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The Mandalorian’s Gorian Shard is a great Christmas tree-shaped character and a terrible pirate

May he lose to Din over and over again forever

Gorian Shard, a green alien creature from The Mandalorian, standing on his ship Image: Lucasfilm
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

The Mandalorian is a deep well of great little characters and very weird guys. There’s the family that Mando saves and reunites in the second season’s second episode, there’s Nick Nolte’s Kuiil, and there’s even Grogu himself.

The first episode of season 3 added to this deep bench of weirdos with the tremendous Gorian Shard, a space pirate who looks like what would happen if Treebeard and Davy Jones had a kid. He may only be in the episode for a few seconds, but there’s plenty we can glean from his brief appearance, including the fact that we want to see him lose to Din Djarin a lot more often.

[Ed. note: This story contains spoilers for The Mandalorian season 3, episode 1.]

Gorian Shard is a newly created character for The Mandalorian and therefore a character we know almost nothing about — a relative rarity in the increasingly familiar Star Wars galaxy. Gorian is apparently a space pirate of some renown, since everyone seems to be readily sharing his name as a status symbol, and we know he commands a crew of hundreds if not thousands, thanks to the fleet of fighters and massive spaceship under his control.

But what do we really know about Gorian? We know that Gorian is loyal to his crew, even the really dumb ones that die over disputes about where they can and cannot drink the newly gentrified Nevarro. That’s the sign of a truly great leader. We also know that he’s a committed investor in community spaces, like the saloon he apparently lent Greef Karga money to open, which Karga later dishonestly turned into a school.

While none of these really justify the quality of person he seems to keep in his employ, or make him seem particularly smart or competent (in a good way), they do give us a bit of insight into this very silly-looking new character.

A rude pirate who works for Gorian Shard talks to Greef Karga in The Mandalorian season 3 episode 1 Image: Lucasfilm

Speaking of silly-looking, one thing we don’t know about Gorian is what exactly he is. There’s no indication of what planet he hails from, or what race he is, but he does look a little bit like a sentient Christmas tree, which doesn’t clarify much.

Perhaps most importantly, despite all of these facts, it appears that Gorian Shard may also just be a loser. When he briefly threatens Mando and Grogu, the pair simply buzz by him and straight off into hyperspace, meeting some purrgil along the way. If there’s any justice in the universe Gorian will find a new way to show up in a few more episodes of the show, failing completely to capture or fight Mando every single time.

Everyone loves a great villainous buffoon. From Boris and Natasha in Rocky and Bullwinkle to Wile E. Coyote in Looney Tunes, watching someone fail catastrophically at their every attempt to ensnare our heroes is a staple of the Saturday-morning-adventure-show fun that The Mandalorian is so good at capturing. So it’s only fitting that Mando may now have his own version of that in Gorian Shard.

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