Din Djarin is a sectarian. Mon Calamari in knitted sweaters. Characters from animated series brought to live-action. This would also be a way to summarise the third episode of The Mandalorian‘s second season.
“The Heiress” was once again an episode more concerned with worldbuilding and progressing the overall plot. It contained important links to extra-film lore and some more insight into Mandalorian culture. It also confirmed that there is a trend of bringing characters from other Star Wars sources to mainstream media – a trend that will continue.
The story of the episode was rather straightforward. Din delivered the “frog lady” and her eggs to Trask, then pursued his lead to other Mandalorians. After meeting them, he was at first shocked to discover that they remove their helmets in public – something fans had been confused about ever since The Mandalorian‘s first season (because all previous Star Wars media portrayed Mandalorians unashamedly taking their helmets off on regular basis).
Now we know that Djarin does not remove his helmet because his group of Mandalorians raised him that way, but it is by no means mainstream. The Mandalorians on Trask, led by Satine Kryze, finally promised to tell Djarin the location of a Jedi he could dump the Child on. In exchange, Djarin helped them hijack an Imperial transport. After these events, Bo-Katan told Djarin where he can find Ahsoka Tano.
The Heiress Is Back
Much of the episode revolved around Bo-Katan Kryze. For understandable reasons – she is a character many fans would know from The Clone Wars. Even for those who do not, I believe she was introduced as an interesting, cool new Mandalorian. She was further made interesting by telling the audience that she is after the Darksaber. (Again, Rebels fans would know that Moff Gideon had to take the Darksaber from her specifically somehow.) What also made her stand out was the way she was introduced as a Mandalorian, but a different Mandalorian than Djarin is – and, as it turns out, a more “mainstream” Mandalorian. Djarin is, as we have learned, more of a peculiar member of a Mandalorian sect who believe they must keep their faces covered and whoever does not follow the rules they have is not a Mandalorian.
I would like to pause for a second and emphasise how brilliant move this is from the writers. The series’ title is “The Mandalorian”, a considerable part of the audience may not have even known what a Mandalorian was when they started watching. Then, after one and half season, we all learn that Din is not really a representative specimen, “the Mandalorian”, but rather “an extremist fundamentalist”. It puts everything we learned about him into a certain perspective.
The Watch & The Death Watch
On a similar note, it was great that Bo-Katan, of all people, was the one dealing with Djarin. Her character was originally introduced in the Clone Wars TV series. All fans of the series were probably pleased by the portrayal. Disney did a good move by taking the actual voice actress (Katee Sackhoff) and giving her a very accurate make-up instead of hiring another actress based on appearance.
Bo-Katan was a great choice also because of her interesting story. She used to be the deputy of the commander of the Death Watch, the Mandalorian terrorist splinter faction ultimately responsible for the civil war on Mandalore. Bo-Katan became more moderate only after her sister’s death and the Republic occupation of Mandalore. During these events, she cooperated with Kenobi and with Anakin’s ex-Padawan Ahsoka Tano in opposing and later apprehending Maul.
It remains to be seen what exactly is the relationship between “the Watch” Djarin was said to be a part of and the Death Watch. They may very well be the same thing. (Over twenty years have passed since the Clone Wars. Think of some real-world terrorist groups and how much they may change over twenty years.)
Sidenote – Sabine Wren in Rebels was also accused by fellow Mandalorians as being “Death Watch” when she announced her allegiance to House Vizsla (see here for more on the Mandalorian houses’ politics). One could interpret this as the evidence of the evolution of the Death Watch and the public perception of it. Sometime after Episode III, the Death Watch slowly became a synonym for the radicals and a fringe “sect”. Maybe they went into hiding (again), now including the habit of hiding their faces under their helmets the entire time.
The Future Is Ahsoka
The last thing to mention is the lead on the Jedi that Bo-Katan gave Djarin. Ahsoka Tano is not an actual Jedi, she’s an ex-Jedi. Not that it makes a difference in Bo-Katan’s mind. In any case, there are more than enough reasons for when (if) Din Djarin gets to Ahsoka, she may be reluctant to take the Child into her care. She can come up with more than enough arguments why not: “I am not actually a Jedi anymore.” “I do not have time for this, I am about to leave on a journey to find Ezra Bridger.” She may likely offer Djarin some other options. It is difficult to say whether Ahsoka would support dumping the Child on Luke Skywalker, given that she probably does not know him in person and may have her doubts after seeing what became of the other Skywalker she knew.
For that reason, I would say that there is no need to worry about having the Child taken from us (from Djarin) by Ahsoka. Speaking of Ezra Bridger though, I can imagine that he would be the ideal teacher for the Child (given his affinity with all living things). Somehow I doubt, however, that the Mandalorian would take this route. But it is an easy way for Disney to set up a future TV series having Ahsoka, Sabine Wren and the Child looking for Ezra together. Talk about securing the audience’s interest.