The second season of “The Mandalorian” has made a lot of changes on what it means to be a Mandalorian in Canon. We finally learned that Din Djarin’s faction is a super religious group of Mandalorians called “The Children of the Watch.” Judging by how they have “Watch” in their name and Din Djarin was rescued as a child by Mandalorians bearing the sign of Death Watch, it is safe to assume that they are a splinter group of Death Watch which is currently being led by Bo Katan. Thanks to Chapter 14 of “The Mandalorian,” entitled “The Tragedy,” we were introduced to a possible third faction that Jango Fett was apart of. This faction resembles the “True Mandalorians” from Legends. On top of all of this, it was revealed in the Season 2 finale that Boba Fett does not identify as a Mandalorian. With all of these different groups and factions, it can be hard to tell which ones are the real Mandalorians. I am going to go over what it means to be Mandalorian and if there is a singular “way” to follow.
The Death Watch in Legends and Canon both have a singular goal: return Mandalore to its crusading days. They never showed signs of xenophobia or anti-Foundling in Legends but thanks to “The Mandalorian” we see that they are that way in Canon. This was really shown after Bo Katan took control of the Mandalorian people. She and her faction showed signs of animosity towards Din and Boba because they were not born on Mandalore. According to her belief, you have to be born on Mandalore to be Mandalorian and you especially cannot be a Clone.
The True Mandalorians were a Mandalorian faction in Legends that opposed the Legends version of the Death Watch. The True Mandalorians believed in allowing every Mandalorian to become mercenaries and acquire credits anyway they saw fit. They were led by Jaster Mereel who adopted an orphaned Jango Fett as his heir. This storyline was hinted at in Chapter 14 of “The Mandalorian” when Boba Fett showed his chain code to Din Djarin. We learn that Jango was a Foundling and fought in the Mandalorian Civil Wars. This proved that Jango was in fact a Mandalorian. In Legends, the True Mandalorians followed a code that showed if a person was a Mandalorian or not. It was called the Resol’nare or Six Actions. These actions were: wear Mandalorian armor, speak Mando’a, defend oneself and family, raise your children as Mandalorians, contribute to your clan’s welfare, and rally to Mand’alor when called upon. The Resol’nare has not been brought up in Canon but Jango’s actions follow along with it nonetheless. If this were to become Canon, then this would be a great way to explain how Jango Fett is a Mandalorian.
The Children of the Watch or the “Covert” are a combination of the True Mandalorians and Death Watch. They believe in adopting war orphans but also wish to return to the days where the Mandalorians were galactic crusaders. They also have a strict rule of never removing their helmets which is a new concept for Mandalorians. To them, Mandalorians are born or adopted into the culture but have to always wear their helmets in front of other living beings.
Whether Boba Fett is a Mandalorian or not is a hot topic among Fett and Mandalorian fans. Some view him as just a Bounty Hunter that wears Mandalorian armor while others view him as a Mandalorian by heritage. Boba would go along the same rules as the True Mandalorians due to his father Jango being a part of the faction. This would mean that Boba would be a Mandalorian by heritage since Jango inherited the culture by being adopted by the Mandalorians. The biggest factor here, however, is that Boba does not openly identify as a Mandalorian. He simply wears the armor to honor his father. An interesting thing to note about Boba’s armor, however, is that he has two Mandalorian symbols that Jango never wore. The symbols are the Mythosaur Skull and Jaster’s Crest. Why would he wear these symbols if he was not connected to the Mandalorians? Especially since he repainted his armor in “The Mandalorian” and kept the symbols. I think he is acting as a Mandalorian version of a Ronin from Feudal Japan. Ronin are Samurai that have lost their masters and operate as mercenaries. Boba lost his father/mentor and now operates on his own away from the Mandalorians.
After saying all of this, is there a singular way to being a Mandalorian? I don’t think so. After looking through all the examples I gave above, you can see that there are multiple different beliefs that different Mandalorians follow. None of them are any less Mandalorian than the other because they all operate the same: they act with honor. I hope one day we will see all the Mandalorian factions unite and return to Mandalore. The last time we saw that happen was in Legends when Boba Fett became Mand’alor and called all the Mandalorians home. To see it happen in “The Mandalorian” or another Star Wars product would be a sight to behold.
Regarding the graphic used in this article, some may argue alternative titles for these characters but I have my own reasoning of why I chose them:
- I chose Mandalorian elitist for Bo Katan because her view of being Mandalorian is that you must be born on Mandalore.
- I chose Mandalorian zealot for The Armorer because her view is that Mandalorians have to become one with their armor and culture. If one was to remove their armor in front of a living being, then they would forfeit their heritage of being a Mandalorian.
- I chose Mandalorian mercenary for Jango Fett because the faction of True Mandalorians that he was a part of believed in becoming mercenaries instead of crusaders. Jango also is shown to be working as a mercenary instead of directly supporting Mandalore in multiple sources.
- I chose Mandalorian Ronin for Boba Fett because he reflects the life style of a Ronin from Feudal Japan. He is detached from the Mandalorian society and serves as a blaster for hire.
- Last but not least, I chose to mark Din Djarin as undecided due to his changes in Season 2 of The Mandalorian. He started off as a sort of Mandalorian Fundamentalist but after seeing two different types of Mandalorians (Boba Fett and Bo Katan), he is starting to show signs of indecisiveness.
- I chose not to include other Mandalorians such as Sabine Wren, Gar Saxon, and Fenn Rau because they are currently not in the spotlight unlike the Mandalorians shown in the graphic.