The Mandalorian executive producer and showrunner Jon Favreau opened up about how the rules regarding helmet removal evolved for the Disney+ series.
In the new book Star Wars: The Art of The Mandalorian (Season Two), Favreau talked about how the strict rules that Din Djarin and his covert follow, including that they never remove their helmets in front of others, came to exist on the show. “As I was first pitching the Mandalorian story [in November 2017] and figuring out what I wanted the show to look like, I gave myself the freedom to tell the story that I wanted to tell,” Favreau said. “And, to his credit, Dave never said, ‘Oh, you can’t have [Mandalorians not removing their helmets] be the rule; we’ve already established that [they can remove their helmets].’ I even played a Mandalorian character [The Clone Wars’ Pre Vizsla] whose helmet was off most of the time.”
As Favreau mentions, The Clone Wars and Rebels featured numerous Mandalorians that regularly removed their helmets. Favreau himself even played Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla — and now voices his descendant on The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, Paz Vizsla. But while the two animated shows explored Mandalorian history more than any other canon sources so far, there was still a lot left to delve into.
“There were a few things that I wanted to explore,” he continued. “One was why we didn’t see a lot of Mandalorians in the original trilogy and sequels. You see them so much in Clone Wars, but you don’t see any of them now. The other was, how do you get back to what George did, which was treat the characters almost like action figures? How do you get back to how young kids interact with Star Wars, the colors and shapes and characters?”
As Mando has met more and more Mandalorians outside of his zealous covert, he’s learned that not all of them follow the same rules. Din himself has even started to question the rules, as he was kicked out of his covert after revealing that he removed his helmet. Still, both live-action Star Wars shows have mostly kept the iconic helmet on.
“By keeping [Mando’s] helmet on all the time,” Favreau said. “It’s not about the face under it, it’s about the helmet. Same with Boba Fett; you don’t think about what’s under the helmet, you think about that mysterious silhouette. I wanted to preserve the magic of that, or return it to that, knowing full well that we would get complex later, that there are some groups that have evolved, like Bo-Katan’s group, that are dealing more with the politics of the moment. Having those two meet each other and contend with one another was a way to address that.”