Good morning, and welcome to the last of the rambly posts where I natter on, trying to explain why I hold a particular Star Wars character dear!
I haven't loved Din Djarin for nearly as long as I've loved Cassian Andor (almost 4 years) or Han Solo (more than 20 years). In fact, I've loved him for less than a year, as I was late to the Mandalorian game. And yet, my love for him is as fierce and strong as my love for Cassian -- they tie for my second-favorite Star Wars character. And I probably have more merch revolving around him than I do the other two combined. (That's partly due to the fact that there's so much Mandalorian merch available right now, though.)
Like Han Solo and Cassian Andor, I primarily love Din Djarin because he hasn't got anyone to love him. Like the others, he's quite sure he's better off alone, and initially shuns any sort of relationships with others because he's been hurt in the past and doesn't want to be hurt again. Like Han, Djarin was orphaned very young, but unlike Han, he did not grow up fending for himself. Adopted by the Mandalorians, Djarin grew up in a very structured environment. Yet he struck out on his own at some point. While he still follows the Mandalorian creed, he did not seem to be part of a unified group when we first met him. Instead, he traveled the galaxy hunting people for money.
Like Han and Cassian, he's engaged in a less-than-savory occupation, but unlike them, his job is legal. Like them, he has a strict moral code that he adheres to but, unlike Han and Cassian, his comes from outside his own conscience. We get the sense that both Han and Cassian have lines they have determined they will not cross, whatever those may be. Din Djarin has lines he will not cross because This Is The Way.
Of course, Han Solo is supposed to be a cool outlaw like Butch Cassidy or the Sundance Kid. And Cassian is supposed to be a cool spy like James Bond. But Din Djarin is supposed to be a cool bounty hunter like Josh Randall (Steve McQueen on Wanted: Dead or Alive [1958-61]) or Vin Tanner (Eric Close on The Magnificent Seven [1998-2000]), and bounty hunters get paid by working WITHIN the law, not outside it.
Anyway, though Djarin is a member of the Bounty Hunters Guild and a Mandalorian, he is very much a loner. He lives alone, generally works alone, and even eats alone. Han and Cassian had sidekicks when we first met them, but Djarin didn't. He acquires a sidekick of sorts, but a sidekick that he must nurture and care for, not one that is a fun buddy to hang out with. Though his sidekick turns out to have wonderful powers, it's also fairly helpless, and that appeals to Djarin's protective instincts.
And yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah, that totally appeals to MY protective instincts. As a firmly dedicated Protector of All Whom I Love, I often find other Protectors pretty darn attractive. Even when they shroud themselves in armor and masks and nearly never reveal their faces. I actually tend to be attracted more to WHO a character IS than what they actually look like anyway, so the whole mask-and-armor thing hasn't been a hindrance to my growing affections at all. Maybe because I read a LOT and am used to not physically seeing the faces of characters? Dunno.
Anyway, Din Djarin must care for the Little One who becomes his ward, and that leads him to care about him as well. Funny how those two things can get tangled up, isn't it? We can start to care about someone we care for, and we generally want to care for someone we already care about. Doesn't really matter which comes first, in the end.
I have no idea where season two of The Mandalorian will take us. I'm excited to find out, but I'm also nervous because... I love Din Djarin dearly now, and I worry they'll somehow mess up his character in the next season and then I'll be annoyed. Really hoping that doesn't happen, heh. In some ways, it feels emotionally more risky right now to love Djarin than to love Han and Cassian because... I know how their stories end. No more surprises there. But Din Djarin? It would appear that his story is just beginning, and we have to tag along for the ride to find out where it ends.
Okay, enough rambling about the marvelousness of a ruthless, compassionate, faceless, handsome loner who adopts a foundling. I'll just end this by saying that I can only dress up like one Star Wars character for Halloween this month, which means I had to pick one, and you might think that would be a hard choice, but it wasn't because... I already have my helmet, and this seemed like a good reason to get a hoodie that looks like Beskar armor...
This has been my third and final post for the Everything Star Wars
blogathon hosted by Coffee, Classics, and Craziness
and I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read)
. This has been such a fun event! Thank you for hosting it, Eva-Joy and Katie!
By the way, if you also love The Mandalorian, I've reviewed and analyzed each episode in extreme depth, complete with hundreds of screencaps: