The spiritual mysteries of 'The Mandalorian'

In Disney’s hit show “曼达洛人,” the title character has defeated a dragon, massive ice spiders and a horde of ugly squid-face creatures called Quarren.

But in a recent episode, the stoic bounty hunter faced perhaps his most fearsome foe: pluralism.
For the uninitiated, “曼达洛人” is a live-action series that explores an outer rim of the ever-expanding “星球大战” galaxy. In Season Two, airing now on Disney+, the main characternamed Din Djarinis looking for other Mandalorians, a diaspora in exile from their home planet.
Raised by a religious cult, Djarin suddenly discovers other Mandalorians whogasp! — follow different creeds, or perhaps no creed at all. He greets this new fact with the enthusiasm of a man handed a ham sandwich at a bris.
    Judging by Google, many people are curious about the mysteriousWay of the Mandalore,” the creed shared by Djarin and his sect. 问题, “What is the Mandalorian religion?” has consistently trended since the show premiered last year.
    A Mandalorian credo, “weapons are part of my religion,” also is trending now. (Is that bad? That seems bad.)
    The answers to this question, 至今, have been sparse. But a recent episode contained a major revelation.


      Baby Yoda returns in ‘The Mandalorian’ 季节 2 预告片


    Baby Yoda returns in ‘The Mandalorian’ 季节 2 预告片 01:06

    '星球大战’ has featured religious themes since the beginning

    This is not the first time “星球大战” has dabbled in religion. George Lucas, the franchise’s creator, has said he wanted to introduce young Americans to spiritual teachings 虽然 “new myths.” “I wanted to make it so that young people would begin to ask questions about the mystery,” 他说.
    In the ’70s and ’80s, the interstellar saga explored Eastern traditions, mainly Buddhism and Taoism, just as manyspiritual, but not religiousdabblers were doing the same. At the turn of the millennium, “星球大战” caught the McMindfulness craze — 1999的 “The Phantom Menaceopens with two Jedi talking about the benefits of meditation.
    现在, 与 “曼达洛人,” we see the “星球大战” universe borrowing from another contemporary feature of religion: the battle between orthodox conservatives and liberals.

    Until recently, the show kept most explicit details about the Mandalorian religion under wraps. We know that Mandalorians consider themselves both hunters and prey, never remove their helmets in front of other people and vow to always protect each other in a blaster fight. And the weapons thing.
    (There’s more about Mandalorians in other “星球大战” series.)
    Since being rescued as a war orphan, Djarin has been schooled inthe Way,” which he believes is singular and shared by all. 但, in a recent episode calledThe Heiress,” he is shocked to meet other Mandalorians who casually remove their helmets, breaking a big taboo.
    These new Mandalorians mock Djarin’s conservative practices and tell him that he’s actually part of a small sect of religious zealots calledThe Death Watch.
    换一种说法, there is not just one Way; there are Ways.

    Watching Djarin’s shock and confusion at this unwelcome news was like seeing a sheltered fundamentalist freshman in his first theology class at a liberal arts university. Mind. Blown.
    The moment may mark a turning point for Djarin. One writer compared it to an Amish youth finally on his intergalactic Rumspringa. Another said it should prompt a huge spiritual crisis.

    ‘曼达洛人’ echoes the story of American religion

    It’s not hard to see some parallels with our own world. A lost young man finds an identity, community and mission in a violent, counter-cultural sect. He knows nothing of his faith’s diversity and scorns those who differ.
    Then pluralisma fancy word for our ability to live together amid differencessmacks him across his shiny helmet.
    在里面 “曼达洛人,” Djarin weakly insists: “There is only one Way. The Way of the Mandalore,” then turns on his rocket backpack and flies away.
    Discussion over.
    But not for long, we expect.
    We’re not so great at pluralism ourselves.
    在某些方面, the clash of religious views in “曼达洛人” echoes the story of American religion over the past few decades. As believers argue over LGBTQ rights, religious freedom and Scriptural interpretations, pews have become more polarized, common ground harder to find.
    Some experts see the cresting tides of xenophobia and tribalism and predict a poor future for peaceful coexistence.
    They have a point.

    在美国, 例如, new FBI data shows that hate crimes surged in 2019 to the highest level in more than a decade. Most of those incidents were motivated by racial or ethnic bias and another 20% by religious bias, 根据联邦调查局.
    Because this is Hollywood, it seems inevitable that the Mandalorian will eventually go the way of the creedless Unitarianians, steadily shedding his beliefs one by one.
      It would be nice if that didn’t happen. It’s much more interesting to watch someone struggle with their beliefs, rather than surrender them. What if Djarin stayed true to his Way and the others to theirs, without either side trying to convert or coerce the other.
      We could use more models of how different people can coexist without common creeds, even if they come from a galaxy far, far away.


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