Chapter 19 of The Mandalorian takes audiences to Coruscant as forced workers of the Empire transition into the New Republic.
Spoilers follow below.
Outside of the bookends featuring both Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze, the episode mostly takes place on Coruscant. Outside of glimpses here and there during celebrations, we’ve yet to return to the Galactic capital post-ROTJ. Until now. But almost as soon as we’re there, Revenge of the Sith fans are in for a treat as the episode features the long-awaited return to the Galaxies Opera House for the first time since then-Chancellor Palpatine told Anakin Skywalker about Darth Plagueis the Wise. I’ll get to the meat of the newest hour-long episode here in a moment but whether this episode is the longest of the season remains to be determined. It runs 58 minutes when one includes all of the credits.
Jurassic Park‘s Dean Cundey handles cinematography duties as the episode takes place on three planets: Kalevala, Coruscant, and the location of the Mandalorian Covert. The biggest treat, of course, is showing us how life on Coruscant has changed in the years since Revenge of the Sith and most recently, Andor. Office work remains just as menial but it doesn’t feature the stress that comes with the Empire. The New Republic works much differently.
What we know from last week is that Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) falls while seeking redemption in The Living Waters. This episode clarifies that unlike Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), he did not see the legendary mythosaur in the waters. After leaving Mandalore, the episode wastes zero time in getting straight into the action. They are not even on the planet before TIE Interceptors start chasing them. These are Thrawn’s designs, which begs the question of where he is. In any event, there’s too many of them so Din leads her to a safe place for Mandalorians. Bo-Katan will just have to follow the Way, much to her dismay.
We last saw Dr. Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi) at the end of season 2. He was working on whatever remained of the Empire’s cloning program at the time. It’s a been a while but he’s now participating in the Amnesty Program, in which those forced to work for the Empire are now transitioning into life as a part of the New Republic. But before getting to this step, one must undergo reintegration. During his speech at the Galaxies Opera House, Dr. Pershing talks of his previous work and how he started his research after losing his mom. On paper, it’s no different than stem cell research. But in light of the Coruscant Accords, he’ll never be able to research into cloning again–not legally, that is.
It’s only upon checking into his new Amnesty Housing in which Dr. Pershing, now Amnesty Scientist L52 runs into another crew member from Moff Gideon’s ship. We haven’t seen the last of Moff Gideon but there are rumors of his escape. Go figure. In any event, he becomes quick friends with G68 aka comms officer Elia Kane (Katy M. O’Brian). At the fair where he attempts to touch the Peak of Umate, G68 tells him to continue his research. It becomes clear rather quickly that she has her own agenda. Reluctant at first, he decides to join her on a train without tickets and escape to the shipyard to get supplies for a mobile lab station, where he’s clearly set up and arrested. Even as Dr. Pershing is laying in a Mind Flayer, Kane has a bigger agenda. But who is calling the shots?
One key update as we get over five years after the Empire’s fall is that the New Republic is still working on inventorying ships at the Imperial Disposal Yards before disposing of them. I get it–they had a vast fleet and it’s not easy to dispose of every ship, let alone inventory each and everyone. Meanwhile, the Alliance fleet is in the process of being decommissioned following the Rebellion. Obviously, there will be a lot of time passing but this could help explain why the Resistance is in its state when we first encounter them in The Force Awakens.
Previous Legends places and such that are now officially canon in the newest episode of The Mandalorian include:
- Skydome Botanical Gardens
- Galactic Museum
- Holographic Museum of Extinct Animals
- Coruscant Accords
“The Convert” might not win every Star Wars fan over with less of a focus on The Mandalorian but it’s a solid hour of storytelling. People might not like the episode spending more time on Dr. Pershing and I get it. Jon Favreau knows what he’s doing and is focused on the bigger picture. What that picture is, exactly, we’ll know in due time.
DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
SCREENWRITERS: Noah Kloor & Jon Favreau
CAST: Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Omid Abtahi, Katy M. O’Brian, Emily Swallow, Brendan Wayne, Lateef Crowder
The Mandalorian: Chapter 19 is now streaming on Disney+. Grade: 4/5
Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.