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Who Is Elia Kane on ‘The Mandalorian’? Meet Katy O’Brian

By Brett White,

2023-03-15

There’s no such thing as a minor character in the Star Wars universe. Aliens, droids, officers, scoundrels — even if you’re just an extra getting paid a day rate, if you appear on camera, there’s potential for you to become the lead in your own story. The Mandalorian is a prime example of that. The entire series is built around all of the other characters, essentially. A nondescript Mandalorian, a tinier Yoda — and remember when their crew included an Ugnaught and not-IG-88?

The spirit of taking minor characters and putting them in major roles continues in The Mandalorian Season 3. For example, we finally get to see R5-D4 go on outer space missions! From being the defective droid in a Jawa yard sale to riding shotgun during a dogfight with Imperials, R5 has come a long way.

This also goes for ex-Imperial officer Elia Kane, who we’ve seen on The Mandalorian plenty of times before but finally got her time in the spotlight in “Chapter 19: The Convert.” Let’s break down where we know Kane from and what we suspect Kane is doing now…

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Photo: Disney+

Who is Elia Kane on The Mandalorian?

Initially known only as Comms Officer based on her position in Moff Gideon’s Imperial remnant, the operative we now know as Elia Kane debuted in “Chapter 12: The Siege.” From there, she popped up in episodes 14-16, usually relaying info to and from Moff Gideon. She essentially served as Gideon’s right-hand officer for most of Season 2, even if her designation as a comms officer doesn’t really convey much status.

What is Elia Kane doing on Coruscant?

When we catch up with Elia Kane in Season 3 — well, she says her name is Elia Kane, which means we don’t have to refer to her as “Comms Officer” anymore. In “The Convert,” Kane is part of an amnesty camp for ex-Imperial officers located on Coruscant. There she — along with a whole lot of other former Imperials — is apparently learning how to integrate into a non-fascist society. Of course the New Republic giving all of these human beings number designations — which is exactly what the Empire did to stormtroopers — feels suspect, but I digress.

While in the amnesty program, Kane (a.k.a. Amnesty Officer G68) befriends Pershing (a.k.a. Amnesty Scientist L52), who she recognizes from Moff Gideon’s ship. Slowly but surely, Kane convinces Pershing to continue his studies into cloning as a way to contribute to the New Republic. Pershing knows he’s been forbidden to continue the studies he started under Imperial order, but he believes that his research is important. Kane takes Pershing out on a daring excursion to a shipyard housing decommissioned Imperial ships so they can gather materials for Pershing’s studies.

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Photo: Disney+

And that’s when Pershing is caught and arrested by local law enforcement and sentences to a mind-flaying (but the New Republic calls it a 602 mitigator). It turns out that Kane was working with the higher-ups the entire time and she ratted Pershing out, even though it was Kane who got him into all of this mess. And when Kane is left alone with Pershing while he undergoes his flaying, she cranks the machine up all the way. Whatever’s left of Pershing after this “treatment,” he won’t be the same.

What is Elia Kane’s plan?

We don’t know what Elia is up to just yet, but we can take a guess. It seems incredibly likely that Elia Kane is still working for Moff Gideon. As another amnesty officer mentions, Gideon’s whereabouts are unknown. He either escaped custody on his way to the war tribunal or he was hooked up to a mind flayer. And think about where we first see Kane in the episode: she’s attending Pershing’s… TED talk? A pitch meeting to potential backers of his research? Whatever — point is, Kane sought out Pershing before Pershing ever saw her, either on her own or for Gideon. Their meeting back at amnesty housing was not the coincidence that Pershing believed it to be.

As for what Kane was up to, it seems most likely that she was tasked with doing whatever was necessary to get Pershing’s mind flayed. It’s obvious that Pershing knows a lot about what Moff Gideon was up to. Even just being aware of Grogu’s existence is probably enough to put Pershing on a hit list. And since Pershing was showing genuine remorse and a sincere desire to help the New Republic, it was probably only a matter of time before all of his intel came out. Best to just erase the hard drive and move on.

Who plays Elia Kane on The Mandalorian? Meet Katy O’Brian

Elia Kane is played by Katy O’Brian, a bodybuilder and martial artist turned actor who’s only risen in prominence since the last time she was on The Mandalorian. In fact, you may have seen her on the big screen very recently; she played the Quantum Realm warrior Jentorra in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

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Photo: Everett Collection

She also played Kimball on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Major Sara Grey on Black Lightning, and George on Z Nation.

You can follow Katy O’Brian on Instagram at @thekatyo.

As for what’s next for O’Brian — probably more episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3. Since we know Moff Gideon will appear at some point, it seems like a safe bet that he’ll reunite with his fave officer — and may the maker help the New Republic when they do.

New episodes of The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere on Wednesdays on Disney+.

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