How The Mandalorian Challenges Star Wars’ Bad Dads History

Even if you haven’t seen a single episode of The Mandalorian, you will still know that the guy in the helmet and baby Yoda in

By Ishita Chatterjee
March 4,2021
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Even if you haven’t seen a single episode of The Mandalorian, you will still know that the guy in the helmet and baby Yoda in the show have a father-son relationship. After all, right after adorable baby Yoda himself, the internet latched on the sweet father-son relationship between Din Djarin and Grogu himself.

Their relationship was the highlight of the first two seasons for sure. In fact, this supportive parental relationship bucked the long-standing tradition of Star Wars having bad dads. So let us explore it in more detail below:

Star Wars And Its History Of Bad Dads

Star Wars is a story about good triumphing over evil, rebellion and oppression, and redemption after failure. These broad themes have been explored a lot in multiple movies and shows set in the Star Wars universe. But there’s another theme that has been sneakily present in the Star Wars universe- of daddy issues.

After all, Star Wars has men who range from being neglectful towards their children to being straight up horrible. They have abused, abandoned, and damaged their kids to such an extent that sometimes the whole galaxy ends up having to pay for it.

Of course, when we think of bad dads then Anakin Skywalker is the one that first comes to mind. But he isn’t alone. From Jango Fett to Galen Erso, there has been a tonne of men who have messed up their children. One very unexpected entry in this list is Han Solo as well. He was revealed to have been a terrible father and that led his son to commit patricide and lead a whole evil army.

To make things worse, the Force in itself is a deadbeat dad as well. That is if you really believe the immaculate conception idea of Anakin from The Phantom Menace movie.

Not Just Biological Father’s, Father Figures Were Bad Dads Too

Qui Gon Jinn and Anakin
Qui Gon Jinn and Anakin

It should be noted that this failure isn’t just limited to bio dads. There are a lot of father figures in the Star Wars universe who are emotionally unavailable as well.

An example of this is Qui-Gon Jinn. He obviously meant well when raising baby Anakin. But he’s a failure as well since he cared more about Anakin’s potential power than of the heartbreak inflicted on him. Also, while Obi-Wan Kenobi was seen as a good father figure to young Luke, but he wasn’t a fully hands-on parental dad as well. Instead, he just dumped Luke on strangers and even manipulated him in the main trilogy.

The Mandalorian Bucks The Trend Of Bad Dads

One of the reasons why The Mandalorian is better is because the show serves up familiar tropes within space Western genre with a scoop of fan service. So this way the story of a lonely bounty hunter and a little force-wielding baby he takes care of became the emotional centerpiece of the Star Wars universe. This story is a reminder of how powerful fatherhood and love is.

Din Djarin is our titular Mandalorian. He is an experienced bounty hunter and he lives and works alone. He has no parents and fewer friends. Overall, his story fits in the badass lone wolf trope. To strengthen this trope he is also generally uncaring and removed as well as ruthless.

In fact, Mandalorians themselves aren’t known for being emotional. But that all changes when he finds himself to be the caretaker of baby Yoda or Grogu. That little creature ends up melting his cold heart and changing his life.

The fact that this unfeeling Mandalorian ends up feeling an immediate kinship with a creature in spite of being from different species is actually understandable. After all, he was adopted as well into the Mandalorian culture.

But this kinship or bond deepens and this allows viewers more reasons to invest in the story and characters. In short- we end up caring about unfeeling and stoic Mando because he in turn cares for Grogu, just like we do as viewers.

After all, we have seen Mando at first try to stop the baby from eating everything and pushing all the buttons on the ship, like a child would do. But later on, we have also seen him risk his very life and break the Bounty Hunters’ code to keep Grogu safe and ensure that he has a good chance of living a happy life.

This is called character growth and this is the reason why we all love Mando and his baby more and more each season. The Mandalorian has dared to go into a different route than the previous bad dad trends and it has become iconic because of that.