The Mandalorian. A Disney+ series that brought the original Star Wars themes back in their full glory, with updated special effects, fascinating – but not overly complex – storylines, and loveable Baby Yodas (aww!).
In this synopsis of The Mandalorian, I’ll explore the story so far, the main characters, and key themes that crop up all the way through.
When I’m writing this (the end of 2021), there are two seasons of eight episodes (referred to as chapters). In the second season, the chapter numbering continues over, so Season 2, Episode 1 is known as Chapter 9, Episode 2 as Chapter 10, and so on.
Shortly, Disney will release The Book of Boba Fett, which may add further clarity on some story points in The Mandalorian.
On this page, you’ll find my synopsis of the first two seasons of The Mandalorian.
Warning: this article contains some spoilers for The Mandalorian Season 1 and Season 2 and references characters and events from Star Wars: Rebels and Clone Wars.
The world of The Mandalorian
The Mandalorian is set about five years after the conclusion of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. This saw the fall of the Empire with the destruction of the Second Death Star. In the same episode, Luke became a fully-fledged Jedi Knight, Yoda and Vader (Anakin) became one with the Force, and the evil Emperor Palpatine was defeated.
As the Empire fell, the New Republic (orchestrated by the Rebel Alliance members) rose. While it had some authority and established order and peace in much of the galaxy, large pockets of resistance to its rule remain. Worlds such as Nevarro, the Guild planet in which the main character is based, are still controlled by bounty hunters and the remnants of Imperial forces, with the two parties vying for control.
The Mandalorian is a single member of a decimated warrior creed from the planet Mandalore. In Star Wars lore, the Mandalorians were the ancient enemy of the Jedi. During the Clone Wars, it remained neutral and was eventually taken over by Maul after the deaths of Duchess Satine and Pre Vizsla. After refusing to bow to the Empire, Mandalore was razed to the ground, with its people now hiding in small pockets across the galaxy.
The Mandalorian synopsis – Season 1
Introducing the Mandalorian
The story begins when The Mandalorian steps quietly into a bar on the ice planet Pagodon. It sounds like the start of a corny joke, but it’s the opening scene that hooked Star Wars fans worldwide. He’s trying to find and subdue the Mythrol bounty he’s hunting.
“I can bring you in warm. Or I can bring you in cold.”
This very much sets the scene for much of the Mandalorian – he’s quiet, calculating and ruthless, but will eventually grow fond of a young “Foundling” entrusted to his care.
He finds and subdues his target before heading to Greef Karga, the Mandalorian’s contact in the Bounty Hunter’s Guild, on the planet Nevarro.
Introducing The Hunt For the Child
Greef tells him there’s an off-the-books job available, with “no chain code.” Taking the transponder with him, the Mandalorian meets the Client and a small posse of ex-Imperial stormtroopers.
The Client offers the Mandalorian a downpayment of beskar, the pure ancient metal that makes up his Creed’s armor; he promises a whole treasure trove of the material if he successfully delivers the Asset.
Off the Mandalorian sets to find the Asset, but not before heading down into the sewers. Here, the rest of the refugee Mandalorian cohort are hiding out. The Armorer, a skilled female Mandalorian blacksmith, forges a pauldron from the beskar. The rest of the metal goes to the Foundlings.
After arriving on Arvala-7, where the Asset is located, the Mandalorian encounters Kuiil, a freed Ugnaught who lives alone on his moisture farm with his blurrgs. After learning to ride one, Kuiil takes him to the encampment where the Asset is held.
As the Mandalorian approaches the Nikto mercenaries, he sees a guild assassin droid approaching the encampment. IG-11 (the same model as the droid featuring in Empire) demands that they release the Asset into its hands. IG-11 begins his slaughter when they inevitably refuse, making significant progress before coming under heavy fire. The Mandalorian convinces the droid to share the bounty if they help each other, so the two gun down the remaining gunmen.
They find the Asset, but it’s not at all what they expect. The 50-year-old target is lying in a silver pram, clearly a baby, of the same species as Yoda. At this point, we learn that the droid had specific instructions to terminate the Asset. As it raises its blaster, the Mandalorian shoots it in the head, saving the Child.
How the story develops
After Jawas steal most of the parts from his ship, Kuiil leads him in negotiations with the scavengers. The Mandalorian is forced to take on a mudhorn to trade with them. The mudhorn all but defeats him, but the Child uses the Force to save him, lifting the huge beast into the air and allowing the Mandalorian to finish it off with his knife.
An essential part of The Mandalorian – in particular in the first season – is the lack of the common man’s knowledge about the Jedi or Sith. Even the Mandalorian, a seemingly famed warrior, and bounty hunter has never heard of them before. Although the audience is more than familiar with the Force and the resultant assumption that Grogu is some kind of Jedi, he isn’t and treats the incident as strange and unexplained.
Once he’s got all his parts back and repaired his ship, the Mandalorian takes the Child back to Nevarro, where he reluctantly exchanges him for the beskar reward. Inquiring after the Child’s welfare and the Client’s intended use, he receives a blunt answer giving nothing away. Searing his conscience, he takes the beskar and heads back down to the hiding Mandalorians in the sewers.
As his old set had lost its integrity, the Armorer forges entirely new beskar armor for him. Instead of a signet, she creates whistling birds for him – a guided munition released from a Mandalorian’s vambraces.
Down in the sewers, the Mandalorian clashes with another significant member of his Creed. Paz Vizsla (only identified in the credits) accuses him of cowardice, and the two come to blows. The Armorer, clearly frustrated, stops them and tells them that hiding out is what they must do now – “This is the way.”
After taking on some new bounties, he decides to leave the planet in pursuit of more money to help his race survive. However, eventually, the Mandalorian’s heart melts, and he reconsiders his choice to leave the Child, heading back to check he is alright.
When he realizes his life is in danger, he smashes into the building and grabs the infant, escaping the Imperial hideout. Here, we witness his deadly fighting efficiency and the supreme advantage the beskar armor gives him.
A bounty is immediately replaced on the Child. Nevarro’s bounty hunters turn on the Mandalorian, who is only saved when his fellow Covert refugees break their cover and save him.
As he boards the Razor Crest with the Child, Greef Karga confronts him. The Mandalorian shoots him, escaping into the unknown to protect the Child.
The following three chapters (4, 5, and 6 – Sanctuary, The Gunslinger, and The Prisoner) see the Mandalorian and the Child trying to make enough money to survive quietly but endlessly having to evade bounty hunters sent after them. Crucially, they meet ex-Rebel shock trooper, Carasynthia “Cara” Dune on the planet Sorgan in Chapter 4 and Fennec Shand in Chapter 5 (along with the mysterious cloaked figure who saves her…)
The Mandalorian Season 1 culmination
At the start of Chapter 7: The Reckoning, Karga tries to persuade the Mandalorian to return to Nevarro to take out the Imperial presence. Naturally highly wary of his true intentions, the Mandalorian returns to Sorgan to ask Cara Dune to accompany him. To watch the Child, they head back to Arvala-7 to recruit Kuiil as a babysitter, the only person that can be trusted to keep him safe.
Kuiil agrees to come along, along with the salvaged and reprogrammed IG-11 and three of his blurrgs.
The now-much-larger party heads to Nevarro, where they’re greeted by Karga and three other Guild bounty hunters. They’re attacked by a reptavian group during the night that seriously injures him. The Child uses the Force to save his life.
The next morning, the two remaining bounty hunters prepare to kill the Mandalorian and Dune as they approach the city. Karga kills them before they can open fire, having had a change of heart.
The trio decides to take the empty pram to the Client, instructing Kuiil to take the Child back to the Razor Crest and IG-11 and engage ground security protocols. He does so, taking the remaining blurrg and heading back to safety—the remaining three walk into town, with the Mandalorian restrained and the pram in tow.
The main villain – Moff Gideon, a former ISB officer, and Imperial warlord – is revealed in town, and the Mandalorian, Dune, and Karga get pinned down.
Realizing that they’re trapped, the Mandalorian radios Kuiil to tell him to flee the planet. Unfortunately, the scout troopers pick up the conversation, jump on their speeder bikes, and race after him.
I won’t ruin the ending for you if you haven’t seen it. What happens to Kuiil? Will the Child escape? How will the heroes flee from Moff Gideon? What happened to the Mandalorian Covert? Why is Gideon so obsessed with the Child? Can the Mandalorian, whose real name is revealed here, protect him? Will anyone have to sacrifice their life to save the “Foundling”?
The Mandalorian Season 1 key characters
This section will explain what we know of a few of the show’s main characters and their importance to the overall story.
Season 1 was built from scratch, with entirely new characters and the occasional nod back important people from the films and animated series, such as the Hutts, IG-11, stormtroopers, and, of course, Mandalorians.
The main character, the Mandalorian, whose actual name is revealed in the final chapter, is a bounty hunter, like Jango and Boba Fett from the films and Clone Wars. Aside from the fact that he hates droids, we know very little about him. The first season is filled with obscure flashbacks to a significant incident in his childhood, which becomes apparent in the final chapter. Although he’s ruthless and highly skilled, with no qualms about killing anyone who deserves it (that poor guy in that door – ouch), he has a soft spot for his people, his Creed, and Foundlings (children or often “Younglings” in Star Wars). While he initially takes the Child back to the Imperials hunting him, he soon has a change of heart and flees into hiding with the young one.
The Mandalorian is originally hired to track down and abduct a 50-year-old target. When he finds the Asset in a pram, he realizes that this species ages much more slowly than most. We recognize the Child as being of the same Force-sensitive race as Master Yoda. However, it doesn’t take long to learn that this Jedi’s powers are far from fully developed. He tires very quickly and is unable to concentrate for an extended period. His backstory is largely unknown at this point; all we know is that he’s able to wield the Force and somehow ended up captured by mercenaries but beyond that? Not much. Will he ever learn to speak? Why is Moff Gideon so intent on capturing him? There’s much more to be revealed.
The Armorer is a large female Mandalorian and a highly skilled blacksmith. As the leader of the Covert hiding out in the sewers of Nevarro, she commands absolute authority over the others. Like all the Mandalorians we see, she never removes her helmet – their Creed forbids it. The Armorer functions as the verbal conscience of the Mandalorian, giving him advice and instructing him to help the Child find his people.
Carasynthia “Cara” Dune, an ex-Rebel shock trooper, was a warrior who fought with the Rebels on Endor and in many other places. Distinguished by the tattoo on her upper arm, she’s since left her old way of life and is making a quiet living in the galaxy’s back alleys. After meeting the Mandalorian and the Child on Sorgan, she uses her skills to help protect a local village from pirates and joins him at the end of the season as he heads back to Nevarro to confront Karga and the Client.
Karga is the head of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild on Nevarro. He gives out (and withholds) bounties to those under his employ, no doubt taking a cut of their winnings. Although appearing friendly, Karga – like most in his profession – is motivated solely by financial gain. Thus, although he and the Mandalorian seem close in the first couple of episodes, he turns on his friend in Chapter 3. Later in the season, he calls him back to Nevarro to try to make amends… or is there more to it than meets the eye?
The Client is a definitely-not-inspired-by-a-Nazi-officer Imperial contact for whom the Mandalorian originally retrieves and delivers the Child. We know very little about him, except that he works for the now-gone Empire (a stormtrooper guard surrounds him) and has an obsession with capturing the Child and extracting something from his body. What he’s actually after is yet to be revealed, but since there aren’t many Jedi left, and the Child’s species is known for its natural Force abilities, perhaps it has something to do with that.
Living on Arvala-7, Kuiil – a freed Ugnaught – worked three human lifetimes to free himself from service, as he explains to Dune. Before its collapse, he worked for the Empire and now lives alone on a small moisture farm surrounded by his beloved blurggs. Kuiil’s loveable phrase, “I have spoken,” is a polite, old-man style alternative to, “Shut up, I’m right, and I know it – follow me.” Above all, he’s kind, compassionate, and extremely protective of what he loves.
IG-11 is a Guild assassin droid who also receives a commission to find the Child and ends up clashing with the Mandalorian. However, we learn with a shock that IG-11’s true mission was to “terminate” the target rather than capture him. Saving the Asset’s life, the Mandalorian executes the droid by shooting him in the head. Later, Kuiil finds the wreckage in the aftermath and rebuilds him. As essentially a new being, IG-11 redevelops into a housekeeping droid. Kuiil later programs him to function as a nanny to protect the Child. He’s the same model as the character that briefly appears in Empire, but a completely different droid.
Pershing is a doctor who appears by the Client’s side. We can immediately see that he’s a quieter, softly-spoken fellow who tries to look out for the Child’s best interests. However, he’s also very definitely still an Imperial. What does he want from the Child? We have yet to find out for sure.
The Mandalorian Season 1 key moments
- Chapter 1: The Mandalorian talks to Greef Karga and learns of the mysterious bounty with no chain code.
- Chapter 1: He then meets with the Client and receives the beskar as a down payment.
- Chapter 1: Before leaving for Arvala-7, we learn of the Mandalorian’s love for his fellow people.
- Chapter 1: the Mandalorian meets Kuiil, who takes him to the Asset’s location.
- Chapter 1: He meets the Child and saves him from IG-11.
- Chapter 2: The Child uses the Force to save the Mandalorian from a mudhorn.
- Chapter 3: The Mandalorian delivers the Child to the Client and Dr. Pershing.
- Chapter 3: After a change of heart, the Mandalorian smashes his way into the Imperial hideout, killing several stormtroopers and retrieving the Child from their grasp. The bounty hunters corner him as he tries to flee the planet, persuaded by a large financial reward to betray him. To save him, the Mandalorian Covert descends from the sky in jet packs, breaking their cover but allowing him to escape with the Child.
- Chapter 4: While hiding out on Sorgan, the Child and the Mandalorian meet Cara Dune. While trying to lie low, they soon find out that bounty hunters will be able to find them anywhere.
- Chapter 5: On Tatooine, Peli Motto repairs the Mandalorian’s ship and takes care of the Child as he helps a rookie bounty hunter search for Fennec Shand. Although left for dead, Shand is saved by a mysterious cloaked figure.
- Chapter 6:The Mandalorian joins a gang of dangerous mercenaries, led by Migs Mayfeld, on a high-paying mission to free a prisoner from a New Republic prison ship. Mayfeld is highly distrustful of the Mandalorian. We learn a little of his past interactions with “Ran” and Xi’an, a Twi’lek with whom he once had a relationship.
- Chapter 7: Karga sends the Mandalorian a hologram, persuading him to return to Nevarro and help him eliminate the Client.
- Chapter 7: Distrustful of his intentions, the Mandalorian brings along Cara Dune, Kuiil and IG-11. Karga and three bounty hunters meet them.
- Chapter 7: The party is ambushed by reptavians, and Karga almost dies, but the Child saves him using the Force.
- Chapter 7: Karga guns down the two remaining bounty hunters and explains that the original plan was to kill them and take the “kid.” Instead, Kuiil takes the Child back towards the Razor Crest, and Dune and Karga take the Mandalorian, bound, along with the empty pram into the city.
- Chapter 7: They meet the Client, who is then gunned down by Imperials waiting outside the hideout.
- Chapter 7: Moff Gideon, the main villain of The Mandalorian, is revealed.
- Chapter 7: Two scout troopers race after Kuiil and the Child. Dune, Karga, and the Mandalorian are pinned down with no hope of escape. Chapter 8 will show their various fates.
The Mandalorian synopsis – Season 2
The hunt for more Mandalorians
Chapter 9: The Marshal opens with the Mandalorian attempting to locate the Child’s people, a mysterious “race of sorcerers” known as the Jedi. He must find more of his kind to do this, who he believes knows where to find the Jedi.
After meeting and skirmishing with a treacherous rogue named Koresh (who meets a nasty end), he’s told to head to Tatooine, to a small outpost called Mos Pelgo. Here, says Koresh, there are rumors of a Mandalorian warrior residing. Taking the Razor Crest to Mos Eisley, he again leaves the ship with Peli Motto in Hangar 3-5 and takes a speeder-bike over to Mos Pelgo.
The town’s Marshal – Cobb Vanth – meets him in a bar. It’s immediately apparent that he’s no Mandalorian but is wearing the traditional armor. Just before they come to blows, an agreement is reached. The Mandalorian will help the inhabitants of Mos Pelgo and local Tusken Raiders kill a krayt dragon – which has been terrorizing the town – in exchange for the city Marshal’s very familiar armor.
Returning to Mos Eisley to reunite with the Child, Motto points them towards a contact who knows where to find more Mandalorians in exchange for passage off-world. The contact, known as the Frog Lady, meets him at the hangar, and the three travel sub-light to the moon of Trask.
Communication with the Frog Lady is difficult as she doesn’t speak any Basic. Things get further complicated when we learn that the reason for her desperate journey is to meet her husband on Trask with the last remaining eggs of her lifespan. Traveling at hyperspace speeds would destroy the eggs, making the trip much longer and riskier. Even worse, the Child’s carnivorous habits lead him to snack on the eggs through the journey, despite the Mandalorian’s reprimands.
Along the way, two New Republic X-Wings flank the Razor Crest, inquiring as to why it’s not running a transponder. Although his ship is pre-Empire (and therefore, he thinks, isn’t required to run a beacon), he sends the X-Wings a ping to identify himself. The X-Wing pilots connect the Crest with the prison break in the previous season, setting their S-foils to attack position.
The Mandalorian banks away before they can engage, heading for the nearest planet: Maldo Kreis. The narrow ice ravines and thick clouds allow them to escape, but the Crest falls through the ice as the Mandalorian attempts to take off, knocking its occupants out.
Stuck in the underground ice cave, the Frog Lady uses the vocabulator on the destroyed protocol droid Zero (who also appeared in The Prisoner) to communicate with the Mandalorian. As he attempts to repair the ship, she sneaks off to find a warm pool where she places the eggs, keeping them warm and fertile.
When the Mandalorian and the Child find her, they’re suddenly swarmed upon by a whole hoard of knobby white ice spiders, including one huge mother-of-all-creepy-spiders that would rival even Lord of the Rings’ Shelob in your nightmares. They flee back to the ship, with the spiders pinning them inside the tiny cockpit.
When the end seems inevitable, the two X-Wings find them and eliminate the spiders. The Mandalorian then repairs the Crest as well as he can, and they continue to Trask.
At Trask, an estuary moon mostly inhabited with Quarren and Mon Calamari, the Mandalorian delivers the Frog Lady to her husband, then heads to a bar to find the rumored members of his kind. A Quarren takes him to his ship, explaining that the Mandalorians are far away. Suddenly, he’s ambushed, and a mamacore, an underwater monster, swallows the Child (in his pram). With the Quarren about to drown him to steal his beskar armor, the situation looks hopeless until three helmeted Mandalorians show up, killing the captors and saving the Child.
The leader of these three turns out to be Bo-Katan Kryze, who will be a familiar face to those of you well-versed in Clone Wars and Rebels. The other two, a male and a female, go by Axe Woves and Koska Reeves.
Bo-Katan agrees to point the Mandalorian toward a Jedi in return for help seizing an Imperial ship smuggling weapons off the moon. She wants the guns to rebuild her homeworld and place a new Mand’alor (the “sole ruler” of Mandalore) on the throne.
The following day, the Mandalorian leaves the Child safely with the Frog Lady and her husband.
The Imperial ship stays at low trawler speed while inside the shipping lanes before it is permitted to ascend and leave the atmosphere. At this point, the four Mandalorians strike, using their jet-packs to land and take out the perimeter guards. They quickly work their way through the various rooms and levels, taking out Imperials, before reaching the bridge.
After taking the ship, Bo-Katan threatens the ship’s captain with a knife. We learn she is looking for the Darksaber, the inherited weapon of the Mand’alor.
Before escaping with Reeves and Woves, Kryze tells the Mandalorian to go to Corvus, where he will find a Jedi by the name of Ahsoka Tano.
Searching for the Jedi
After sustaining almost terminal damage to the Razor Crest on Maldo Kreis and Trask, the Mandalorian and the Child stop by Nevarro on the way to Corvus, finding Karga and Dune in almost complete control of the planet. There’s one exception – an Imperial refinery, apparently still operational. Enlisting the Mythrol captured by the Mandalorian in Chapter 1, the party crosses the wilderness to disable it. Although there are a couple of close calls, everyone emerges unscathed.
Meanwhile, Karga commissions a few men to repair the Crest. One worker, a Mimbanese, takes a particular interest in the ship and its occupants. We later learn that they put a tracking device on the vessel on behalf of Moff Gideon.
After repairing his ship, they continue to Corvus, where – finally – the Child meets another of his kind.
Ahsoka is, of course, much older now and is extremely cautious. She’s seen what the power of the Force can do to “the best of us” if it’s wielded without the proper discipline. The Mandalorian here begins to delve into the tragedy of Anakin Skywalker and how it affected Ahsoka. In Rebels, we learn that Ahsoka – along with most of the surviving Jedi – had no idea that Darth Vader was Anakin Skywalker. She realizes the fact with horrible certainty just before he almost kills her, although she’s saved in the last moment by Ezra Bridger. In Rebels, Vader accuses Ahsoka of leaving him alone, and thus leaving him unable to fight the darkness within him; in effect, blaming her for what he has become.
As a result, she’s very hesitant to train the Child, whose name we also learn here. Rather than teach him, she sends them to Tython, where the Child is to sit on the seeing stone of the ancient Jedi temple. By calling out using the Force, some Jedi might hear him.
On Corvus, Ahsoka and the Mandalorian work together to defeat the evil Magistrate of the town, freeing its citizens from oppression. Although the Magistrate’s fate is so far unclear – did Ahsoka kill her or not? – the Mandalorian does take her beskar spear with him when he leaves.
On Tython, the Mandalorian places the Child on the seeing stone, and he begins calling out using the Force. A familiar ship appears in the sky, and the Mandalorian decides to hold off the possible attackers’ advances alone.
After a tense stand-off, he comes to terms with his potential aggressors. Boba Fett is back, along with Fennec Shand, whom he saved in the deserts of Tatooine, by his side.
In exchange for his armor, Fett agrees to protect the Child from anyone who would wish him harm. It’s a well-timed moment. Not a moment later, stormtroopers land, and the three embark on protecting the young one, who is still in a deep trance and surrounded by an impenetrable Force field.
Fett gets his armor back from the Razor Crest, and the Boba Fett we all know and love is reunited with that infamous green helmet.
As the Child collapses with exhaustion, losing his connection to the Force, Dark droid troopers descend from above and abduct the Child, bringing him to Moff Gideon.
With the help of Migs Mayfeld and Cara Dune, the Mandalorian, Fett, and Shand find the location of Moff Gideon’s light cruiser by hacking into an Imperial terminal on Morak.
Together, the Mandalorian, Dune, Fett, Shand, Bo-Katan, and Reeves board the cruiser, fighting their way to save the Child and overpower Gideon.
After the second season, the future of the Darksaber is made. The Mandalorian attempts to rescue the Child but faces significant opposition in the face of the third-generation all-droid Dark troopers and Moff Gideon himself.
Will everyone survive? How will they free the Child? And did any Jedi hear his call?
The Mandalorian Season 2 – key characters
Since many of the key characters were explored earlier in this article, I’ll primarily go through the new additions to the story here.
The Mandalorian and the Child (whose name we also learn through Ahsoka) grow substantially through this season. Although he’s far from a powerful Jedi Knight, the Child is considerably stronger than when we first met him and can hold his connection to the Force for much longer.
Cara Dune and Greef Karga have, in the meantime, clean up the city of Nevarro, with Dune even becoming a marshal of the New Republic towards the end of the season.
Moff Gideon, an ex-ISB (a bit like the Empire’s CIA or FBI) officer, is obsessed with locating the Child and extracting something from his blood. As a loyal servant of the Empire, he, working for the Emperor, is looking to harvest the genetic material of a Force-sensitive individual (potentially to help with Palpatine’s cloning experiments). More will be revealed as time goes on, I’m sure. Gideon has also overseen the development of a new, incredibly tough group of Dark troopers; the third-generation model is a droid rather than a soldier.
As the sister of Satine Kryze, the former Duchess of Mandalore, Lady Bo-Katan was originally part of Death Watch. This terrorist organization despised Duchess Satine’s pacifist, neutral ideals. After Maul murdered Satine before Obi-Wan Kenobi in Clone Wars, he took over the house of Vizsla and became Mand’alor, wielding the Darksaber. Death Watch was split in two, with Bo-Katan and her followers rebelling and Gar Saxon leading Maul’s Mandalorian super commandos. Now, she’s searching for the Darksaber, the traditional weapon of the Mand’alor, soon to learn that it’s in Moff Gideon’s possession.
Ahsoka, who survived Order 66 (as seen in Clone Wars) and began working as “Fulcrum” for the Rebel Alliance (see Rebels), is now much older. She’s apparently living on Corvus and trying to rescue its citizens from the cruel Magistrate. Her powers have grown, but she is no longer the impulsive child first introduced in the Clone Wars movie. After the tragedy of learning of Anakin’s turn to the dark side – something that only happens when Vader encounters her in Rebels – she no longer holds out much hope. Seeing that the Child is impulsive, undisciplined, and reckless, she refuses to train him. However, she does tell the Mandalorian to take him to Tython, where they can use an ancient Jedi temple to call out to others using the Force in the hope that someone will hear…
Fett has been tracking the Mandalorian across the galaxy ever since he got hold of his armor from Cobb Vanth. After cornering him, Fett demands his armor back in exchange for promising to protect the Child from Gideon. Once the Child is abducted, Fett – a man of principles and honor (although not necessarily a morally “good” person) helps the Mandalorian fight to retrieve him. Although he’s obviously older, heavier, and badly scarred from the Sarlacc pit that Han Solo accidentally sent him into, Fett is still a vicious, bloodthirsty warrior.
An infamous sniper, Shand was saved by Fett after being left for dead in the Tatooine desert. Her lower abdomen is now entirely cybernetic. She owes him a life debt, a little like Chewbacca and Han Solo. Shand assists Boba to assist the Mandalorian (still with me?) attack Moff Gideon to save the Child from his grasp.
The Mandalorian Season 2 – key moments
- Chapter 9: the Mandalorian exchanges Marshal Cobb Vanth’s armor (which once belonged to Boba Fett) for slaying the krayt dragon terrorizing the area.
- Chapter 11: he meets Bo-Katan and two of her fellow Mandalorians after saving him from Quarren fishermen intent on stealing his beskar armor. He’s shocked to see them removing their helmets, believing that all Mandalorians were like him. Here, we learn that the Children of the Watch, as Kryze calls them, are an oddity in Mandalorian culture. We also find out that Bo-Katan is hunting for the Darksaber, having lost it sometime after it was given to her by Sabine Wren.
- Chapter 13: Bo-Katan has sent the Mandalorian to find Ahsoka Tano on Corvus. Ahsoka learns of the Child’s past and tells the Mandalorian his name.
- Chapter 13: Ahsoka refuses to train the Child but sends them to the Jedi Temple on Tython.
- Chapter 14: on Tython, the Child establishes a connection with the Force and begins calling out to other Jedi. But can anyone hear him?
- Chapter 14: Boba Fett shows up with Fennec Shand. Together, they and the Mandalorian fend off the stormtroopers encircling their position and protect the Child. Fett gets his armor back.
- Chapter 14: droid Dark troopers swoop down from the upper atmosphere to abduct the Child, who has collapsed after his connection to the Force broke through tiredness. Despite their best efforts, the Mandalorian, Fett, and Shand can’t get back to him in time to save him. They carry him up to Gideon’s ship.
- Chapter 15: the Mandalorian enlists Dune and Migs Mayfeld (who they “borrow” from prison) to help him, Fett and Shand discover the coordinates of Moff Gideon’s ship.
- Chapter 16: the party launches an all-out assault with Bo-Katan and Koska Reeves. However, the Dark troopers pose a significant threat to their survival and any hope of retrieving the Child from Moff Gideon’s vengeful grasp. Before long, all looks hopeless.
Key themes of The Mandalorian
Okay, at this point, I really must stress the presence of spoilers. The previous sections of the article have kept things somewhat under wraps – the endings, at the very least. In this last section, I’ll be exploring some of the deeper themes and storylines that The Mandalorian portrays.
If you haven’t seen it yet – be warned! (Although I’d love for you to keep on reading.)
How Grogu develops Djarin’s character
If you’ve reached this point in the article, I’ll now be assuming that you’re aware of the names of the Child and the Mandalorian.
Din Djarin is a bounty hunter. Although he’s motivated by money in the same ways as every other member of the Guild, there’s a massive difference in what he wants these rewards for. Rather than fuelling his ambitions, he delivers his takings to the Armorer to help the Covert, particularly the Foundlings (the adopted children).
By the end of Chapter 8, we learn of the Mandalorian’s childhood and how Death Watch troopers saved him from a B2 Super Battle Droid during the Clone Wars after his parents were killed. Raised as a Foundling himself, Djarin recognizes the importance of showing compassion to those now growing up in the Covert.
His care for the Foundlings is evident, although he’s somewhat emotionally distant from them when we see how he interacts in the sewers. He’s closed off and doesn’t interact with any of the children; they quite clearly don’t see him as any kind of father figure. However, he takes special care to ensure their safety.
From a psychological point of view, this distancing would generally be taken as some kind of self-protection. By keeping himself largely separate from the Foundlings, he is doing what he can to help them without risking the pain of losing them. There are perhaps echoes here back to the deaths of his parents and the emotional trauma he went through.
Grogu changes all that.
The Armorer tells Djarin that he’s a “Foundling” of the Jedi. Djarin himself says, “I was once a Foundling.” Simply, this identifies the Mandalorian’s past with the Child’s present and future. Now, rather than being weak and unprotected, Grogu takes that role – except, of course, with Force powers.
Here are how a young Din Djarin and Grogu are the same:
- A “Foundling”
- Young and helpless (relatively)
- Parents/Jedi master(s) killed by an enemy that still threatens their existence
- Saved by a Mandalorian warrior
- Raised unconventionally and in hiding
- Strict followers of a creed (Mandalorian (Children of the Watch)/Jedi)
- Alone, trying to find their people
To save Grogu, Din has to open his heart to the possibility of pain – the possibility, and even likelihood, of losing him.
Throughout the first two seasons, he becomes more and more protective and aggressive towards anyone who threatens the Child. We see his occasional panic when Grogu is missing and his unstoppable determination to keep him safe.
The attachment has been arguably the most critical theme of Star Wars to date. Anakin turned to the Sith because the Jedi forbade attachments. Luke used his attachment to his father to turn him back to the light. The Jedi couldn’t understand how a loving bond could lead to peace instead of assuming it would always lead to the dark side. Rather than working with Anakin, they shunned him, creating Vader in the process.
The Mandalorian explores attachment in much the same way. The fear of loss and the triumph of love comes through, giving us something to root for as the viewer and teaching us a crucial lesson in the meantime. Compare this to Anakin, where the fear of the loss of Padme was never addressed. It ended up with the destruction of the Jedi, the emergence of Vader, and her death.
Djarin and his dislike of droids
One of the first things we learn about the Mandalorian is his natural distrust of droids.
Later, we learn about his past and begin to understand that this hatred likely stems from the Separatist battle droids that killed his parents and very nearly him.
This incident most probably traumatized the young Din Djarin into illogically hating all droids, finding them unpredictable and dangerous in the case of fighting droids.
It’s highlighted in great depth for us towards the end of Chapter 1, with his frustration at IG-11’s seemingly constant desire to self-destruct. His quick-thinking execution of the droid was probably always going to happen.
This arc wraps up artfully with Kuiil, who rebuilds IG-11 and forcefully tells the Mandalorian, “Droids are not good or bad: they are neutral reflections of those who program them.”
Of course, after Kuiil’s death, IG-11 – reprogrammed as a nanny droid – saves Grogu from the scout troopers. He’s now a neutral reflection of Kuiil, whose “spirit” lives on through him.
By the end of Chapter 8, Djarin appreciates what Kuiil was telling him and feels the impact of IG-11’s sacrifice.
Perhaps this theme is about not assuming nor making judgments based on something’s – or someone’s – appearance. It also explores how people (or droids) can change and how technology isn’t bad or good in itself – instead, it’s all about how a person uses it.
At the end of Chapter 8, as he escapes from his downed TIE Fighter, we learn that Moff Gideon has the Darksaber. The black blade has become more and more intricately woven into the fabric of Star Wars, appearing in Clone Wars and Rebels.
As the lore goes, whoever wields the Darksaber has the power to rule Mandalore and declare themselves Mand’alor.
It was initially built by Tarre Vizsla, the first Mandalorian Jedi, over 1,000 years before the events of The Mandalorian. When he died, the blade was kept in the Jedi Temple. However, when the Old Republic fell, House Vizsla Mandalorians stole the Darksaber and passed it down through their generations. At the time of the Clone Wars, it ended up in the hands of Pre Vizsla, the leader of both his clan and Death Watch. Pre Vizsla was defeated by Maul, who took the Darksaber for himself. It was eventually left with the Nightsisters on Dathomir and then retrieved by Sabine Wren (see Star Wars: Rebels), who passed it to Bo-Katan Kryze.
When the Empire destroyed its home in the Great Purge of Mandalore, the Darksaber was seized by Imperials. So far, we know little of exactly how that happened. Still, we do know that it ended up with Moff Gideon. Whether he defeated Bo-Katan in single combat or not is so far up to interpretation (although I’d expect that storyline to be resolved sooner or later).
Din Djarin defeated Gideon to protect Grogu, inadvertently winning the Darksaber for himself. Despite trying to hand it back to Bo-Katan, she wouldn’t accept it, insisting that it can only be passed to another through combat. To take it otherwise would be considered an illegitimate claim to the Mandalorian throne.
What will happen in Season 3?
To finish up, here are a few thoughts about what The Mandalorian Season 3 might entail. We can expect it to be at least another year before The Mandalorian Season 3 is released on Disney+.
Much of the story arc appears to have wrapped up satisfyingly –
- The father/son relationship between Djarin and Grogu has matured, as discussed above.
- Grogu has been returned to the Jedi through Luke Skywalker’s arrival.
- Ahsoka, Boba Fett, and Fennec Shand came and went.
Other series, such as The Book of Boba Fett and Ahsoka, will most certainly address the fates of those characters.
So far, The Mandalorian has mainly been built on the relationship between the quiet, caring Djarin and adorable Force-sensitive Grogu. With Grogu now in the hands of the Jedi, the central theme will probably turn to something else – most likely the reestablishment of Mandalore and the Darksaber plotline.
I’m sure Grogu will be back, although perhaps not immediately. Luke Skywalker’s Jedi training involves discipline, and he’s unlikely to just turn up to see Djarin whenever he feels like it. However, he’s sure to hone his Force powers and may well become a valuable help to Din, Bo-Katan, and the others as they return to Mandalore.
Mark Hamill seemingly loved his guest appearance in Chapter 16. While I don’t expect him to be a major character, Luke Skywalker may well have a few more parts to play – especially if Grogu returns. As Ahsoka says, “there aren’t many Jedi left,” and so Luke will probably take Grogu as his padawan. Therefore, where Grogu goes, he goes.
Beyond this, the possibilities are endless. As The Mandalorian has now firmly established itself as a fan favorite, the producers may take slightly bigger risks and reintroduce characters from either the Original Trilogy or the Sequels. In my opinion, we can probably expect the main character or two to get killed off in the third season – the impact of the deaths of Kuiil and IG-11 was huge, a trick that was perhaps slightly missed in Season 2
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the storyline of The Mandalorian?
Answer: The Mandalorian is set five years after the fall of the Empire at the Battle of Endor, in which Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Leia destroyed the shield generator. Lando Calrissian also led the Millenium Falcon to blow up the Death Star. Vader saved Luke from Palpatine, and Luke saved Vader from himself.
We find a galaxy in disarray, as the New Republic has already started to fail to secure many systems. Scum and villainy still inhabit every corner of every planet.
On Nevarro, we find the Bounty Hunters Guild. A silver beskar-clad Mandalorian warrior takes on a mission to abduct an Asset. Still, when he discovers that the target is a child, he instead decides to protect him from his evil Imperial fate.
The Mandalorian focuses on the developing father-son relationship between the Mandalorian and the Child and explores how he’ll keep him safe.
Question: Is Baby Yoda actually Yoda?
Answer: No. Yoda dies shortly before the fall of the Empire, becoming one with the Force and supporting Luke Skywalker on his seemingly-impossible mission.
The Mandalorian is set five years after this time.
The Child is 50 years old in The Mandalorian, whereas Yoda died at 900 in Return of the Jedi.
Fans referred to the Child as “Baby Yoda” because of his similarity to the Jedi Master. However, he’s an entirely different being.
Question: Is the Child Yoda’s son?
Answer: The Child’s background is, so far, largely undiscovered. We learn a small amount of his time as a Youngling from Ahsoka, who informs the Mandalorian that he was raised in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant.
Yoda is the wisest of all the Jedi. Still, even he fails to realize what the Skywalkers – in Anakin, Luke, and Leia – begin to understand: that passion and attachment should be embraced and controlled, rather than shunned.
As Yoda represented the height of this solemnity and was the most disciplined light side Force user in the Order, it seems improbable to suggest he had a relationship with anyone not too long before A Phantom Menace. Yoda would have shunned such thoughts and attachments.
So, although it’s not yet confirmed, I’d say there’s little to no evidence to suggest that the Child is Yoda’s son. They’re just the same highly Force-sensitive species.
Conclusion – The Mandalorian story so far
Here’s a very, very quick summary of all the above.
The Mandalorian, a bounty hunter, based on the planet Nevarro, works for the Bounty Hunter’s Guild to make money to protect and feed his fellow Mandalorian refugees, who are hiding out in the sewers.
For a hefty payday, he takes a job searching for an Asset on Arvala-7. This Asset turns out to be a young Child, who he saves from the Guild assassin droid IG-11.
After delivering the Child to the Client and collecting his reward, the Mandalorian prepares to leave searching for his next target but suddenly has a change of heart. Rescuing the Child from his inevitable fate, he escapes into the galaxy to protect him.
Eventually, he realizes that the Imperials will just keep hunting him and decides to return to Nevarro to eliminate the threat. Here, Moff Gideon executes the Client and establishes himself as the main villain who wants the Child.
Although the Mandalorian and the Child escape from Gideon, causing his TIE Fighter to crash in the process, they’re still in danger. The Moff, wielding the infamous Mandalorian Darksaber, will not stop hunting them.
The Armorer instructs the Mandalorian to return the Child to his kind, the Jedi.
In search of the Jedi, the Mandalorian first seek out more of his people, which leads him to Bo-Katan and eventually Boba Fett. Bo-Katan points him in the direction of Ahsoka, who sends him and the Child to Tython. Here, on the seeing stone, the Child calls out to any Jedi who can hear using the Force before being abducted by Gideon’s droid Dark troopers.
Once he knows the location of Gideon’s ship, the Mandalorian and his fellow warriors attack it in an attempt to free the Child. At first, it goes well, but the tide starts to turn against them before long. The Dark troopers are nigh on undefeatable, and a miracle will be needed for them to escape with their lives.
We can only hope that someone heard the Child’s call.
Watch Chapter 16: The Rescue to find out what happens next.
Thank you very much for reading this synopsis of The Mandalorian. Feel free to leave a comment and discuss anything you think I’ve missed out on that should’ve been included.
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