The story of Elia Kane and Dr. Pershing in The Mandalorian exposes the errors of a significant theme in The Last Jedi.

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The third episode of the third season of The Mandalorian takes a surprising turn as it delves into Coruscant and a known villain from previous seasons. “The Convert” episode not only reveals what life is like after the fall of the Empire, but it also highlights the many mistakes that ultimately led to the fall of the Republic in the sequel trilogy. The episode spotlights Dr. Pershing, who was instrumental in the Empire’s cloning research, and his participation in the New Republic Amnesty Program. The Amnesty Program is intended to rehabilitate former Imperial officials, many of whom likely had little control over their actions in the days of the Empire. However, the program exposes the mistakes made during the pivotal period of the New Republic’s brief rule of the galaxy. The Republic failed in the sequel trilogy as it was blind to the threat growing under its nose. It made the mistake of thinking that the Empire was defeated, unaware that Palpatine, still alive, was consolidating his power in the Outer Rim and orchestrating the rise of the First Order.

“The Convert” reintroduces Elia Kane, played by Katy M. O’Brian, who was an officer aboard Moff Gideon’s (Giancarlo Esposito) ship, in the second season. Kane is like Pershing, a former Imperial with a genuine desire to reform and leave the Empire behind. However, as the episode progresses and Kane pushes Pershing to skirt the law and continue her investigation of him, it becomes evident that she has a more sinister agenda. The assumption is that Kane remains loyal to the Empire and has been tasked with assisting Pershing in finishing his job while in New Republic custody. However, the ending of the episode suggests that Kane never wanted Pershing to succeed. Her goal doesn’t appear to be helping Pershing finish his investigation but rather preventing his research from falling into the hands of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian builds up to The Last Jedi by showing how the moneyed elite profit from war. Coruscant’s wealthy elite barely blink at the conflict between the Empire and the Rebel Alliance; for them, war is just good business. The New Republic leaders are idealistic but blind to the realities of life in the galaxy. They cannot accept that the richest and most powerful citizens of the galaxy want a constant cycle of war and reconstruction. The Republic treats men like Pershing, who genuinely regret their actions and want to put their research to nobler use, with suspicion, and as we see from Pershing’s fear of the “mind blower” device, they adopt the same methods as the Empire.

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