'The Mandalorian' answers fans' biggest question about his helmet and reveals a lot about his backstory in the process
The episode finally sees the Mandalorian remove his helmet, though his face remains hidden from the camera
Spoiler alert for 'The Mandalorian' Episode 4
It is 'Star Wars' legend and lore that the Mandalorians never remove their helmet. Never. Not once. At least, that's what they say, and this has prompted a host of questions from fans.
Do they sleep with it on? How do they eat? What DOES happen if it comes off? Do the Mandalorians shower with their helmets on, and if so, does Beskar Steel get rusty?
Chapter 4 of 'The Mandalorian' answers some of those questions, if not all, and in answering tells us more about the Mandalorian's backstory than ever before.
In a quiet moment in the village, as the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) is settling in, an inquisitive Omera (Julia Jones) asks him when was the last time he took his helmet off. The Mandalorian answers with a simple, anticlimactic "Yesterday".
Omera clarifies her question, asking when the last time that he took the helmet off in front of another person, but the show made its point. Mandalorians don't go to ridiculous lengths to keep their helmet on, removing it for things like eating, bathing, or sleeping.
This does imply, however, that Mandalorians lead a life of celibacy, which would go a long way towards explaining why they place so much importance on Foundlings over Mandalorian children.
They definitely remove their helmets when it's practical, though. The Mandalorian does just that, in fact, taking his helmet off to eat his lunch once he's assured himself that he's alone. The camera doesn't show his face yet, though — it's not time for us to see beneath his helmet yet.
But why is it so important that the Mandalorians keep their helmet on? Later in the episode, Cara Dune (Gina Carano) asks the Mandalorian what happens if he does take it off. The Mandalorian tells her that he could never put it back on again.
He doesn't expand on this, but given that he's been wearing the helmet since he was a child — the same time he was inducted into the Mandalorian society — the helmet seems to signify his place among the tribe.
The Mandalorian society is a way of life, a religion, and not a nationality or a species. Anyone can become a Mandalorian — which means that anyone can stop being one as well.
The village that the Mandalorian spends time in this episode, and Omera in particular, are temptations. The Mandalorian can give up the life of a warrior whenever he wants and leave it behind forever.
He knows, however, that his retirement, and his happy ending, aren't on the cards for him yet, if ever. He stops Omera from removing the helmet of his own volition just before the arrival of a bounty hunter would have taken that choice away from him entirely.
There doesn't appear to be any shame attached to the removal of the helmet, or if there is, the Mandalorian gives no indication of it. Removal of his helmet may just be in the cards for him, but with five episodes left, it's not his time.
Fans have been speculating what, if anything, could get the Mandalorian to remove his helmet for good, from protecting Baby Yoda to revealing his true identity, but it's possible that it may just happen naturally, at the end of the series, when he finally feels that he's done. He has a long way to go, however, before he earns that.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs on December 6, on Disney+.