'The Mandalorian': Din Djarin is just the greatest supporting character in the 'Star Wars' expanded galaxy
While Din Djarin is amazing to watch on screen, we're starting to suspect that he's not actually protagonist material
We've said it time and time again, but 'The Mandalorian' is some of the best 'Star Wars' storytelling that's ever been created. It makes fantastic use of the setting, and Season 2 takes things to a new level, introducing some major fan-favorite characters who light up the screen. The new characters are so interesting, in fact, that we're starting to suspect that the show's titular Mandalorian, Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), might not actually be a protagonist in his own right.
Every episode, Din meets a fascinating new character, and helps them with some kind of trouble they run into — that, or Din is the trouble they run into himself. They rarely contribute to his own story aside from the most tangential of ways. Despite starring in them, most of the episodes in 'The Mandalorian' aren't really about Din Djarin himself. Take the most recent episodes of the show — Din has run into major 'Star Wars' characters Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson). Both characters are very much on their own quest that Din helps with — quests that have nothing to do with Din himself. For the space of an episode, Din is swept up in their stories, making no real personal connection to their quests, only giving the smallest of pushes further along on his own quest by the episode's end.
This was still largely true in the first season as well. The story of IG-11 (Taika Waititi) and Kuiil (Nick Nolte/Misty Rosas) is one that did intersect with Din's, but the best part of their story happened while the Mandalorian was on another planet entirely. Even the show's closest approximations of series regulars, such as Cara Dune (Gina Carano) and Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) are involved in a story about cleaning up Navarro from the Empire's influence, a task that Din Djarin has been instrumental in, but isn't an ongoing part of.
Then there's the Child himself — Grogu. For two seasons, Din's entire storyline has been all about protecting Grogu and seeing him home. Even though Grogu doesn't do much, the entire show has been motivated by Grogu's quest, by Grogu's destiny — even the enemies they face are after Grogu, rather than Din himself. If Din set Grogu down and walked away, his entire conflict and quest would be gone, leaving him with very little.
It's possibly the reason why it's so important that Din remain masked. Even the reveal of his name was in a throwaway line, rarely ever actually used on screen. His personality is just reserved and stoic enough to not be distinctive in any real way. His identity doesn't matter, his quest, and his story, is more background noise than anything else. Din Djarin is not the protagonist of 'The Mandalorian' — he's the window into the larger 'Star Wars' galaxy that every fan wishes they had, and that is likely a large part of what makes the show so effortlessly exciting.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs December 6, on Disney+.