How a Mandalorian myth could renew faith in a united Mandalore
There could be another way besides the Darksaber to determine the true Mand'alore.
As we saw last week in the season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian, Din Djarin has now become an apostate among his tribe of religious zealots. He's confessed to the great sin of removing his helmet in front of others. Now the bounty hunter seeks redemption to earn his way back in, but it doesn't look like an easy task.
In order to wash away the stain of his transgressions, Din Djarin must bathe in the Living Waters beneath the mines of Mandalore. However, after the Great Purge and the Night of a Thousand Tears, the planet was destroyed and has since been thought unhabitable, thus complicating his plan. However, Djarin's devotion to his creed is enough for him to risk making the pilgrimage to the home of his ancestors in order to lift the decree of exile.Warning: Spoilers ahead.
It didn't take The Mandalorian long this season to finally visit Mandalore. It's only the second episode, and Din Djarin has taken his first steps both on his home world and toward salvation.
Those left behind
According to what we've been told, Mandalore is supposed to be an inhospitable planet due to a toxic atmosphere. The fusion bombing during the Purge disrupted the planet's magnetic field making it impossible to receive readings or signals from the surface. Once Mando's Naboo N-1 starfighter lands, we see the remains of a destroyed civilization that is crystallized due to fusion rays, but not a place completely devoid of life.
Readings from the astromech droid R5-D4 shows that the air is not poisoned, but is in fact, breathable. Despite the people leaving years beforehand, there are creatures that are able to survive on the now isolated world. From dog-sized flying reptiles to the primitive wasteland ape-like beings known as Alamites to a tiny General Grevious-esque cybernetic eye scavenger, life clearly did not stop following the deadly Imperial siege.
When Djarin is finally able to bathe in the Living Waters, he is pulled underneath the water and must be saved by Bo-Katan Kryze who dives in after him. As they make their way back to the surface, they are observed by a giant eye. Panning out, the presence of two giant curved horns makes no doubt about it. We have a mythosaur!
What are mythosaurs?
Mythosaurs first appeared in the Marvel comic Star Wars (1977) issue #69, as beasts of gigantic proportions found on Mandalore. They have great meaning to Mandalorian society and are highly revered.
Mythosaurs were tamed by Mandalore the Great, who served as the sole leader of his people during their ancient days. The Mandalorians would ride the humongous beasts revealing their power and fearlessness in their ability to control them. Now, mythosaurs are treated as a relic of old times since they were considered extinct long before the Mandalorian cataclysm, during which the conflict between Jedi and Mandalorian warlords resulted in the scorched surface of the planet.
Yet the legend of the mythosaur endured. Its skull is one of the signature icons of Mandalorians. The emblem can be found on armor sigils, decorations, and banners. The stories of the warrior society on such impressive mounts traveled the galaxy where even the Ugnaught and late Djarin ally, Kuiil, mentions them.
Mandalorian legend refers to a time when a mythosaur rises up to herald a new age of Mandalore. Could its presence in the episode spark the reemergence of the once great and influential society?
What having an inhabitable Mandalore (and mythosaur) means
We have seen throughout The Mandalorian and other shows, that the Mandalorian people serve as nomads living in secrecy, as revealing to the world their existence can lead to the swift extermination of nearly an entire tribe as we saw in 'Chapter 3: The Sin.'
With Mandalore inhabitable once again, all of the displaced Mandalorians have a place to potentially call home. No more hiding in the shadows to sustain their way of life since they have an entire planet. Better yet, they can still stay concealed. The disrupted magnetic field provides a level of protection from possible visitors, but the ghost stories of a poisonous place is enough to keep mostly everyone away. Heck, it could even keep their own people away.
It will take some work to rebuild the home planet, but Mandalorians are resilient. We've seen how quickly Djarin's tribe replenished their numbers over time, and they are very big into community and serving the greater good. Not everyone is as devout followers to the creed, and there must be a strong head, or Mand'alor, in place to unify them all. Perhaps someone who can tame the great mythosaur?
The X Factor
The Bo-Katan of this season is a far cry from the confident, proud, and inspiring leader from 'Chapter 11: The Heiress.' Her inability to secure the Darksaber cost her army, and now she sulks in her palace a defeated shell of her former self. The only thing that can spring her into action is the potential danger to Djarin.
Bo-Katan's homecoming stirs up mixed emotions within the Mandalorian's former ruler. As she plays tour guide to Grogu, she can't help but reminisce of Mandalore's more prosperous times. It's like a cool aunt cruising around the old neighborhood with her nephew regaling him with "back in my day" tales. But the dilapidated and ruined state of things brings her back to reality. Of course, that doesn't mean she doesn't see the potential of this new position. Even when she condescendingly reads aloud the plaque introducing the Living Waters, there are some gears shifting in her head.
Are the desires to rule her people rekindling? Bo-Katan takes up the Darksaber to defend Din and herself from a giant crab droid. Wielding the Darksaber again and feeling its power could put Bo-Katan into conflict with her friend if she chooses to challenge him. We know of the Darksaber's historical importance to the culture and obtaining it through proper means.
But what if there is another way to gain the respect of and rally your people? The armorer has previously expressed her doubts about the legacy of the Darksaber, but she does recite the legend of the mythosaur. Bo-Katan can tease Din about how adorable his faith is, but even she can't deny what she sees in the Living Waters. Her reaction of awe could be enough to make her believe in the children's story. Like Mandalore the Great, she too could tame the mythosaur and become the Mandalorian's sole leader.
Maybe Bo-Katan can be a significant part of the prophecy to usher in the new age of Mandalore. And she wouldn't have to fight her friend to do it. We'll have to stay glued to our screens every Wednesday to see what path she chooses.
The Mandalorian is currently available for streaming on Disney+
Finally, the Mutant Ninja Turtles act like the Teenagers we've always known they were in first Mutant Mayhem trailer