It’s an unusual feature of The Mandalorian that we’ve only once seen the lead character’s face, with Pedro Pascal’s bounty hunter Din Djarin refusing to remove his armour (and particularly helmet) among others thanks to the Mandalorian creed he follows.
We get it – it’s a good look, it probably saves having to have Pascal on set all the time and certainly makes filming stunts easier – but it also created a bit of a Star Wars plot hole, as over the years we’ve actually seen quite a lot of Mandalorians happily take off their helmets without any religious anguish at all.
Sure, Boba Fett keeps his mask on – but In Attack of the Clones, his dad (Temuera Morrison’s Jango Fett) goes armour-free for a lot of the runtime, while characters in animated series like Star Wars Rebels and The Clone Wars happily reveal their faces for all to see. So what gives? What makes this Mandalorian so strict with himself?
Well, a new episode from The Mandalorian season two may have solved the mystery. Encountering a trio of Mandalorians on the planet Trask (including Bo-Katan, a character played by Katee Sackhoff in the aforementioned animated series), Din Djarin is aghast to see them remove their helms, assuming they must have stolen their armour.
“You do not cover yourself… you are not Mandalorian,” he says.
“He’s one of them,” the others reply.
As has been previously hinted, it appears that Pascal’s Mandalorian is part of a particular sect within the culture who are more slavish to old rules of the planet Mandalore – in other words, while most Mandalorians have moved on from the helmet-hair, the people who rescued and raised him haven’t.
“You are a child of the Watch,” Djarin is told. “A cult of religious zealots who look away from Mandalorian society. Their goal is to reestablish the Way.”
And this isn’t the first time The Watch, AKA Death Watch, have appeared in Star Wars. The splinter group first turned up in the Clone Wars series, where they were engaged with a civil war on the planet Mandalore after disagreeing with what they saw as overly-pacifist tendencies by the government.
Clearly, Din Djarin is so well indoctrinated that he doesn’t even know there’s another way to be a Mandalorian – and there have been some hints to this storyline before. In season one flashbacks, fans noted that the Mandalorians who rescued him from a Separatist droid attack as a child appeared to be wearing Death Watch armour, possibly explaining his and his associates’ more extreme interpretation of the Mandalorian credo.
Now, it seems that this speculation has been confirmed explicitly. Our Mandalorian’s habit of never removing his helmet is NOT the usual Mandalorian way – and maybe this new discovery could open up to Djarin relaxing his code a little in upcoming episodes.
Though of course, it could be that it won’t make a difference. If nothing else, Pedro Pascal might still want the odd day off here and there.
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