Also called the Mind Flayer, some viewers have not missed his resemblance to the villain from the third season of the Netflix series.
Although some viewers have considered that the third episode of season 3 of The Mandalorian has been one of those that we call, sometimes with more reason than others, “filler”, the truth is that ‘The Convert’ (3×03) is receiving more praise than criticism despite having dared to put aside Mando, Grogu and now also Bo Katan to tell us a story that may seem alien to the main plot, but which has allowed us to verify that the threat of some enemies who considered themselves beaten is still very present.
If you have already seen the new episode that has been available on Disney+ since yesterday -and, if not, it is better that you stop reading now because this topic is full of details about it-, you will already know that, after meeting again with a Command (Pedro Pascal) who already considers himself redeemed and witnessing an aerial battle against apparently Imperial ships, we traveled to the incredible ecumenopolis of Coruscant, now in the hands of the New Republic, to meet again with two characters we already knew but in a completely different situation.
They are Dr. Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and Elia Kane (Katy O’Brian) and both were in the service of Moff Gideon in the previous seasons of The Mandalorian. Now, with Gideon seemingly out for the count, they are both part of the New Republic amnesty program for their reinsertion in a new government model that, thanks to the episode, we can see from a more real perspective, with its lights and shadows. Throughout the plot that takes place on Coruscant, we discover that, while Dr. Pershing fantasizes about continuing to carry out his cloning experiments now in the service of the New Republic, Elia continues to form part of the forces of the Empire that are still active and, hiding his true intentions, he manages to deceive him to prevent him from achieving it.
‘The Mandalorian’ surpasses itself in 3×03 and dares to leave Mando to give us one of the best chapters in its history
It remains to be seen how and how much this plot connects to the story of Mando, who has just been redeemed by his order, just like Bo Katan. However, at the moment we can only analyze each interesting detail that is leaving us The Mandalorian in each of its episodes. One of them is the existence of a torture apparatus belonging to the Galactic Empire which the New Republic insists on calling something else but which Dr. Pershing instantly recognizes: the Mind Flayer.
What is the mind flayer and where have we seen it before?
A dangerous and chilling contraption of which the scientist ends up being a victim and whose original name is Mind Flayer, a name that will quickly have reminded many of the Netflix series stranger things. If you are familiar with Netflix’s fantasy and science fiction ‘thriller’, you will know that the Mind Flayer, which in Spanish was translated as Flayer, was the great villain of the third season of the series and that, from the world upside down, he is capable of corrupting and controlling humans from the real world that allow him to carry out his evil mission.
however, though the Mind Flayer of The Mandalorian cShare a name with that villain from stranger things and it also has to do with controlling the mind of his victim, there is no relationship between the two.
The first time we heard about the Mind Flayer was in the season one finale., when Din Djarin, Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) were pinned down by a group of troopers led by Moff Gideon. Speaking of his strategy, Dune expressed her fear at the idea of being subjected to one of the Empire’s Mind Flayers., apparently some sort of torture device used to extract information from members of the Rebel Alliance, and Karga interestingly shared his belief that the Skinners were not real, but merely “war propaganda”. Now, in ‘El Converso’ (3×03), we have verified that Dune’s fears were well founded through seeing one of them in action.
Though the Mind Flayers of The Mandalorian and stranger things have nothing to do, it does seem to have a connection to one of the best movies in the franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyin which there was some kind of equivalent.
In the film, Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) similarly tortured Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) with a tentacled creature called Bor Gullet. According to Saw, Bor Gullet can probe his victim’s mind and manipulate the thoughts, often driving them insane in the process. Certainly, in addition to their physical resemblances, the same ability of the Mind Flayer of stranger things and perhaps also influenced by the creature from Dungeons and Dragons that inspired the Netflix series.
According to an interesting article by reversein the comic Doctor Aphra (issue #21), the creature from Rogue One it was referred to as the Mairan and it was revealed that the Empire kept three cryogenically frozen for their use. Considering their rarity, it would make perfect sense that these creatures would have been replicated in an easy-to-use machine, like the Mind Flayer, and thus would bear that name.