Today, Valentine’s Day, you might expect me to be talking about romance in literature. The truth is that you are never going to find me in the Romance section at a bookstore. I prefer stories where romance is a secondary element and not the main focus of the plot, as well as, stories where other types of love are explored through storytelling, not necessarily romantic love.
So today, we are returning to a galaxy far far away… I’ve read somewhere on the internet that these days are glorious ones for Star Wars fans as after the disastrous sequels we are having amazing content and wizard things will continue coming as the Obi-Wan Kenobi upcoming series whose first episode we will be seeing it on May 25! Now, recently, The Book of Bobba Fett concluded and now the seven chapters can be watched in Disney plus. Despite the series being supposed to be mostly about Boba Fett and Fennec Shand, it brought us back some favourite characters, one of these we have already discussed in this online forest. I’m talking about no other than Din Djarin, whose positive masculinity I’ve analyzed twice for each season of The Mandalorian.
Before we continue…..Be aware that this article contains spoilers from The Book of Boba Fett.
In this entry, we will discuss and appreciate Din Djarin’s love for Grogu and Grogu’s love for him that was deeply developed in The Book of Boba Fett in a few chapters but masterfully represented, and, summarized what we already saw in both seasons of The Mandalorian. We will discuss how the Book of Boba Fett developed the bond even deeper between our two favourite characters. We are going to explore Din’s side of the story and then, Grogu’s view. In the series, their actions are not clearly related, but for the viewers, we can see how Din Djarin and Grogu take almost the same choices.
At first, the first four episodes from The Book of Boba Fett were about Fett’s past (how he survived from the Sarlacc pit and what he did before meeting Fennec Shand) and present, his desire to rule Tatooine from the Hutt’s territories and his plans to avoid the Pykes attempt to control Tatooine for their spice trade business. Things got rough when the Pykes continue arriving at Tatooine and will clearly start an open war soon. Fett and Shand will need allies to assure their dominion over the Pykes. At the end of episode 4, “The Gathering Storm” Fennec says: “𝐶𝑟𝑒𝑑𝑖𝑡𝑠 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑦 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑐𝑙𝑒𝑠 𝑖𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑙𝑜𝑜𝑘” and The Mandalorian Theme by Ludwig Göransson starts playing in the background and we might guess that Mando will be back. But Din Djarin is more than muscles, and this is why Grogu will eventually choose him.
- Reafirming their “sacrifice”
Mando makes his triumphant return in episode 5 titled “The Return of the Mandalorian”. Grogu is not with him and doesn’t appear in this episode but he is present in Din’s actions and in this way, this episode from The Book from Boba Fett, rhymes (using Gorge Lucas’ term) with episode 17 from The Mandalorian season two called “The Believer”. Something very cool about both chapters is that they are related inexplicitly through the character’s actions. Everything Djarin does in “The Believer” is for saving Grogu, and everything that he does in “The Return of the Mandalorian” is associated with Grogu, even if the green little alien is not present physically.
In “The Return of the Mandalorian” Din Djarin finds the two remaining members of the Tribe, but something terrible happens, Paz Vizsla and Djarin duel and when the Armourer decides the fighting is over, she makes them swear by Creed that they have not taken their helmet off. When Din is asked the questions, he is trembling and he does not answer immediately. We know that Djarin has broken the oath, which brings us back to the already mentioned chapter of The Mandalorian, “The Believer”, where Din had to take off his helmet for the first time to get the coordinates to rescue Grogu. And here, once more, because of Djarin’s honestly and love for Grogu, he sacrifices one of the most important things for him: his Tribe, he is dismissed for breaking the Creed. He asks for forgiveness but the way to redeem is almost impossible.
Now, instead of thinking immediately of a way to redeem and go back to the Tribe, he goes back to where his heart is: to Grogu.
At the end of episode 6 from The Book of Boba Fett, “From a Desert Comes a Stranger”, Luke Skywalker makes Grogu choose between being a Jedi or a Mandalorian. (Some Star Wars fans like me were very surprised by this, we had surely believed that Luke might have accepted the bound as he has a bond with his friends and Leia! But, I guess that Dave Filoni and John Favreau have no option to lead their creation to the horrible sequel…and the comic The Rise of Kylo Ren). Now in this scene note Grogu’s reaction when Luke shows him the chain armour Din had forged for him (which looks like mithril from Tolkien!). Luke says: “𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑀𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝑤𝑎𝑛𝑡𝑒𝑑 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠” Grogu immediately tries to touch it with his little hands. But Luke halts him, shows him Yoda’s lightsaber and asks Grogu to choose one of them. Here, Luke is not only exposing two valuable objects that represent two ways in the Star Wars universe: the Mandalorians with the chain mail, and the Jedi with the lightsaber. Here, the symbolic analysis can go deeper.
We should consider the meaning of those objects aside from their significance in Star Wars as well. Objects can be meaningful, material culture can be analyzed in different forms and media. On one hand, the chain mail is a non-aggressive object, something that will protect Grogu and make him feel safe. It is something that would wrap around Grogu making him protected, like Winnicott’s example of the blanket and the baby, that babies will have a blanket with them to feel cosy and to go on. In this way, the chain mail is passive, which is usually, from a Freudian point of view, associated with the feminine, but from Luce Irigaray’s view, something that covers you protects you as well as makes you strong as it heals you by covering you and reassuring you what you are. On the other hand, the lightsaber is a destructive weapon, that can allow Grogu to defend himself. But, seen from a Freudian look, it can be associated with masculine violence, for its shape, that assures movement and dominion over others. In other words, the chain mail that Din Djarin had forged for Grogu gives the little alien a possibility of healing his past trauma by giving him something he can use for protection and nurturement.
Now, continuing with the situation in the series after Luke shows Grogu both objects he tells him that he can only choose one of those objects: “𝐼𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑢𝑟, 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑟𝑒𝑡𝑢𝑟𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑓𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑛𝑑, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑀𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑛. 𝐻𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟, 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑔𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑛 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠 𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑠𝑎𝑘𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐽𝑒𝑑𝑖. 𝐵𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑓 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑐ℎ𝑜𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑙𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡𝑠𝑎𝑏𝑒𝑟, 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑏𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑓𝑖𝑟𝑠𝑡 𝑠𝑡𝑢𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡 𝑖𝑛 𝑚𝑦 𝑎𝑐𝑎𝑑𝑒𝑚𝑦, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐼 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑔𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡 𝐽𝑒𝑑𝑖. 𝑰𝒕 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒕𝒂𝒌𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒎𝒂𝒏𝒚 𝒚𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝒕𝒐 𝒎𝒂𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑭𝒐𝒓𝒄𝒆 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒎𝒂𝒚 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒆𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒂𝒍𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒂𝒏 𝒂𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒃𝒆𝒄𝒂𝒖𝒔𝒆, 𝑮𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒖, 𝒂 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒊𝒔 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒇𝒆𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒆𝒍𝒔𝒆”. Now, the last part of the dialogue, which I have highlighted in bold, as a Tolkienist reminds me of the “sacrifice” the elves have to do when they fall in love with Humans, but in this case, Grogu has a deep bond with Din Djarin who sees as a father.
And instead of choosing the path of the Jedi, his former status, he will go where his heart is: to Din.
Both, Din Djarin and Grogu, “sacrifice” their traditional paths to be with each other. And to make it more meaningful, in the show nor Din, not Grogu knows what those sacrifices are, as Grogu is not aware that Din is never supposed to take off his helmet, and Din doesn’t know that Grogu had to choose the chain mail to be with him. But it is not a sacrifice as such because being together makes both stronger and feel healed from their wounds from their past. And I think that by all the plot and actions that the show presents us, the series demonstrates to us viewers that romantic love is not the only one that matters and makes our heart move, but other types of love should be represented as paternal love, which The Mandalorian clearly develops.
2. Assuring their safety
In the episode “The Return of the Mandalorian”, the Armourer questions Din about the beskar spear. And she tells him that it cannot exist anymore as it is dangerous for Mandalorians and because: “𝑀𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑎𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑎𝑛 𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑖𝑠 𝑚𝑒𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑎𝑟𝑚𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑛𝑜𝑡 𝑤𝑒𝑎𝑝𝑜𝑛𝑠”. To which Djarin answers if she could reforge it into armour, and when she asks him what she should forge, Din replies: “𝑆𝑜𝑚𝑒𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑎 𝑓𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝐹𝑜𝑟 𝑎 𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑓𝑖𝑐 𝑓𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑑𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔. 𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑢”. But the armoured notes that Grogu is no longer in his care as he is with his own kind, still, Din insists he wants to see him and make sure he is safe. These lines, obviously show us that our lead character from The Mandalorian series still cares for Grogu despite accepting that the green little alien had to go training with Luke Skywalker. Din doesn’t know about the Jedi’s rule until the Armourer tells him: “𝑖𝑛 𝑜𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑟 𝑡𝑜 𝑚𝑎𝑠𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑤𝑎𝑦𝑠 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐹𝑜𝑟𝑐𝑒, 𝐽𝑒𝑑𝑖 𝑚𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟𝑔𝑜 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑚𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑠”. Djarin is surprised and replies: “𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒐𝒔𝒊𝒕𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝑪𝒓𝒆𝒆𝒅. 𝑳𝒐𝒚𝒂𝒍𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒔𝒐𝒍𝒊𝒅𝒂𝒓𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒂𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚.” Now, even if Din quotes the Creed, it is clear that his love for Grogu goes beyond the Creed, for despite the green Yoda alien is no longer on his care by Creed, he still worries about him. Now, we can infer that he also got the idea of forging Grogu an armour when he got injured with the Darksaber, maybe Din believes that Grogu might get injured as well and he wants to prevent that. But they also reflect on Din’s concern as a father, any parent who loves their kids would like to know how they are doing at school, and most importantly, how they feel. As we will see in the next episode, “From the Desert Comes a Stranger”, Djarin tells Ahsoka: “𝐼’𝑑 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 ℎ𝑜𝑤 ℎ𝑒’𝑠 𝑑𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔”.
Grogu also shows his need to protect Din Djarin once more. He had protected him from the Mudhorn, and when he was almost dying in season one in The Mandalorian. Once more, in The Book of Boba Fett, the little green alien demonstrates how much he loves the Mandalorian. In episode 7, “In the Name of Honour”, while Boba Fett and Cad Bane are duelling, the Rancor goes out of control destroying the city and attacking everyone. Din tries to control him, but he is brutally thrown aside. The Rancor is approaching Djarin who is exhausted and can barely move, when suddenly, Grogu stands between them. Just to defend his foster dad. And he uses the Force masterfully to make the Rancor sleep and finally fall asleep himself.
3. Present in their actions
In the episode “The Return of the Mandalorian”, Din has to go to Tatooine to see if Peli Motto has the ship he had asked her to find. He has to go on a commercial flight, and while he is aboard, a Rodian child waves at him, and Mando goes nostalgic, he takes out the little package containing Grogu’s gift, which beautifully resembles Grogu’s head in shape.
At the end of the same episode, Fennec arrives and tells Din that Boba needs him, to which he replies: “𝑇𝑒𝑙𝑙 ℎ𝑖𝑚, 𝑖𝑡’𝑠 𝑜𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑒 ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑠𝑒. 𝑩𝒖𝒕 𝒇𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝑰 𝒔𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒑𝒂𝒚 𝒂 𝒗𝒊𝒔𝒊𝒕 𝒕𝒐 𝒂 𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒕𝒍𝒆 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅”, which of course is Grogu, who remains his priority no matter what might happen.
While all this is happening, Grogu is supposed to be training with Luke Skywalker, but as we see in episode 6, “From the Desert Comes a Stranger” things are not going as smooth as they are supposed to be going. Grogu is not concentrating on his training as we first learn when Din insist Ahsoka that he would like to see Grogu, she replies: “𝐴𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑑𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝐺𝑟𝑜𝑔𝑢? 𝑂𝑟 𝑎𝑟𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑑𝑜𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑦𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑠𝑒𝑙𝑓?” and after Djarin tells her that he wants to give Grogu the armour, she answers
(in a way that at first broke my heart I didn’t expect that answer form her, by having seen the animated series where she appears!) if the gift was for Grogu to remember Din and scorns at the Mandalorian’s terms. But then, she tells him the truth: “𝑮𝒓𝒐𝒈𝒖 𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒂 𝒈𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒕 𝒅𝒆𝒂𝒍. 𝐼𝑓 ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑒𝑒𝑠 𝑦𝑜𝑢, 𝑖𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑜𝑛𝑙𝑦 𝑚𝑎𝑘𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑠 𝑑𝑖𝑓𝑓𝑖𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑡 𝑓𝑜𝑟 ℎ𝑖𝑚”. But as we will find out, this is only half true, for Grogu wants to see Din with all his heart, and that would settle things better, for when Djarin departs, Grogu feels, sees him and extends his hand trying to reach him. Luke tries to make Grogu continue with the training, but Grogu’s heart is not on it. As Grogu is missing Din.
4. Demonstrating their father and son love
In episode 6, “From the Desert comes a Stranger”, Luke Skywalker tries to make Grogu remember his past, but Grogu is clearly afraid to do so, as he shoulders while Luke is going to touch him. After he remembers a part of his traumatic past, Luke welcomes him back to the present. But, unlike Din, who whenever Grogu seems to be feeling bad, Luke doesn’t ask Grogu if he is ok, and he does neither hug nor caresses him, as we have seen Din doing numerous times.
Luke is cold and distant when he interacts with Grogu. When Luke is trying to teach him how to balance himself on a branch he just says words like: good and better, but he is never as effusive or encouraging as Din who would say: “I know you could do it!”.
Now, Djarin confirms his support for Grogu when they reunite in the final episode of The Book of Boba Fett and are in the middle of the war with the Pykes and Boba’s Rancor is out of control, Djarin asks Peli to keep Grogu safe and he tries to calm him by giving him his favourite toy, the knob from the Razor Crest while saying: “𝑯𝒆𝒓𝒆. 𝑯𝒂𝒏𝒈 𝒐𝒏 𝒕𝒐 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔. 𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒈𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒐 𝒃𝒆 𝒐𝒌.” Like a parent, he gives his child his favourite toy to calm him. In the same episode, Djarin is trying to destroy one of the Pykes’ Scorpenek annihilator droids, and Grogu tries helping him by using the Force. Here, unlike what we could see during Luke’s training with Grogu, Grogu has his heart on it and seems to be much stronger with the Force when he is at Din’s side.
And of course, we must notice that their love for each other is clearly seen when they reunite. Like many fans, I had imagined that their reunion was happening in The Mandalorian season 3, but I’m extremely happy that it happened before. Djarin is in the middle of the battle with an annihilator droid when Peli Motto appears with Grogu. Grogu by seeing Din jumps as high as we never saw him jumping during the time he was with Luke. Din is so surprised to find Grogu but very happy, that he forgets the battle for a moment, and hugs Grogu back while saying: “𝐼’𝑚 𝑠𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑝𝑝𝑦 𝑡𝑜 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑡𝑜𝑜. 𝐼 𝑑𝑖𝑑𝑛’𝑡 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝐼’𝑑 𝑠𝑒𝑒 𝑦𝑜𝑢 𝑎𝑔𝑎𝑖𝑛”. And Grogu pats him on his arm as he can sense Din’s honesty, to what Dijarin replies: “𝑰𝒕’𝒔 𝒐𝒌. 𝒀𝒆𝒂𝒉, 𝑰 𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒕𝒐𝒐”. And tries to put him back to safety.
To finish this post, I would like to refer to the last scene where we see Din Djarin and Grogu flying aboard Din’s ship, a Naboo starfighter. And, again, Djarin does a fatherly action. Din has already pressed the button to fly faster for Grogu’s fun but the child insists that he would love to experience the fast ride again. And Djarin, like a patient father, does it again for the last time, after Grogu’s insistence. And of course, Grogu has the Razor Cest’s knob on his hand, his favourite toy.
As you can see so far, despite The Book of Boba Fett could have focussed on Boba from the beginning to the end, it developed more on Din Djarin and Grogu and their bond. Beautifully, everyone involved in these series, The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, show us that a story doesn’t need to have Romance to be successful, and that can show another type of love, such as father and son love which is basically the heart of the most successful series on streaming services available nowadays. It returns the father and son as the protagonist for the next season of The Mandalorian. I can’t wait to see what is going to develop in the upcoming season.
✶⋆Do you like The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett? Let us know your thoughts on the comment sections or on Instagram!