As we kick off our two-week long celebration of The Mandalorian, leading up to the premiere of season two, we decided to bring back our Character of the Week feature and expand it to a Character of the Day. Since we’re so focused on The Mandalorian, it made sense to start with the star of the show. No, not Baby Yoda (we’ll get there). We’re of course talking about “Mando” himself, Din Djarin!
Din Djarin is the titular character of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Not much is known about Din’s backstory, save for what we’ve seen in flashbacks throughout season 1. Din rarely speaks about his past, or about himself at all. He’s very much the strong, silent type, but he doesn’t always need words to shine as a character.
Din Djarin, Foundling
Din Djarin is a Mandalorian by choice. He came to the creed during the Clone Wars, after his village on Aq Vetina was attacked by battle droids. He was rescued by a group of warrior Mandalorians from Death Watch after his parents were killed. Death Watch raised him, and he took the Mandalorian Creed once he was old enough.
Fearsome Bounty Hunter
At some point as an adult, Din Djarin became a bounty hunter and member of the Bounty Hunter’s Guild. When season 1 begins, Djarin is hunting a Mythrol. Upon capturing his target, we see the softer side of Din Djarin. He gives the Mythrol an opportunity to stay conscious during the journey, but as soon as the Mythrol attempts an escape, we see the Mandalorian ruthlessness come out in Din. He freezes the Mythrol in carbonite, a throwback to Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. It’s in that scene we see where Din gets his reputation as several bounties are shown frozen, waiting for delivery.
The reputation Djarin has is reminiscent of the legends surrounding Boba Fett. Canon stories haven’t always lived up to Boba’s reputation, but The Mandalorian certainly lives up to the name. It is Djarin’s reputation that gets him roped into the bounty that would change his life and introduce him to The Child. If you’ve seen season 1 of The Mandalorian, you know the rest.
The Way: The Mandalorian Creed
One of Din Djarin’s defining character traits is his adherence to the Mandalorian Creed. Apart from spouting “this is the way” frequently, Djarin lives by the code of his adopted culture. Apart from a warrior mentality he undoubtedly learned from Death Watch, Din demonstrates a dogmatic approach to the ways of Mandalore. This approach serves him well as a bounty hunter and adds to the mystique of his reputation. Further enhancing that mystique is his dedication to not taking off his helmet, a key part of the Creed. Even in a tender moment with Sorgan farmer Omera, Din sticks to his principles and doesn’t allow the potential love interest to see his face.
The Creed nearly gets Djarin killed at the end of season 1. He sustains severe injuries during a battle with Moff Gideon’s Imperial Remnants but doesn’t want to be treated. It is only after the reprogrammed assassin droid IG-11 convinces him that he would not be breaking the Creed as no living thing is present, does he allow the droid to remove his helmet to treat his wounds.
By the end of season 1, Din Djarin becomes a full-fledged Mandalorian, earning both his sigil and his jetpack from The Armorer. The culmination of his journey from foundling to warrior leaves season one of The Mandalorian ending on a high note while leaving room for plenty of adventures.
Pedro Pascal (and others)
The part of Din Djarin is played by Pedro Pascal, but in season 1 of The Mandalorian, Pascal is often not the physical actor seen on screen. Pascal provides the voice and does don the suit at times, but the on-screen Mando is often a stunt performer. Hand-to-hand fight scenes are typically handled by Lateef Crowder, and other action scenes are performed by Brendan Wayne, grandson of the legendary John Wayne.
All three performers combine to make Din Djarin a fantastic character, but it is Pedro Pascal’s vocal performance that really shines in season 1 of The Mandalorian. The way Pascal imbues Din’s voice with a tinge of hope hidden by a wall of pain makes Djarin a compelling character. He’s more than a mask (helmet) and it’s something viewers can expect to see more of in season 2.
Season 2 of The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on October 30th, 2020.