I Hate That We Almost Never See Mando’s Face— Because I Love Who’s Under That Helmet
On one hand: thematic coherence. On the other: Pedro.
I think we can all agree that The Mandalorian is a pretty important piece of the Star Wars canon. It was the first live-action series of the franchise, for starters— the one that opened the door to a whole new storytelling avenue within the galaxy far, far away and led to shows like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Andor. getting released. It gave us Baby Yoda (aka Grogu) in all his cute, merchandise-ready glory. It brought the feeling of old-school Westerns to the franchise, even though several elements throughout the canon had already toyed with this particular genre’s favorite tropes.
And that’s without even mentioning one of the series’ greatest assets: its lead actor.
We rarely see the actual face of Din Djarin—the real name of the Mandalorian—with his first face reveal only happening in the final episode of Season 1 due to the creed to which he belongs forbids him from removing his helmet in public. Even after the release of Season 2, the number of times we have actually witnessed that helmet coming off can be counted on just one hand.
Who plays the Mandalorian?
It’s definitely a unique feature of the show and one that contributes to making its character design immediately recognizable and contributing to the aura of mystery that surrounds Din Djarin, something that definitely comes in handy in his line of work. Still, I can’t help but also mourn this fact a little bit— considering that the person hiding under the Mandalorian’s helmet is Pedro Pascal.
Pascal was undoubtedly one of the main selling points of the show, capturing fans’ attention together with the promise of the Star Wars franchise branching out in a new medium with its live-action products. He embarked on the project—apparently after having been encouraged by Oscar Isaac, a long-time friend and fellow member of the “Space Latinos” club—after his successful run as Prince Oberyn Martell in the fourth season of Game of Thrones and even more fantastic work as Agent Javier Peña in the three seasons of Netflix’s Narcos.
Still, even if we have to wait for episode after episode to maybe catch a glimpse of his (handsome) face, Pedro Pascal plays the Mandalorian with incredible presence and emotion, and really makes this Western-slash-found family story what it is. The whole project most definitely would not have been the same without him.
The third season of The Mandalorian is premiering in March 2023 on Disney Plus and watching it will hopefully help us all get through the terrible anguish of seeing Pedro Pascal play yet another father but with a dramatically different story in The Last of Us, which is currently airing on HBO.
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