Editor’s Note: The following contains minor spoilers from Season 3 Episode 3 of The Mandalorian.Right where it left us, The Mandalorian tale continues beneath the Mines of Mandalore, with Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff), and the ever-learning Grogu. Either unaware of or intentionally forgetting his encounter with a Mythosaur, Din has now achieved the redemption for which he’s so adamantly sought. The hard-won relief is short-lived, however, and their journey continues on. This is the way.
Back on Kalevala, Bo-Katan’s home within the Outer Rim, she and Din Djarin are pursued by a fleet of TIE/IN, also known as TIE Interceptors. Cawing a sound similar to the familiar, intimidating drone of TIE Fighters, the Interceptors boast a more impressive power set than their smaller counterparts. Assuming it’s the hand of an Imperial Warlord on their tale, Din wonders how a small-time player could have garnered such a force.
The city-covered planet (an ecumenopolis) shows its familiar face once again. Bathed in towering skyscrapers and extravagant architecture, only a single piece of the planet’s land remains visible through the cosmopolitan cityscape — the Peak of Mate. Featured heavily throughout the prequel trilogy, Coruscant is depicted throughout canon, including Andor‘s Imperial era, and here it remains, in the reign of the New Republic.
Dr. Pershing & Elia Kane
A heavy focus of this episode, we meet again with Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi), who now relishes quiveringly in the chance at his own redemption. “The Convert,” as the title of this chapter references, seems to apply not only to our Mandalorians. After two seasons seeking Grogu’s capture, Dr. Pershing now joins the New Republic as a part of their amnesty program. With him is Elia Kane (Katy M. O’Brian), another former Imperial officer completing reintegration into the New Republic. In the second season, Kane served under Moff Gideon in his pursuit of Grogu.
Kaminoans & Strandcasts
In a speech explaining the reasoning behind his former work with the Empire, Dr. Pershing credits the Kaminoans for the groundbreaking work in cloning technology. The amphibian-like species known for their long, regal necks were first scene in Attack of the Clones, in which they served as the catalyst for the Clone Wars. The Kaminoans most famously used Jango Fett as the genetic template for both the Clone troopers and the infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett. The doctor aimed to expand on their work, creating replicas from multiple genetic donors, referred to here as “strandcasts.” It’s possible that this plot line could lead to the creation of the sequel trilogy’s Supreme Leader Snoke and the eventual return of Emperor Palpatine.
The Galactic Museum
Ushered by a droid through Coruscant, Dr. Pershing is congratulated by the chauffeur for his acceptance into the amnesty program. Offering him a warm welcome, the droid provides several recommendations on how the doctor can make the most out of the city-covered planet. One such tip is to visit the Galactic Museum, a bastion of history established on Coruscant more than twelve thousand years before the reign of the Galactic Empire.
Mantabog of Malastare
A deep-cut reference even for showrunner Jon Favreau, Malastare was a planet of varied terrains on the Hydian Way. When bantering with Dr. Pershing, the droid guide suggests he visit the Holographic Museum of Extinct Animals. Apparently, they have mantabog of Malastare on display, an airborne creature referenced only once before, in a sourcebook for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game.
“You may have been a good smuggler, but now you’re bantha fodder.” An insult thrown at Han Solo by Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi, bantha fodder was the common feed for bantha creatures, and it made for a great insult. Alternatively, someone could opt to use Huttese word for fodder when they mean to make offense: poodoo. You heard it in The Phantom Menance, to be sure, and its utterance in this episode was a quick, familiar callback.
Benduday & Taungsday
Naturally, the days of the week are designated differently than our own in a galaxy far, far away. In this episode, two of those titles are referenced: Benduday and Taungsday. The final day of the week according to the galactic standard calendar, Benduday references the Dai Bendu, early religious predecessors of the Jedi. The Taung were a species native to Coruscant’s Core Worlds. In Star Wars Legends, the Taung were the explicit ancestors of the Mandalorians, which is likely why this episode made special note of their namesake. “Taungsdays, am I right?”
Imperial Star Destroyer
When Dr. Pershing and Elia Kane reach their destination, we find it’s not just any old scrapyard. Here lies an Imperial Star Destroyer. One of the most iconic vessels to appear in throughout Star Wars, the massive ship sits decommissioned to be salvaged for its parts.
First mentioned in the first season, a Mind Flayer is a device for brain-wiping that can apparently be used on a spectrum of intensity. Utilized here by the New Republic, it’s possible that the technology was originally developed by the Galactic Empire. Cara Dune, when cornered on Nevarro by Moff Gideon and his forces, feared her capture would lead to a fate with a Mind Flayer. “That was just wartime propaganda.” Greef Karga indicated a disbelief in their existence, but now we know they’re real.
Our time on Coruscant features many familiar faces, most notably the Mon Calamari, present at both the jovial beginnings and the more sinister end. Calling back to Admiral Ackbar, the most famous Mon Calamari of all, Dr. Pershing expresses to the squid-like technician that it was Elia Kane’s plotting that brought him here. “It was a trap!” he exclaims. The Mon Calamari cocks his head to the side, a cheeky nod to Akbar’s iconic Return of the Jedi line, “It’s a trap!”
Nite Owls & The Death Watch
The Nite Owls were a faction of female Mandalorian warriors, an extension of the Death Watch. Led by Bo-Katan in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Nite Owls bore a mark that Bo-Katan still sports on her helmet, which a Mandalorian recognizes. Now, after bathing in The Living Waters, Din Djarin and Bo-Katan are welcomed back into the covert — once again they are Children of the Watch.