With the launch of Disney+, that means there’s also the launch of The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars series. The first episode is already live, and between callbacks to powerful substances and a wild ending (don’t click unless you’ve already watched!), the show is already at the top of every Star Wars fan’s chart. But for some more casual fans, there are a couple lingering questions; namely, what, exactly, is a Mandalorian? Who is this main character? And why does he look like Boba Fett?
And we can answer a few of these questions right off the bat. A Mandalorian is a species in Star Wars, something of a subset of humans—they come from the planet Mandalore. Boba Fett, while technically not a Mandalorian himself (we’ll get to that in a little bit), is the platonic Mandalorian, and wears a set of traditional Mandalorian armor and helmet. The main character in The Mandalorian, now, is no one we’ve seen before (as far as we know); he’s played by Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal, and seems to be more on the anti-hero side than villain. That being said, he’s still a Bounty Hunter, and his goal is looking out for number one.
There’s extreme backstory lore to the Mandalorians, a human race in Star Wars world based on the planet of Mandalore. For more in-depth reading, you can check out the Star Wars fandom page, which dives deep into the subject, which is mostly explored in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series (which sees the race co-opted and fought by none other than Darth Maul. It’s wild stuff!). But for our purposes here, we’ll stick to the basics.
Outside of the cartoon series, the only Mandalorians have primarily appeared in the movies. Chronologically speaking, the first major Mandalorian character that is introduced to the story is Jango Fett, a villainous bounty hunter whose silver armor looks remarkably like the titular character of the TV show. Jango is eventually decapitated at the onset of The Clone War by Jedi Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson).
It’s also interesting to note that the most famous of all the Mandalorians—Boba Fett—isn’t, actually, a Mandalorian at all. As you may recall in Attack of the Clones (as painful as that sentence is to write), Boba Fett is actually a clone of his true Mandalorian father, Jango Fett. So while Jango is, in fact, a Mandalorian, Boba, really, is not.
That being said, Boba Fett stands for all the ideals that we would imagine a Mandalorian to stand for. First of all, he’s just a complete, inarguable badass—the man is probably the most famous bounty hunter in film history despite not even reaching seven minutes of total screentime in the original Star Wars trilogy. That’s gotta mean something, right?
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