What Was the Point of ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 3 Episode 3? What Do They Want with Doctor Pershing?

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Fans of The Mandalorian were quick to wonder about the point of episode 3 of the third season as we were taken back to an iconic Star Wars city/planet in the form of Coruscant, which was the center of the Old and New Republics. In that regard, in an almost hour-long episode, the focus was on Doctor Pershing, whom we met in the earlier seasons as a scientist working with Moff Gideon in research about cloning. So, what was the point of episode 3 of season 3, and why was Pershing the focus of the episode?

Episode 3 of season 3 of The Mandalorian allowed us to see that remnants of the Empire were doing harm during the age of the New Republic and that Moff Gideon could still be a threat. As such, it is possible that Elia erased Pershing’s memory to ensure he forgets everything he knows about Kaminoan cloning.

We aren’t sure what happened in episode 3 of season 3 or chapter 19 of The Mandalorian because not much has been revealed about Elia’s involvement in the storyline. But there’s a good possibility that Moff Gideon is still in the background, affecting how the storyline has been proceeding. Now, let’s talk more about the point of this episode.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3

Fans were excited to see that episode 3 of season 3 of The Mandalorian is nearly an hour long, as those hoping to see what was next for Din Djarin and Grogu were in for a big surprise. That’s because, while the episode allowed us to see what Din, Grogu, and Bo-Katan did after the titular Mandalorian was able to redeem himself after bathing in the Living Waters of Mandalore, we were quickly shifted over to Coruscant.

In Coruscant, the focus was on Doctor Pershing, who we met in the earlier seasons as a cloning scientist working under Moff Gideon. We saw him giving a speech as a newly amnestied former Imperialist tasked to contribute to society as a member of the New Republic. As such, the shift allowed us to see more of what was going on in the New Republic, as this part of the Star Wars storyline was never really explored, even in the events of the sequel trilogy.

doctor pershing

Of course, around 40 minutes of the episode focused on Pershing’s life while adjusting to life as a member of the New Republic. But he was an amnestied member of society who still had limits to his ability. As such, he dreamt of continuing his clone research because this was his life’s work, and this was the very thing that gave his life any semblance of meaning, even though he had to do it while under the command of Moff Gideon.

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While in the amnesty residences, Pershing met G68, a fellow former Imperial officer that the New Republic had amnestied. He made friends with this officer as they had a common bond of working under Moff Gideon before they were amnestied. And it was G68 that convinced him that they could get their hands on a mobile laboratory that Pershing could use to continue his research on cloning.

That was when Pershing and G68, who introduced herself as Elia Kane, went to an old shipyard that served as the disposal area of the former equipment of the Empire so that they could get their hands on a mobile lab. But while they succeeded in getting the mobile lab, the authorities arrived in time to arrest Pershing, as Kane revealed herself to be the one that tipped them off to what the doctor was planning on doing.

pershing and kane

Pershing was taken to a facility where he was a mind flayer was set to be used on him to “rehabilitate” him and take away the memories that were supposedly responsible for pushing him to try to continue his research. That was when Kane, who wanted to watch Pershing getting “rehabilitated,” increased the intensity of the mind flayer from a soothing experience to one clearly set to punish his mind while taking away his memories. But what exactly was the point of this episode?

For starters, we know that both Pershing and Kane used to work for Moff Gideon, who stopped at nothing to get his hands on Grogu and used the child for some sort of research related to cloning. Of course, Pershing was the only scientist with the skills and knowledge that Gideon needed to complete this task. And this is where it gets interesting.

When Pershing first got to the housing facility for amnestied Imperial officers and soldiers, he met up with a group living there. Pershing brought up that G68 used to work for Gideon, and that was when one of the amnestied officers said that the Moff was said to have escaped while he was on his way to the War Tribunal and was set to hear his case.

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Of course, earlier in the episode, we also saw how Bo-Katan’s ship was attacked by a group of TIE Interceptors that she believed belonged to an Imperial warlord that she angered at one point. They returned to Bo Katan’s planet, where Din Djarin boarded his N1 to even the playing field and defeated the TIE Interceptors. The problem was that more Imperial ships were on their way to get the two Mandalorians; as Bo-Katan suggested, this was no mere Imperial warlord.

Out of all the different remnants of the Empire that we saw during the events of The Mandalorian, Moff Gideon was the only one powerful and influential enough to command large numbers of Imperialists. Of course, we also know that the Empire never died out because it only reformed into the First Order when the events of the sequel trilogy started.

But we also know that there is one more powerful Imperial officer that was still alive during the age of the New Republic. This officer was one of the brightest minds in the Empire and was trusted so much by the Emperor and even Darth Vader himself that he was given near-complete control over the Imperial armada. We are talking about the former Grand Admiral Thrawn, who was last seen during the events of Star Wars: Rebels.

thrawn 2

The fact that Ahsoka was actively searching for Thrawn during the events of season 2 of The Mandalorian hints that he could be out there in the galaxy reforming the Empire by gathering its remnants. This is why Bo-Katan said that the one responsible for attacking them was no mere Imperial warlord. And it is possible that this warlord that she was talking about was someone powerful enough to reform the remnants of the Empire into a powerful navy that was strong enough to strike fear into the hearts of the New Republic.

This means that the events of the episode that focused on Pershing teased the possibility that the Empire, led by Gideon or Thrawn, is still very much a threat. It was clear that the Empire wanted something from the doctor. Of course, the episode also allowed us to see how life in the New Republic was not as perfect as it might be, as there were still restrictions that some of the members of society needed to live with.

In a sense, this episode served as a wake-up call to remind everyone that society is still far from reforming itself after the age of the Empire and that the Empire’s influence over the galaxy is still quite strong. And because it was hinted in the episode that the Rebel Alliance ship was also set to be decommissioned by the New Republic, no one was going to stop the Empire from trying to reform into what became the First Order.

What Did The New Republic Want with Doctor Pershing?

Of course, as seen in the episode, the New Republic was so concerned about reforming former Imperialists that they treated them as psychiatric patients that were simply “conditioned” by the Empire. That was the case for Pershing when he was amnestied by the New Republic and was forced to keep his urges of trying to perfect his cloning research in check.

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But the problem was that Pershing had already been amnestied by the New Republic and was willing to contribute to the new order of the galaxy even though he was still obsessed with his research. And we know that his research is so important that Moff Gideon was willing to do whatever was needed to ensure he got his hands on it.

So, instead of trying to get their hands on Pershing, the remnants of the Empire decided to take what was in his mind instead. That was why Elia Kane, who the Empire inside the New Republic possibly planted, increased the intensity of the mind flayer. In the earlier seasons, Cara Dune said that the mind flayer could ” upload the person’s mind.

As such, it is possible that Kane uploaded Pershing’s memories into the mind flayer so that she could gain access to what was in his brain and use it for the benefit of the remnants of the Empire for a nefarious purpose that we can already imagine to be related to Emperor Palpatine himself or, at the very least, Snoke.

pershing mind flayer

According to Pershing in his speech during the early part of the episode, his research could combine different genetic materials to create a clone that had all of the desirable traits of the donors of the gene. And this could be related to Palpatine and the fact that he was cloned.

Considering that we saw that Palpatine was a clone that was struggling to move or do anything during the events of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, it is more than possible that the reason that the Empire might have wanted to combine his genetic material with the genetic material of another powerful Force-sensitive individual that we can only imagine being Grogu. And this is quite possibly where The Mandalorian explains how the Empire could clone the Emperor and why Gideon and the other officers were looking to get their hands on Grogu and his incredible Force abilities. 

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