‘The Mandalorian’: What is an Apostate?
All series of The Mandalorian treated as a chapter of a larger story, and given a title of the same form: “The _______.” The pilot was just “The Mandalorian,” and since then we’ve had installments like “The Child,” “The Sin,” “The Gunslinger,” “The Marshal,” “The Jedi,” “The Tragedy,” and “The Rescue.” (The only episode so far to break that rubric is “Season 4 Chapter 1: Asylum.”)
The premiere of Season 3 is the 17th chapter of the story so far. He is called “The Apostate,” a word that is a little more obscure than a child, or a sin, a gunman or even a Jedi. But it cuts to the heart of what has happened to Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin and his main question on this season of the Star wars Television series.
An apostate is a person who commits apostasy, defined by Merriam-Webster as “the act of refusing to continue following, obeying, or acknowledging a religious belief” or “abandoning former allegiance.” That’s because at the end of season 2 of The Mandalorian, Din Djarin willingly removed his helmet to his Yoda-esque case, Grogu. In Din’s special division of Mandalorians, the Watchmen, that’s the last thing it isn’t. The “religion” of their sect forbids removing one’s helmet under any circumstances. In Din’s case, he didn’t even do it to save his life, or to protect a loved one. He did that because he was saying goodbye to Grogu forever and the little boy wanted to see his face just once.
(In fact, the break didn’t even last Mandalorian seasons; the pair reunited during the events of the spinoff series The Boba Fett book.)
If we’re being technical about it, Mando has removed his helmet several times over the course The Mandalorianand two seasons.
When word of Din’s removal of the helmet got back to the leaders of his Mandalorian sect – especially the woman known as “The Armorer” (Emily Swallow) – they called him an “apostate” because he had broken into their holy religion. That means he is no longer a member of the Watchmen. The only way back into the group at this point is by freeing oneself, which, according to religion, can only be achieved through a bath in the living waters of the planet’s mines. But Mandalore was destroyed a long time ago, meaning that it would be impossible to keep this tradition. (Look, if it were easy, that wouldn’t make much of a TV show, now would it?)
That’s the main conflict of The Mandalorian Season 3. Din is now an apostate to his people until he performs a holy ritual in a holy body of water that technically could no longer exist. Good luck, my friend.
new sections of The Mandalorian premiere on Wednesday on Disney +. Favreau co-wrote the entire season with producer Dave Filoni and writer Noah Kloor. Season 3 has seven weekly episodes left.
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