Din Djarin Enjoys Boba Fett’s Supporting Cast Status in ‘The Mandalorian’

Is the Mandalorian still the Mandalorian in 'The Mandalorian'?
The Mandalorian Chapter

Star Wars Explained is our ongoing series where we delve into the latest Star Wars shows, movies, trailers, and news stories to divine the franchise’s future. This entry examines The Mandalorian Chapter 22 and the tidy Darksaber relay that concludes it.

Another week, another episode in which Din Djarin takes the back seat in his own show. The Mandalorian Chapter 22, entitled “Guns for Hire, sees Din and Bo-Katan Kryze travel to Plazir-15, where her old crew is now operating as mercenaries. Possibly inspired by her Mythosaur encounter, and a few kind words from the Armorer, Kryze seeks her fleet to unite the tribes and reclaim Mandalore. Of course, there’s only one problem. She doesn’t wield the Darksaber. Din does.

Most of Chapter 22 involves droid hijinks. Bo-Katan Kryze and Din Djarin are forcibly hired by Jack Black and Lizzo (yeah, those two were not on my Mandalorian bingo card either) to investigate why their planet’s robotic population is randomly going berzerk. After some fun action beats and battle droid dissections, they determine the planet’s security commissioner, Christopher Lloyd (okay, these guest stars are now verging on Love Boat nirvana), is to blame. He’s Separatist scum still loyal to Count Dooku, proving that Palpatine’s phantom menace still painfully puppeteers the galaxy.

With their task complete, Jack Black and Lizzo allow Djarin and Kryze to meet with their Mandalorian compatriots. Axe Woves runs the show these days, and he’s not eager to give up control to his old boss. Kryze challenges him, he accepts, and he gets his butt whooped. Prostrated, Woves mocks Kryze, reminding her that Djarin still wields the Darksaber, and without that blade, she’ll never have the respect of the people.

Suddenly, those watching The Mandalorian understand why Chapter 22 began with a “previously on” recounting Din Djarin’s cyborg capture on Mandalore. It turns out that because Djarin fumbled the sword, allowing Kryze to snatch it up and wreak havoc with it, she has an actual claim over it. After hearing this tale, that could be true or B.S. as far as the other Mandalorians are concerned, Axe Woves agrees that Kryze has a proper claim to the ceremonial weapon. Easy peasy, no muss, no fuss.

But we like fuss. Or, at least, we should.

When The Mandalorian season two wrapped up, Bo-Katan Kryze refused to take the Darksaber from Din Djarin. He wanted nothing to do with it, lacking any political ambition. Yet, he won it from Moff Gideon in combat. Kryze did not. We sensed a future conflict between the two, and possibly a reluctant leader from Din Djarin just as he fulfilled his reluctant daddy role with Grogu.

Instead, the fix occurred before our eyes, and we didn’t even know it. Din Djarin gets to slip into the background and remain where he’s comfortable, but dang it, it’s starting to feel like The Mandalorian is no longer his show. But maybe it never was?

Since their reunion in The Book of Boba Fett, Din Djarin and Grogu are chill. They don’t really have any worries. They’re together. The Mandalorian season three shifts its driving plot to the Mandalorian people and the reclamation of their homeworld.

The poisonous curse that has kept folks off-world is a lie. We still don’t know who made it up or why, but we can surmise that its origins lay with Moff Gideon. Din Djarin has been reduced to a domino, a character who tumbled into Grogu, igniting a chain of events that toppled the Imperial jerk, which exposed his deceits and encouraged Bo-Katan Kryze to dream again.

We assumed The Mandalorian title referred to Din Djarin or possibly Grogu, the foundling who would one day utter the Creed. As season three progressed, we started to consider Bo-Katan as The Mandalorian. What if the series title is nearly as generic as The Clone Wars or Rebels? While not pluralized, The Mandalorian could still stand in for the people. It’s a show, after all, that’s currently exploring what it means to follow the Way.

We’ve come a long distance from Boba Fett being a cool action figure and little else. As The Clone Wars expanded on what such a politically fabricated war would do in the galaxy far, far away, The Mandalorian expands on what it means for this warrior nation to exist apart from the New Republic and Imperial remnants. We hear “This is the Way” over and over and over again in this series, but The Mandalorian season three is finally inching toward what that truly represents.

In expanding, Din Djarin and Grogu’s story dwindles. There’s an awkwardness to that. Their arc basically got resolved in Season Two with a bittersweet ending. It felt right but stung with a little bummer. The Book of Boba Fett weirdly slapped their story with a happy ending, and everything we’ve gotten afterward feels like a bonus.

Fighting against The Mandalorian, wanting it to be the Din Djarin and Grogu show, might prove fruitless. Clearly, Lucasfilm is more interested in expanding the mythology or celebrating more grandly what they already have than narrowing the focus on two characters. With the Darksaber so easily recovered, nothing is stopping Bo-Katan Kryze from amassing an army to go against Moff Gideon’s leftovers.

Something else must be introduced into the mix to counter the ease with which the Mandalorians regrouped. Thrawn, baby. Is he pulling Gideon’s leash? The Mandalorian season three’s final conflicts could establish a greater threat facing everyone, and in the process, they set up Ahsoka to carry on the fight started by The Mandalorian.

The chances that Din Djarin and Grogu will take center stage seem slim. They don’t have the ambitions to be anything more than a family, and The Mandalorian doesn’t seem interested in challenging the good thing they’ve got going. Conflict lies near them but not within them. They’re supporting players now just like their old pal Boba Fett was when he kicked off this whole Mandalorian obsession in The Empire Strikes Back.

The Mandalorian Chapter 22 is now streaming on Disney+

Brad Gullickson: Brad Gullickson is a Weekly Columnist for Film School Rejects and Senior Curator for One Perfect Shot. When not rambling about movies here, he's rambling about comics as the co-host of Comic Book Couples Counseling. Hunt him down on Twitter: @MouthDork. (He/Him)