The Mandalorian's Elia Kane Is Tied To A Key Star Wars Location: The Royal Imperial Academy

There will be spoilers for "Star Wars: The Mandalorian" Chapter 19 – The Convert

Elia Kane, played by Katy M. O'Brian, is a character we've known little about throughout her scant appearances on "The Mandalorian." We knew she was an Imperial, and we knew she worked for Moff Gideon, but that's about it. However, the latest episode of "The Mandalorian" gave us much more insight into who she is and where she came from. Well, if we can believe he, anyway. Despite her placement in the New Republic Amnesty program, "The Convert" also gave us a look at where her true loyalties lie.

The most solid bit about Kane's background is revealed as she's speaking to Dr. Pershing while they get to know each other better during a walk around the city. Kane reveals that she attended the Imperial Academy on Coruscant, which is an important and prestigious school in the world of "Star Wars" with many important alumni across the timeline of the the galaxy, and this revelation ranks her among the elite.

The Royal Imperial Academy

Run by Commandant Deenlark and closely associated with the highest echelons of the Imperial Navy, the Royal Imperial Academy became the most reputable and respected of the Imperial Academies. This establishment became known for producing the best pilots, the best leaders, and the best spies.

For young kids in the galaxy, this was the place they dreamt of attending for their chance at real Imperial service. As a real world analogue, it might be viewed as something like West Point Military Academy for its place in training leaders for the United States Military.

The Royal Imperial Academy ran an intensive three year program for cadets and the Empire was not above messing with those cadets psychologically to make them more effective soldiers, as evidenced in the events of the book "Lost Stars" by Claudia Gray. Although some exceptions were made, most cadets joined the academy at about 16 years old and graduated at about 19, ready to serve the Empire in any way they needed.

The Academy itself was located close to the Imperial Palace, where Palpatine ruled. You'll notice that the Imperial Palace is actually the former Jedi Temple.

Famous alumni

In "Lost Stars," where we get our best view of the inner-workings of the Academy that Elia Kane attended. We're introduced to Thane Kyrell and Cienna Ree, two cadets from the distant planet of Jelucan. They made it their goal to get into the Academy to be pilots and serve the Empire. Both graduated before the Battle of Yavin and saw service on the Death Star before its destruction.

In the books featuring Grand Admiral Thrawn, he is actually sent to the Academy, despite his age, to get him up to speed on how the Imperial Navy functions and differs from what he learned in the Chiss Ascendancy. There, he met Eli Vanto, a talented cadet from Lysatra, eventually becoming the Watson to Thrawn's Sherlock Holmes.

Agent Kallus, who we met in "Star Wars Rebels", also made a name for himself at the Imperial Academy as a talented cadet. Eventually, he found his way into the ranks of the Imperial Security Bureau, but he turned on them after they forced him to do many questionable things.

Iden Versio, the main character in "Star Wars: Battlefront II" and the tie-in novel "Inferno Squad," spent time there as well. Her father was an important Imperial and ensured she would get a good placement there in the academy.

Elia Kane is in excellent company among the other characters we know about who spent time at the Royal Imperial Academy. And this helps us understand her character and indoctrination even better. 

"Star Wars: The Mandalorian" is streaming only on Disney+. New episodes come every Wednesday.