March 29, 2023

Dr. Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi)

We learn Dr. Pershing’s first name is Penn and that the reason he’s devoted his life to experimenting with cloning is because he believes the research could save people’s lives. He wants to use cloning to make advancements in medicine, but the Empire twisted that for its own means (probably cloning the Emperor). By the end of the episode, Pershing is in pretty bad shape, as he undergoes a grotesque electroshock procedure at the hands of the New Republic (although it’s really Elia Kane who turns up the electrical current, which means this might actually be part of Gideon’s plan to get the doctor to defect back to the Empire).

Coruscant and the Core Worlds

Somehow, Coruscant returned! Everyone’s favorite city planet is best known as the setting of much of the Prequel Trilogy, especially Revenge of the Sith, but it was actually first introduced in the pages of the classic Marvel Star Wars comics, specifically issues #61 and 63 from 1982. That said, the Imperial Capitol wasn’t properly named “Coruscant” until Timothy Zahn’s seminal Legends novel Heir to the Empire.

George Lucas flirted with the idea of a planet called Coruscant long before these Expanded Universe stories, though. Alderaan was called Coruscant in early drafts of A New Hope, and Lucas almost included an Imperial city in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, too. The planet finally made its big screen debut in the 1997 Special Edition director’s cut of Return of the Jedi (during the celebration scenes at the end) before getting a more prominent appearance in The Phantom Menace.

Coruscant is located in a region of space known as the Core Worlds, which is the seat of power of the galaxy, containing the wealthiest planets, no matter which faction is ruling it. It should be noted that at this point in the Star Wars timeline, five-ish years after Return of the Jedi, Coruscant isn’t actually the capital of the galaxy anymore. Instead, the central government of the New Republic is Chandrila, Mon Mothma’s home world. The New Republic actually established a rule where the capital changes every couple of years for reasons. You’ll remember that in The Force Awakens, which is set some 30 years after Return of the Jedi, the New Republic capital is the doomed Hosnian Prime, which is blown to smithereens in that movie.

TIE Interceptors, Bombers, and Imperial Star Destroyers

Lots of Imperial ships return in “The Convert”…

– Bo-Katan’s Gauntlet starfighter faces off against TIE interceptors in the opening combat sequence. These are upgraded versions of the standard TIE fighters, built for speed and outfitted with way more firepower. They’re basically designed to prey on weaker ships, which they do here. This design first appeared in Return of the Jedi.

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