Why it issues for the Mandalorian to take off his helmet
[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for The Mandalorian, Season 2, Episode 7, “The Believer.”]
The latest episode of The MandalorianChapter 15: The Believer was fascinating for several reasons. For one, it continued to research life in the galaxyStar Wars Episode VI: Return of the JediThis reveals an entirely new and far more complicated period in franchise history than the happily dancing Ewoks would suggest. For another, this was the first episode of the series that didn’t even offer a glimpse of our beloved baby Yoda and gave us a glimpse of the series without that unadulterated nugget of cuteness – Oh, but really, who am I kidding? ? “The Believer” was a big deal because we saw a few minutes of screen time Pedro PascalThat damn face on the screen.
While Pascal has always been the star of The Mandalorian, it has been known since season one that his appearance was a mix of his vocal work alongside stunt actors and deputies. In the press prior to season two, Pascal said he was a lot more on set this time, but episode 7 was the first to really prove it. Of course, to make that happen, the character of Din Djarin had to break one of his closest beliefs … even though Season 2 had, in a way, been preparing us all along for this reveal.
Image via NBCUniversal
Given the title of the show, it’s not surprising how important Mandalorian culture was to the narrative. Since the series premiere, when we saw Din interact with other members of his tribe, we’ve learned what exactly it means to be a part of the journey. (I am fully aware that there is a huge amount of Star Wars add-on material, both official and otherwise, that also explores Mandalorian culture, but right now we’re mostly focusing on what we’re doing on this particular TV show have seen and for the time being to pretend it can stand on its own as its own story.)
Din’s adherence to the way he was brought up is one of his strongest distinguishing features. When you look at Din’s backstory – an orphaned child who loses his parents in a moment of extreme trauma – it’s easy to see why he would immediately cling to his Savior’s culture, especially considering that a fundamental part of that culture is on The care of boulders is based on how he and as an adult continue to hold on to it religiously.
But while Season 1 made it clear why Din is who he is, in Season 2 of the show we learned about Mandalorian culture, that our title mando is actually a little deviation within the mainstream. We learned the sect to which he belongs from Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackoff) in “Chapter 11: The Heiress”, known as the Children of the Guard, is considered to be the “cult of religious zealots who have broken away from Mandalorian society; their aim was to restore the ancient way”. (The Amish Mandalorian equivalent?)
Image via Disney +
We see that Bo-Katan and her Mandalorians operate on an entirely different level than Din, including their most striking difference: the occasional removal of their helmets. For Din it is a no-go to take off his helmet casually: In “Chapter 4: Sanctuary” he explained Omera (Julia Jones) that if he ever took off his helmet, he would never be able to put it back on. So far, the show has taken care of technical details when it comes to removing that helmet, from IG-11 who removed it in the season one finale for not counting as a living being as a droid, just glimpses for us Din’s chin as he and Baby Yoda drank soup together aboard the Razor Crest.
Now that the razor crest has been destroyed, Baby Yoda is in the clutches of the evil Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), and Mando is desperate enough to help Mayfeld (literally) Bill Burr) out of jail to track down Gideon. Not only is he desperate enough to ask a favor this time, but his fondness for his young protégé also forces him to violate one of the most important tenets of his culture – not just swap his personal armor for that of an Imperial soldier to a refinery to infiltrate, but even take off your helmet to go through a security checkpoint and take off your helmet while he and Din chat with the curious and hideous Valin Hess (Richard Brake).
Sure, now we all have questions as to why Din would bother to maintain such a beautiful mustache if he wore a helmet all the time. But more importantly, there are no technical details here: Din took off his helmet and Mayfeld (not to mention a slew of Imperial guys) saw his face.
Image via Disney +
Mayfeld wipes it off and tells Din he didn’t see anything, but here’s the big thing – despite what Din Omera said earlier, after they complete the mission and return to Slave One, he retreats back into his Beskar – Armor back, including helmet.
It doesn’t feel like a return to the status quo, however. Instead, it seems like an important step for the character to come to terms with his identity as a Mandalorian while also seeing how his new life as protector of Baby Yoda has changed him. Din without a helmet is a big deal for the show on multiple levels, but when it comes to the character and his journey it speaks to one of the Mandalorian’s best qualities: his ability to reveal the clutter of real life in the Star Wars universe . Unlike the heroes of the Skywalker saga, this is a show where characters like Mayfeld are comfortable saying, “If you can get through your day and still sleep at night, you are better than most.” . ”
Codes and Credos are all very well and good, but sometimes the bad guy kidnaps your child and you have to get them back and the only way to do it is by breaking the rules. And by making Din break one of his most important rules, we could not only see his face, but also understand him better.
The season two finale of the Mandalorian premieres will take place on Friday, December 18.
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About the author
Liz Shannon Miller
(183 articles published)
Liz Shannon Miller is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has been speaking about television on the Internet since the dawn of the Internet. She is currently Senior TV Editor at Collider. Her work has also been published by Vulture, Variety, the AV Club, the Hollywood Reporter, IGN, The Verge, and Thought Catalog. She’s also a Produced Playwright, a variety of podcasts, and a collection of “X-Files” trivia. Follow her on Twitter at @lizlet.
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