Why ‘The Mandalorian’ Is Still Seeking Atonement in Season 3
The Mandalorian season 3 premiere sees Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) attempting to re-earn the respect of the Children of the Watch and be forgiven for his transgressions. Given the gap between the show’s seasons, you may be wondering what exactly Djarin did that was so terrible. The “transgression” that he speaks of is removing his helmet in the presence of another being.
Since the beginning of The Mandalorian, Djarin has abided by the strict code of the Mandalorians, which states that one must never remove their helmet. However, it turns out this wasn’t the code of all Mandalorians. As an orphaned child, Djarin was adopted into a particular sect of Mandalorians called the Children of the Watch. These Mandalorians are a bit cultish and have very strict rules about the removal of one’s helmet. Such strict rules don’t exist outside of the Children of the Watch, which explains why Mandalorians like Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) are often seen helmetless.
With that being said, the Children of the Watch are the only family and way of life that Djarin has known. Hence, he was devastated in The Book of Boba Fett when the Armorer (Emily Swallow) stripped him of his status as a Mandalorian upon admitting he had removed his helmet. The Mandalorian season 3 follows Djarin’s attempts to find the living waters of Mandalore and seek atonement. During these exchanges, though, the Armorer never asks Djarin why he removed his helmet.
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Why did Din Djarin remove his helmet in The Mandalorian?
Now, Djarin has technically removed his helmet a handful of times. However, only two of these instances were considered a violation because there are some loopholes. The rule is that he can’t remove his helmet in front of any living thing—which means he can remove his helmet when he’s alone or even in the presence of a droid (since droids aren’t technically alive). The first problematic removal happened in The Mandalorian season 2, episode 7, “Chapter 15: Believer.” In the episode, Djarin and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) break Migs Mayfeld (Bill Burr) out of prison in hopes that he’ll lead them to Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) and Grogu.
It quickly becomes clear that Djarin must help Mayfeld infiltrate an imperial base, and to do so, he has to disguise himself as a Stormtrooper—forcing him to swap out his Beskar armor for a Stormtrooper helmet. Then, when Djarin and Mayfeld are stopped by a commanding officer, he is ordered to remove his helmet. He hesitates, but his ultimate goal is to save Grogu and he can’t risk failing the mission by refusing to obey the commander’s orders. As a result, he removes the helmet. Afterward, Mayfeld kills the officer and vows he’ll forget Djarin’s face, so it’s like no one saw him.
Then, in season 2 episode 8, “Chapter 16: The Rescue,” Djarin removes his helmet willingly to show Grogu his face before Grogu departs for his Jedi training.
Even though the removals seemed warranted and even commendable, they weigh heavy on Djarin’s mind, and he admits them to the Armorer in The Book of Boba Fett. Sadly, the Armorer doesn’t wait for any explanations before disowning him. It’s likely that even if he had explained, she wouldn’t have given him any grace. Keeping their helmets on is The Way and, in the eyes of the Children of the Watch, there is no other “way” but theirs. So even though he removed his helmet in quite a heroic moment, Djarin still must atone for the incident.
(featured image: Disney+)
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