Who is the The Mandalorian? Even He Doesn’t Know…

Much like Disney+, the sci-fi Western show is on a path to identity development.

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I have been dying to see the Mandalorian on the new Disney+ app—so much so, that I got up at 6AM to download it, and I have already watched the first episode…twice. 

As a psychologist and Star Wars fanatic, it seems that Disney has created a fantastic western in the vein of Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. In fact, The Mandalorian reminds me of Stephen King’s book, The Gunslinger

Each episode is broken down as a “chapter,” which is important because the series will play out more like a book.

In this first chapter, we are introduced to the Mandalorian, a nameless and faceless character.

His race comes from the planet Mandalore, whose people have a long history within the Star Wars universe. Despite the planet being allied with the Empire and the Rebellion, Mandalore is a rich culture set in a fiercely independent, tribal world. 

In The Mandalorian, we follow a bounty hunter—who is similar in appearance to Boba Fett. The faceless bounty hunter is portrayed by Pedro Pascal, and it seems that his singular purpose is to make money and remain cold and aloof from his prey. It would seem he has no feelings, with his only purpose being to go after the highest bidder.

Always helmeted, he seems somewhat vacuous and self-absorbed. 

But there is a sense that he is young and unknowingly still figuring out who he will become. We see some of this identity development when he has the opportunity to create new armor for himself—giving him status among the Mandalores. 

Since there’s only one chapter, I don’t know where the show is headed. My guess, as a psychologist, seems as if the story is going to be one person’s journey toward developing a true identity based on beliefs and morals rather than chasing fame or money. 

The end of the first episode shows a choice that the Mandalorian makes, which suggests there is more to him than just money. I won’t spoil the epic ending, but it’s a moment in which we see the Mandalorian struggles in the face of innocence. 

One of the things that I am most excited about is Disney’s dedication to creating an incredibly rich depth of experience and culture.

The story is understated and allows you to find your imagination about the possible backgrounds of various characters. Everything is not explicitly explained—so everything is open to interpretation. While there are familiar characters—including stormtroopers and droids—there is something wholly different about this series that is closer to a Stephen King novel than it is to the Star Wars universe.

I’m equally as excited to see the development of these characters as I am impressed with Disney being able to prove that the Star Wars universe can exist on the small screen as well.

Join me each week as I’ll be writing about the psychology of The Mandalorian, chapter by chapter. I’m excited to see a new hero develop within the Star Wars Universe.

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