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Is The Mandalorian Shifting To A New Main Character?

Many viewers of The Mandalorian have observed that season 3 seems to be shifting focus, away from Din Djarin and Grogu, over to Bo-Katan played by Katee Sackhoff. Season 3 is virtually all about Bo-Katan. How she reunites the Mandalorian clans, how she gets the darksaber back, how she gets her fleet back, how she will become yet again the leader of Mandalore. With Din Djarin mostly being along for the ride and Grogu more or less being relegated to cute pet status. So is that just something happening in season 3 or is this a sign that the series is slowly shifting away from Din Djarin as the only main character?
Well, IGN conducted an interview with The Mandalorian executive producer and director Rick Famuyiwa that sheds an interesting light on recent developments! Click through to learn what he has to say about The Mandalorian!

Bo-Katan, at the center of things

Now it has to be pointed out that The Mandalorian is of course Jon Favreau’s show, he is the head writer and showrunner, with Dave Filoni yet another very important person who has a lot of input. However, it is very reasonable to assume that executive producer and director Rick Famuyiwa does have insight into future plans as well and is an authority when it comes to talking about what direction the series will take in the future.

So it’s of much interest to learn what Rick has to say when he was interviewed by IGN at Star Wars Celebration about the perception that the focus in season 3 has been shifting away from Din Djarin to Bo-Katan and that she has become a proper main character:

“I think now with Bo possessing the Darksaber, I know that there was a lot of expectations that might have shifted both in terms of what it meant for Din Djarin, but also for Bo and what does it mean?
Who is the Mandalorian at this point? And so I think it could be anyone. And I think that’s what they’re trying to define in many ways, is what does that mean to be Mandalorian?”

Rick responded to the question if Bo is “The Mandalorian” now. IGN themselves say Rick Famuyiwa confirms Din Dharin is no longer the (sole) main character.

Now it has to be pointed out that Rick does NOT say Din will be replaced, Din will with very little doubt remain a major character on the show, as well as Grogu, but it has become apparent that Jon Favreau may pursue more of an ensemble cast approach in the future.

Now I will just speculate, but I think one reason behind this gradual shift away from Din as the sole focus of the show to a series that has more of an ensemble cast, with Bo-Katan evolving into a proper main character of her own, could be related to the reason that Pedro Pascal is hardly ever available for the series. In season 1 he had Broadway engagements that prevented him from being on set all that much, Bryce Dallas Howard said about her season 1 episode that she didn’t even work with Pedro Pascal once. The man under the suit and helmet is Brendan Wayne, John Wayne’s grandson, who does receive a proper credit for the first time in season 3, along with the stunt performer for Din, Lateef Crowder.

In season 3, as far as we know, Pedro Pascal was NEVER on set, because he preferred to be Joel in Last of Us. That leaves Favreau with a main character whose supposed actor is only available in ADR, when dialogue gets recorded, which does of course limit what you can do on set, as Din can, for example, never remove his helmet anymore, which used to be an extremely important plot point in previous seasons, something that was reset in season 3, with Din becoming a full blown helmet cult member again.

Another reason may be that Favreau felt the series needs to expand its scope and cannot solely be about a lone Mandalorian bounty hunter and his adoptive son roaming the galaxy, Knight Rider style, anymore. Since they did that in seasons 1 and 2 already, something that more or less came to a conclusion when Luke took Grogu (for half an episode). Din needs to be more integrated with the other characters, Boba Fett, Ahsoka, and also Bo-Katan and other Mandalorians for him to play a role in the future, especially considering what we know now, that there will be a big crossover event movie directed by Dave Filoni in the near future. That inevitably means that The Mandalorian will evolve to have more of an ensemble cast. In truth, the show always had somewhat of an ensemble cast, with Greef Karga and Cara Dune as returning regulars. But with Cara no longer available Bo-Katan is a logical choice to get a promotion to series regular and co-star.

What this is certainly not is some nefarious plan by Lucasfilm to emasculate Din Djarin and to replace him with a woman. To briefly touch on what some people on YouTube are claiming.

But again, I am mostly speculating about the reasons here. What we can say for sure is that yes, the focus has shifted away from Din Djarin to Bo-Katan, with Katee Sackhoff not only receiving second billing, but becoming a proper co-star.

In my opinion a good ensemble cast can benefit the series. With how things are with Pedro Pascal you want to have an actor who can also serve as the human face of the show, and Katee may just be that. A somewhat broader focus would allow Jon Favreau to also tell grander stories, that do not just involve bounty hunting, roaming the galaxy or teaching Grogu how to force levitate space candies. If Din Djarin is to play a role in the big event movie that will, most likely, culminate in an epic all out battle with Thrawn and his Imperial forces, then Din cannot be that solitary nomad with a kid in tow, he needs to be in the middle of things, which means other characters have to have a more important role on the show.

However, I don’t think Bo-Katan could carry the show on her own, so a strong involvement of Din would always be required, and we must not forget that it was “Baby Yoda” who turned out to be the overnight sensation. Now most fans like Katee and Bo-Katan so I don’t think too many people would mind it if Bo will be a proper co-star even in future seasons, not just season 3, but fans should never have the feeling that she gets some of the focus at the expense of Din Djarin. In short: Din and Grogu are in need of a proper character arc too. And that is, so far, almost completely absent this season. And I feel this is the major issue in season 3, the complete lack of a compelling story for both Din and Grogu. On top of the structural and plot issues.

But what do you think? Are you happy about the new direction of the series, with its focus apparently broadening to include other Mandalorians as well? Or would you rather have the series focuses on Din Djarin and Grogu much more again, with Bo-Katan maybe getting her own series instead?

If the series will be about multiple Mandalorians I do think however, that the title should be changed, to “The Mandalorians”. Ultimately I feel that Pedro Pascal should be replaced for good. An actor who is never on set is not really the character he portrays, yes, the voice plays an important part, but if your character can never remove his helmet anymore, creating this emotional distance to the viewer (and everyone else around him), it’s maybe time to hire someone who can be used with and without a helmet on the show. Just like Bo-Katan can show her face at any time. Because helmets talking at each other all the time get boring very quickly. And with Last of Us getting a season 2 Pedro Pascal won’t have much time going forward (even if Joel will die in season 2), on top of all the various movie projects he has.

Read about and watch the short interview clip with Rick Famuyiwa on IGN!

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