Star Wars

The Mandalorian's Most Enigmatic Villain Could Switch Sides in Season 3

Could The Mandalorian become The Good Doctor?


Star Wars is one of the most famous stories of good versus evil, and one of the few that makes no qualms about who stands where. From lightsaber colors to costuming, you’ll rarely be confused about who’s on the Light side and who’s on the Dark. But the line has started to blur just a bit, thanks to characters like Kylo Ren.

That trend is leaking into Star Wars TV thanks to the nuances of Andor and the upcoming Sith-focused The Acolyte. Meanwhile, one actor in The Mandalorian suggests that his character may be more complex than we first thought, a hint that suggests he may just switch sides over the course of Season 3.

Omid Abtahi plays Dr. Pershing, who we’ve seen performing mysterious procedures on Grogu at the behest of Moff Gideon. At the Mandalorian Season 3 premiere, Deadline asked Abtahi whether Pershing will be a protagonist or antagonist in Season 3, and his answer was cagier than you’d expect.

“I can’t answer that question because of spoilers,” he said. “But it does very much pick up where he left off in the second season, you do find him there at the beginning of the third season and then he has a nice arc. You’ll see where he ends up.”

The usually timid Dr. Pershing could have a change of heart in Season 3.


Normally, that would be a satisfactory answer for an actor playing a villain we’ve already seen in two seasons, but Abtahi didn’t stop there. When asked what he loves about playing Dr. Pershing, he answered, “Star Wars tends be very black and white: you’re an Imperial or Rebel, good guy or bad guy. At least the way I interpret it, Dr. Pershing lives in the grey. When I first saw Rogue One and I saw Galen Erso, even before I became involved in this show, I was fascinated by that kind of character... The struggle between good and evil is fascinating to me, and to some extent, I think Dr. Pershing tiptoes that line.”

That suggests there’s more to this doctor than meets the eye. Now that Moff Gideon is in New Republic custody, Dr. Pershing has a newfound level of independence. He could come to see the error of his ways and leave Gideon without a scientist, or this greyness could come into play in a more self-serving fashion. Perhaps what’s best for Dr. Pershing isn’t what’s best for Moff Gideon or Mando and Grogu, making him a villain that’s hard to define.

Dr. Pershing has been waiting for his moment to shine since The Mandalorian began, and now he’s posed for his breakout turn. Season 3 could very well see this unassuming henchman completely change the game.

The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 1 is now streaming on Disney+.

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