewings. Not because it isn’t a good episode, per se. But because it’s a fairly quiet episode. We spend most of it in one place, in settings that are mostly pretty mundane. We get a lot of what I call the “domestic” side of Star Wars. What a bedroom looks like, for instance. What food is like in the Star Wars universe, and how some of it is different. What a large assemblage of wealthy people looks like. Stuff that’s all fine, but doesn’t always make for thrilling television.
As a Star Wars geek, this episode held my attention. But Mrs. Primary Ignition was not impressed. She actually fell asleep during the last 15 minutes or so.
On the subject of me being a Star Wars geek, I knew immediately what the TIE Interceptors and TIE Bombers were when they attacked Mando and Bo. They’ve been part of Star Wars lore for decades, dating back to the original trilogy.
Noah Kloor is listed as a writer for this episode, alongside Jon Favreau. His previous credits include working as as a staff writer on The Book of Boba Fett, and as a co-writer TV movie called Alien Xmas. I’m curious as to what his specific contributions to this episode were. Did he write the Pershing/Elia Kane stuff, while Favreau did the Mando/Bo stuff?
It’s interesting to me that they had a character talk about getting the Empire, the Rebels, and the New Republic all confused. As if these wars barely effected some of the wealthy on Coruscant. I like that idea. It feels very true to the real world.
We get a little more info in this episode about Pershing’s research, his work for the Empire, etc. We knew he was a cloner, a geneticist, etc. But having some of that stated plainly is nice.
It’s also worth noting that in The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine was a clone. I assume that’s what at least part of Pershing’s research will lead to.
Those yellow biscuits, complete with the Imperial logo on the packaging, served as a nice little temptation metaphor. Well done.
Having Pershing and Elia Kane explore the abandoned Star Destroyer is obviously reminiscent of what Rey did in The Force Awakens. But they made this one look different enough that, as a set, it stands well on its own.
Two questions: Firstly, was Pershing’s mind, in fact, wiped at the end of the episode?
Secondly, is Elia Kane about to become our big villain for the season? Or is she simply one of the main villains? I assume one of her priorities is going to be to free Moff Gideon…
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