The Mandalorian took a detour to Coruscant in its most recent episode. We crossed paths once again with Dr. Pershing, Moff Gideon’s cloning expert, on the city-planet as he settled into a new position as part of the New Republic’s amnesty program. Prior to his move, Pershing spent time at the Reintegration Institute, a place where former Imperials seemingly undergo rehabilitation. As part of his continuation in the program, he has to do whatever job the New Republic assigns to him. Additionally, he has to regularly see a droid for check-ins—kind of like a parole officer. A parole droid, if you will.
Let’s take a closer look at the New Republic’s amnesty program and what we know about it beyond The Mandalorian.
What Is the New Republic?
First, if you don’t recall, the name of the government that took charge after the Rebels defeated the Empire is the New Republic. We know this has come up a few times in The Mandalorian, particularly in regard to the New Republic’s rangers. However, Star Wars publishing details much more about this time period (particularly Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, Alexander Freed’s Alphabet Squadron trilogy, and Claudia Gray’s Bloodline).
In the time of The Mandalorian, the New Republic is still in its early years. The government is modeled on the Galactic Republic. The reestablished Senate elected Mon Mothma as its first chancellor.
Coruscant and the New Republic
Coruscant served as the capital for the Galactic Republic and the Empire, but it is not the capital of the New Republic. As we saw in The Mandalorian, the New Republic has facilities on Coruscant. However, Star Wars books explain that the New Republic chose to have a rotating capital. Member worlds of the Senate take turns hosting the capital. Mon Mothma wanted to create a more fair government, yes, and also when the New Republic formed, the Empire still controlled Coruscant. If the New Republic wanted to get to work right way, they had to establish a capital elsewhere.
At the time of The Mandalorian, the New Republic capital, based on books, is Chandrila.
The New Republic Amnesty Program
The Mandalorian marks the first time we’ve heard the specific name “New Republic amnesty program.” Through the facility Pershing joins on Coruscant, we can see it’s a well-established program with numerous enrollees. The New Republic provides rehabilitation, including what appears to be some level of therapy at best, or outright brain manipulation at worst. The government has something called a mind flayer that sounds awful. The program also gives its participants a letter and number designation rather than referring to them by their actual names.
It feels like a prison under the guise of an amnesty program. It’s unclear if the participants defected willingly or if the New Republic apprehended them. Maybe it’s a little of both. And maybe the New Republic has good intentions.
We saw that once former Imperials were successfully reprogrammed and demonstrated loyalty to the New Republic at the Reintegration Institute, they moved out and got to work for the New Republic. You’d think the government would want to leverage a person’s particular skills, but they put Dr. Pershing to work at a boring desk job. His minder pointed out how behind they are at cataloguing Imperial equipment—equipment the New Republic is going to throw out anyway. The work feels unimportant, and Pershing would like to put his skills to use.
Pershing’s minder does mention they’re still “decommissioning the Alliance fleet,” which lines up with Star Wars books. The Rebel Alliance Fleet becomes the New Republic Defense Fleet. The Military Disarmament Act reduced the size of the fleet by 90 percent right after the Battle of Endor. Mon Mothma introduced the legislation to signal to the galaxy that the New Republic was a democracy, not a military resistance organization like the Rebel Alliance. This happened in the wake of the Galactic Concordance.
The Galactic Concordance is relevant to the New Republic amnesty program, too. It spelled out the Empire’s surrender and gave conditional pardons to all non-combat members of the Empire. (All surviving Imperial officers were treated as war criminals). The show doesn’t necessarily have to follow the books, but this could mean the New Republic is treating Pershing and Elia Kane (who was a communications officer for the Empire) as war criminals.
Finally, let’s not forget the parole droid. Pershing had to check in and answer repetitive questions about his feelings toward the New Republic. We can assume the droid is looking for any reason to suspect Pershing is a traitor. Alphabet Squadron features a similar droid in IT-O, who becomes a de facto therapist for Imperial defector Yrica Quell. A New Republic agent assigns the droid in order to determine if Quell is loyal to her new cause. The droid in The Mandalorian is more perfunctory in its duties, but it serves the same purpose.
When the New Republic catches Pershing in an act of betrayal, thanks to Elia Kane, they talk gently about applying a new model of the mind flayer. This one, the 602 mitigator, isn’t invasive. While Kane manipulates the situation for her own purposes, the fact that the New Republic has a device capable of damage when used at high levels is alarming. We’re curious to learn more about the amnesty program in The Mandalorian and if Kane tries to escape it.