I will never forget when the Mandalorian armor was first introduced. It was 1978 and a Star Wars “Holiday Special“ aired on CBS. The special was not that “special” at all — it is actually one of the weirdest things I have ever seen — save for one thing: Boba Fett was first revealed (Click here to watch this weird show)!
Not long after that Kenner had a Boba Fett action figure available. I saved up enough “proof of purchases” and my dad sent them off. Several weeks later Boba Fett arrived in my mailbox, albeit a different version of the one advertised (I’m still a bit irritated four decades later)! That next year Boba Fett and his Mandalorian armor hit the big screen in The Empire Strikes Back!
Needless to say, for the last forty years, I have wanted to see more of the Madalore!
Jon Favreau teamed up with Disney to make my Star Wars dreams come true. In my opinion, Favreau is a story-telling genius who should be the only pilot allowed in the Star Wars cockpit. Whatever he touches seems to “turn to gold.” He directed the ELF movie and it instantly became a “Christmas classic.” He launched the MCU (Marvel Comics Universe) with Iron Man and now has decided to step into — and rule — a galaxy far, far away . . . .
Consider TEN reasons why the Force is strong with The Mandalorian.
1- The Original Vibe
Favreau has tapped into the original goodness of the Star Wars saga. George Lucas was brilliant, but (in my opinion), he seemed to lose sight of his original vision. The Prequels just did not have the same “vibe” as the original trilogy (and Episode II: The Attack of the Clones was a major disappointment).
Jon Favreau, on the other hand, seems to understand Star Wars better than anyone else in charge of developing the story line. He has tapped into Lucas’ original “sci-fi/old west vibe” and made Star Wars great again!
This is why “we the people” have risen to stand behind Favreau, Mando, and “Baby Yoda.”
2- Great Cast
Begin with the man behind the mask, Pedro Pascal. Beside David Prowse (the man behind the mask of Vader), I have never been so impressed with an actor whose face is never shown (save for a few brief seconds in the final chapter). Pascal’s body language is superb as one can almost see his facial expressions behind that helmet/mask that he is unwilling to remove!
I also enjoy the acting from Carl Weathers (of Rocky, Predator, and Happy Gilmore fame). Nick Nolte plays a fantastic Ugnaught, Werner Herzog can always be counted on to play the creepiest old guy in the galaxy, and Gina Carrano is not just an awesome MMA fighter/kickboxer in real life, but surprisingly she is a fine actress who makes a nice side-kick to Mando.
To the cast of The Mandalorian: Keep up the great work!
3- Mando’s daily commitment to his armor!
Mando is always focused on his armor. He is constantly looking to strengthen the armor he wears and he has made a commitment to never take his helmet off around others. Whether he is forging a new breastplate to protect his heart or keeping his helmet on to protect his head, every chapter reminds us of the importance of Mandalorian armor.
Christians are commanded to do the same! We must guard our hearts and minds with the breastplate of righteousness and the helmet of salvation. We must make this a daily commitment — a lifestyle — because there is always a war (if you realize it or not), and you are always targeted by the enemy. Consider the sixth chapter of Ephesians:
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation. . .
The spiritual “armor of God” is basically boiled down to a daily commitment to truth and righteousness. Making this choice now is vital as one will probably not do the right thing by accident or in the heat of the moment. Make a commitment to know truth and live accordingly. This means studying the Bible and knowing exactly what it teaches. It is also vital to study apologetics to know exactly why the Bible is true. Finally, dedicate your life to think and act accordingly every single day.
With that in mind, our “helmets” should never come off! God’s Word is clear that we are to protect our heads by thinking well, thinking freely, and thinking biblically. We are to train our thought lives. Consider the following passages:
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Bottom line: Suit up, warriors!
4- “Weapons are a part of my religion!”
“Mando” espouses this claim in the second chapter when asked to leave his rifle behind.
The same is true for Christians. Not only did Jesus tell his followers to be armed with physical weapons, Paul tells us to also — and more importantly — be armed with God’s Word and with prayer! Consider Ephesians 6 once again:
17Take the. . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
Hebrews 4:12 discusses the power of this particular weapon:
12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
Mando is armed and armored up. He is ready for battle. He provides an excellent example for Christians to learn.
“This is the way” (Isaiah 30:21)!
5- Baby Yoda
Need I say more?
No, but I will. My heart melted when I first laid eyes on “Baby Yoda” (“The Child”) at the end of the first chapter. However, during the third chapter, entitled “The Sin,” Mando trades Baby Yoda for a large bounty. He holds his prize in his hand as he watches the evil henchmen take Baby Yoda away. The child, then, gives a little cry seemingly saying “Don’t leave me, Mando!”
At this point, I believe it is safe to say that everyone’s heart was in their stomach — we have all grown to love Baby Yoda (and so has Mando)! This, in my opinion, is also the point where the entire character of Mando changes.
Babies have a way of changing people’s lives for the better. With babies in mind…
6- The Mandalorian is Pro-Life!
Mando is against killing babies!
I find it interesting that when philosophers argue for objective morality, one of the easiest ways to demonstrate that we know that some things are really right and wrong is by stating, “We all know that it is really wrong to kill a baby for fun.”
Well, abortion rights advocates believe that we have the right to kill babies, for the sake of convenience, so we can have our fun and continue to have sex outside of God’s intent and design plan. Those who affirm the pro-choice platform lose all moral ground to criticize the morals of anyone else (See “Becoming a More Consistent Christian“).
It seems that Mando is the kind of guy who would stand in the way of anyone who was an advocate of killing babies. This is another reason to see that “Pro-Choice is the wrong side of history, science, and logic.”
Bottom line: be like the Mandalorian and be pro-life!
7- “Mandalorian isn’t a race… it’s a creed!”
This is a quote from Chapter 8: Redemption. The same is true for Christians!
It does not matter if one is “red, yellow, black, or white.” One’s race or DNA is irrelevant! All people matter — equally and in an objective sense — and are invited to love God (through Jesus Christ) and all people for eternity. You are invited to place your identity in Christ alone.
This is what unites the body of Christ as “brothers and sisters.” It is said that “blood is thicker than water,” but this spiritual bond is much stronger than blood, DNA, or midi-chlorians. Just as race does not prohibit one from becoming a Mandalorian, race does not prohibit you from becoming a Christian!
Christianity is not a race… it’s a creed!
8- Ethics and Morality!
In the first couple chapters, Mando has no problem slicing someone in half — who was fleeing from him — or disintegrating Jawas! However, his life seems to change after he decides to protect the life of the Child (“Baby Yoda”). In doing so, he also seems to realize the value of all persons.
In Chapter 6, he goes out of his way not to kill another human. In fact, he uses his guns to oppose the “bad guys” who want to kill a prison guard for the sake of convenience.
As former ARMY Ranger, John Lovell (founder of the “Warrior Poet Society“) once said to me on a rooftop in Israel while discussing his service: “I never shot no one that didn’t need shootin’!” Mando now seems to resonate the same sentiment. To understand why this sentiment is one all followers of Christ should affirm, see Love Thy Neighbor and Pack Thy Heat.
Bottom line: all humans are intrinsically valuable and possess equal and unalienable rights given to us by The Force — the same Creator of the entire universe who also raised Jesus from the dead! We ought to strive to protect life and be willing to stop the threats who do not recognize these self-evident truths. The Mandalorian seems to have learned this truth over the course of the first season.
9- Droids are not “good or bad”
Amen to that! I have argued this for years. In fact, I have previously appealed to another famous Star Wars droid to make this point (See Rogue One: A Lesson About Free Will & Responsibility).
Mando, along with many people in our culture today, confuse the actions of droids — or potentially other people — who are merely acting in accord with a nature/programming that is not up to them, but up to something or someone else, as being morally responsible. This is just plain silly and in Chapter 7: The Reckoning, Kuiil (Nick Nolte’s ugnaught) scolds Mando for being so hostile to his reprogrammed droid in :
“Droids are not good or bad. They are neutral reflections of those who imprint them. . . [if] you trust me, then you will trust my work.”
Unlike humans, droids are not moral agents — they are machines. These machines simply function based upon the programming imparted by moral agents.
Speaking of droids…
10- IG-11 is the coolest droid ever!
Ever since IG-88 graced the screen for a few seconds in “The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980, fans have desired to see this bounty hunting machine in action. The Mandalorian, thanks to IG-11, finally provides all IG units the chance to be recognized as the coolest droids of all time. This is especially true if they have been reprogrammed by Nick Nolte!
In the first Chapter, IG-11 is Baby Yoda’s greatest threat. In Chapter 8, the re-programmed droid saves the child’s life (not to mention the lives of Mando and company). IG-11 does not simply kick butt — it destroys the opposition with speed, accuracy, agility, and power! It was such a relief to see this droid punish the Biker Scouts (Storm Troopers) who were physically abusing Baby Yoda!
I always imagined what an IG unit could do when I played with my IG-88 action figure as a little boy. IG-11 surpassed my imagination at light speed!
Disney has created something special with The Mandalorian. After viewing the third chapter of the first season, I announced on social media that The Mandalorian was the “John Wick” of the Star Wars universe and threatening to become my favorite Star Wars character. Now, after finishing all eight chapters, I can proudly proclaim that Mando is, in fact, my favorite character in the Star Wars universe!
“I have spoken” (John 15:11)!