Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3 episode 3.


We had an unexpected visit from old foes in The Mandalorian season 3 episode 3, in the form of Dr Penn Pershing (Omid Abtahi) and Elia Kane (Katy M O'Brian).

The pair were members of Moff Gideon's (Giancarlo Esposito) crew in past seasons, but have come back to haunt us.

The latest instalment of the Disney Plus series showed the focus being taken away from Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Grogu, with Pershing and Kane reuniting as part of an amnesty programme.

However, while they appear to have put their past behind them at first, by the end of the episode, it's made clear that this isn't quite the case.

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Although the pair were previously lesser known characters, they'll clearly have a bigger role to play in the upcoming episodes.

So, read on for everything you need to know about Dr Penn Pershing.

Who is Dr Penn Pershing in The Mandalorian?

Dr Pershing in The Mandalorian
Omid Abtahi as Dr Pershing in The Mandalorian. Disney+

Fans of The Mandalorian might remember Dr Pershing as the scientist and clone engineer affiliated with a remnant of the Galactic Empire.

He appeared in season 1 and season 2 of the show, and will be best remembered as the man who tested Grogu's blood when he was kidnapped by Gideon, and before Djarin rescued him.

In previous seasons, Pershing noted that their experiments with Grogu's blood were initially successful but then caused problems. He also notes that they were unlikely to find another subject with such a high "M count".

The latest episode of The Mandalorian makes Pershing's work a little clearer as he gives a speech to the New Republic about cloning.

He speaks of how cloning can duplicate an individual from a single genetic strand, and that he hoped to "combine multiple strands to create replicas that incorporated the best genetic attributes of both donors".

He claimed that the Empire "twisted" his research into "something cruel" and that Gideon attempted to use cloning technology to secure more power for himself.

Pershing went on to say that his original intentions were good, and spoke of losing his mother after her heart gave out. He said that, if "simple organ cloning" been available, her death would have been preventable and that afterwards, he made it his life's mission to stop other people facing such needless losses, too.

And just how far Pershing got in his research is hinted at throughout the episode. Before he's cut off, he tells an associate: "The first casts rejected the formula almost immediately, but..."

Later on, he discusses with Kane just how close to breakthroughs they were when working for Gideon. With Kane's persuasion, he ultimately decides to continue his research despite the New Republic's rules against research in cloning.

But, as we find out by the end of the episode, he doesn't quite get to that point.

Who is actor Omid Abtahi?

Omid Abtahi at The Mandalorian season 3 special launch
Omid Abtahi at The Mandalorian season 3 launch. Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Actor Abtahi has previously cropped up in The Mandalorian multiple times but it's clear he now has a more major role to play, along with actress O'Brian.

Before landing the role of Dr Pershing, he became known for his roles as Salim in the Starz adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

In the Hunger Games franchise, he played Homes in the final film, Mockingjay Part 2, and he's known for playing Saleem Ulman in NCIS on Paramount Plus.

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