Mandalorian Season 3's Best Episode Confirms an Overlooked Star Wars Truth

The series may be named after Din Djarin, but it needs to focus on other people too.


The Mandalorian started with humble beginnings that were nothing like what we see in Season 3. In the beginning, Din Djarin was the last of his kind, and he wandered the galaxy as a freelance bounty hunter interested only in survival. But over two seasons, Din Djarin has met Luke Skywalker, defeated a ruthless Imperial commander, wielded the Darksaber, and transformed from self-interested survivalist to galactic hero.

And yet somehow, that’s been a little boring. Maybe it’s time we re-evaluate the kinds of stories told not only in The Mandalorian, but in Star Wars as a whole.

It’s almost universally accepted that Andor is the best live-action Star Wars show we’ve seen on Disney+. It succeeded not only because of Tony Gilroy’s insistence on using practical sets, but because it focused on Cassian Andor when he was a petty criminal rather than the sacrificial hero of the Rebellion. It managed to capture and even enhance the magic of early Mandalorian episodes by telling the stories of civilians in the Star Wars universe.

Dr. Pershing is the unlikely protagonist of Episode 3.


This brings us to The Mandalorian Season 3 Episode 3, which deviates from the Mando and Bo-Katan action we saw in previous episodes. Instead, it focuses on two characters who have been waiting in the wings for years: Dr. Pershing and Elia Kane, who finally gets a name after two seasons as “Comms Officer.”

Both characters were just lackeys under Moff Gideon, and now they’ve fallen even further and need to prove themselves within the New Republic’s Amnesty program. But their lives are still interesting, and they have wants and desires that could affect the entire galaxy. There doesn’t need to be epic fight after epic fight to keep their tales compelling to viewers, just good stories.

Elia Kane’s questionable loyalties make the Mandalorian more intriguing than it’s been in a while.


In the future, The Mandalorian may want to replicate the almost anthological model of this episode. Why not pair a framing story with Din and Grogu to the life of a minor character who may not be on any of the show’s posters, but who’s essential to the story all the same?

Digressive episodes like this and The Last of Us Episode 3 may be divisive, but focusing on minor characters can color how the viewer sees the main character and the world they live in. Dr. Pershing and Elia Kane may not interact with Mando, but their story of uneasy collaboration mirrors the Mandalorian unification we see at the end. It would be a missed opportunity to not try this again.

The Mandalorian is streaming on Disney+.

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