Din Djarin of The Mandalorian could become Disney+’s equivalent of Luke Skywalker on the platform’s Star Wars shows following his appearance on The Book of Boba Fett. The first Star Wars streaming series on the then-new Disney+, The Mandalorian was an instant success, becoming quite arguably the most acclaimed chapter in the Disney era of Star Wars. It also introduced a new, compelling protagonist in the Star Wars canon in its mysterious bounty hunter from Mandalore, Din Djarin, played by Pedro Pascal.
Despite having his face covered by his helmet (per Mandalorian tradition) for the majority of the show, Din’s relationship with Grogu captured the hearts of viewers everywhere. Din’s popularity as a character would also see him return on The Book of Boba Fett’s fifth episode, “The Return of the Mandalorian.” The fact that the show essentially hit pause on its main story to give an update on Din’s activities reveals something significant about his place in Star Wars.
Despite not being a Jedi or even a conventional Star Wars hero, Din Djarin’s role places him oddly close to that of Luke Skywalker in the general franchise. Luke, being the most famous Star Wars character in existence, was the protagonist to lead the franchise to become the timeless pop culture myth it is today. Din Djarin, as the hero of The Mandalorian, might be the character who does the same for Disney+’s slate of Star Wars shows.
Din Djarin And Luke Skywalker Both Started Their Star Wars Franchises
A key trait that Din Djarin shares with Luke Skywalker is that both were the progenitor characters of their corner of Star Wars. When A New Hope first debuted, Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker became its focal point as both hero and Jedi trainee. Learning the ways of the Force under Obi Wan-Kenobi (Alec Guinness) and Yoda (Frank Oz), Luke Skywalker set the template of Star Wars as a Joseph Campbell-inspired hero’s journey in the form of a space opera. The later debut of The Mandalorian in 2019 went a different route.
Din Djarin was introduced in a different way from Luke as a mercenary, not unlike a gunslinger in Old West. Crossing paths with Grogu is what begins to open Din’s heart to partaking in a cause bigger than himself. The Mandalorian season 2 even had Din and Luke briefly meet as Luke takes Grogu to train as a Jedi. While the two are clearly very different characters, Din kicked off his side of Star Wars in the same way that Luke did for his. The Mandalorian and Din Djarin’s central role in it established the tone and approach of what was to come, both of which The Book of Boba Fett is closely following.
Disney+ Seems To Be Placing Great Importance On Din Djarin (Even Outside Of The Mandalorian)
The success of The Mandalorian made it Disney+’s flagship Star Wars series early on. Meanwhile, The Book of Boba Fett reminds viewers of that fact with episode 5. The episode acts almost as a backdoor pilot for The Mandalorian season 3, focusing on Din wielding the Darksaber in a duel. The episode also sees Din being recruited by Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) for the show’s upcoming conflict, and demonstrates how important a figure Din is to Star Wars on Disney+.
The Book of Boba Fett admittedly diverges from its main story to return the spotlight to Din. However, his role on the show could end up being similar to Boba Fett’s own in The Mandalorian season 2. The main perspective is sure to return to Fett himself, but as the streaming era of Star Wars began with Din Djarin, he’s someone who clearly appears to be regarded as a tentpole character. This makes it seem likely that Din could drop in for any of the upcoming Star Wars shows from Ahsoka to Obi-Wan Kenobi, as Luke Skywalker himself did on Din’s own show. What’s great about that is that Din offers the possibility of something Star Wars needs to embrace with less hesitancy.
Why This Could Work For Disney+ Star Wars Shows
With the original Star Wars trilogy being the legend that it is, the subsequent franchise has had trouble committing to branching off from it. The Star Wars prequels put the focus on Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen), Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), and Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor). Still, being prequels they were still in service of leading into the films that they both set up and were set up by. The later Star Wars sequels introduced new characters of their own like Rey (Daisey Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). Nevertheless, they were still core to the nine-film Skywalker Saga, bringing Luke and other legacy characters into the story that it was continuing.
For a time, Star Wars did its best job in telling a new story with new characters on its animated shows The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. The shows were the introduction of Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein) and showed that Star Wars wasn’t lost in following new characters and story arcs outside of the core Skywalker Saga. That said, the roles of Anakin (Matt Lanter), Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor), Darth Maul (Sam Witwer), and others still kept the shows in the realm of the prequels and the main story of the movies.
Though The Mandalorian brought Luke Skywalker in, it made the important point that Star Wars is bigger than just the characters who started it. Din’s tale on The Mandalorian was something altogether new for Star Wars. Meanwhile, though The Book of Boba Fett focuses on a popular character from the original trilogy, it’s still branching off from the core of Star Wars for a new adventure. The Mandalorian has led the way on Disney+ to show that the galaxy far, far away has more to offer than the Jedi and Sith everyone already knows. Having Din Djarin as Disney+’s Luke Skywalker equivalent sets the table for the platform’s Star Wars shows to feel less tethered to the main Skywalker Saga and follow new (or relatively new) characters and stories that the franchise hasn’t had the chance to before.
The Mandalorian and Din Djarin’s role in it opened a whole new world – or, more precisely, galaxy – of possibilities for Star Wars. Following the release of 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the foreseeable future of Star Wars seems to be entrenched on Disney+ as a streaming saga. With the debut of The Mandalorian, Din Djarin got that underway and his return on The Book of Boba Fett indicates that the streaming side of Star Wars might treat him with the same reverence that the movies accord to Luke Skywalker.