Monday, March 20, 2023

The Imperial Scientist - The Convert

While there is a Mandalorian story that opens and closes the episode, the vast majority of "The Convert" takes place far, far away from our main characters and their adventures. As with Andor, the show turns its attention instead to Coruscant. In this case the storyline involves former Imperial soldiers and scientists granted amnesty being slowly reintegrated into the New Republic. Our main focus is Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi), a character's name I had to look up and still won't remember, who was getting on all hunky dory with his new life, despite his less than prestigious new job, until another Imperial agent, now with the New Republic, started fucking with him.

His plotline, in essence, doesn't do anything for the show but instead is an attempt at triage to try and fill the large plot holes before The Rise of Skywalker. Although the character did make a minor appearance in The Mandalorian's First Season, there's really no reason for this show to return to his character. Could there be a show to delve into former Imperials both working in the New Republic and still active as part of the Imperial Remnant? Sure, but it's not the purpose of this show which is unfortunately hijacked (à la Iron Man 2) for larger franchise reasons that do not serve these characters or storylines.

The point of the episode seems to be that the New Republic is even worse in governing than the Empire and there are still Imperials out there removing all evidence of the Empire's cloning experiments. Even disbanded, the Imperials seem to be better with furthering their own agenda than the New Republic (who seems blissfully ignorant of what is happening under their nose).

With two-thirds of the episode being centered on this nonsense, the remainder of the episode follows up on events from "The Mines of Mandalore" with our Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) being chased out of the Mandalorian system by the Imperial Remnant and seeking shelter with the Din's old cult who accepts both once learning they bathed in the Living Waters of Mandalore. While the end of the show's Second Season saw real growth in Din's character to give up Grogu and move past the religious fanaticism of his cult, this episode promotes the reverse with even Bo-Katan being drawn back into the more traditional ways of the Mandalorians suggesting this is the way (so to speak) to return prominence back to Mandalore. As in the other storyline, both strongly favor and promote a more conservative and religious ideal over personal freedom which is more than a little troubling in today's world.

  • Title: The Mandalorian - Chapter 19: The Convert
  • wiki: link

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