Who is the Mandalorian?

Those who’ve seen Disney+’s The Mandalorian already know it’s become an instant classic, one that some may think rivals the Star Wars films of late. If this is maybe a harbinger of the future of Star Wars being centered on Disney+, The Mandalorian still has some casual viewers confused on who the character is supposed to be.

Any first-time viewer may automatically assume it’s Boba Fett based on the armor and mask shown. It’s not, even if speculation still keeps going that Fett will turn up alive in the show since it’s only five years after The Return of the Jedi.

Who is this Mandalorian figure, and who’s the actor portraying him? Because this show is big on surprises, there may be some things we learn that are still revelatory.

The character is based on Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name

Pedro Pascal talks about The Mandalorian
Pedro Pascal | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Spaghetti westerns have been a much-celebrated genre for close to 60 years thanks to Clint Eastwood setting a high-bar for them. While most were produced in Italy originally, Eastwood’s Man with No Name character became synonymous with the genre. His character first showed up in the famous trilogy of A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

This figure was so iconic, it’s been copied and parodied voluminously. When creating a space western like The Mandalorian, it was the logical pop culture figure to mimic to give The Mandalorian a mysterious presence.

Most who’ve watched know the voice of “Mando” sounds quite a lot like Eastwood’s cadence in the above westerns. Beyond that, though, the character circumstances are a little different.

Mando comes from the planet of Mandalore where the show is starting to reveal just what their culture and code of honor really is.

Why is the Mandalorian a bounty hunter?

The name of The Mandalorian has been revealed as Dyn Jarren, despite not being said by this name in the series, as of Episode Three. Those who know the Mandalorian well call him “Mando”, or at least Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) does as the leader of the bounty hunter guild.

All Mandalorians have become bounty hunters (as Boba Fett did) and have a very disciplined way of life as seen in Episode Three when Mando returns to his planet. The phrase “This is the way” may become a new catchphrase based on the philosophy of the Mandalorians staying true to their code against anything related to the old Empire.

When it’s found out Mando was possibly unknowingly assisting a former member of the Empire in his first bounty run, it results in a fight with one of his fellow Mandalorians until all is forgiven.

Because these people don’t remove their masks (ever, it appears), what are the chances everyone will see the actor portraying the lead?

If they do remove the mask, will everyone see Pedro Pascal?

Fans of Pedro Pascal already know this Chilean-American actor from many prestigious movie and TV projects. He’s been seen in everything from Kingsman: The Golden Circle on the big screen to Game of Thrones on the small screen over the last decade.

Many might be expecting a gritty appearance under that mask, but Pascal doesn’t always look that way. Then again, he can look nefarious if need be. What’s interesting about Pascal playing the Mandalorian is that he initially thought he’d be playing Boba Fett.

Now he’s his own character he can help shape as part of Star Wars folklore. What everyone wants to know is if his real face will be revealed this season, or for Season Two (filming now).

If some jokes have permeated about him being a woman, it’s been made clear he’s male based on horrific flashbacks Mando has as a young boy. This is why he has a real heart in rescuing the Baby Yoda. A fearless bounty hunter with a soft side is all set up to become the best kind of complex Star Wars character…in the vein of Kylo Ren.