The previous twelve chapters of The Mandalorian have made several things clear. From the fact that no character seems to be off-limits (as long as the timeline fits) to how the storylines keep branching out over time. But one of the most obvious ones seems to be how it cherishes a slower pace when the story requires it. Being a TV show that, unlike the movies, has a greatly extended runtime, it makes the most of it in various ways, instead of just doubling-down on the usually fast-paced theatrical experience. We’ve already talked about how the show fights instant gratification, going into how even the most apparently innocuous episodes tend to introduce something of importance down the line. And now Chapter 13 all but spells out how the show’s endgame, one that everybody wanted to figure out right from the start, is being molded by all the twists and turns, the main and side-quests, the major and minor characters we’re meeting along the way.
Din Djarin’s journey to bring The Child to someone who can care for him gets consistently sidetracked, and, more than that, it does seem to run into a lot of dead ends. One might argue that they could have easily bypassed many of the planets and characters along the way, making for a more streamlined route towards whatever is waiting for them at the end. But besides taking all the fun out of what everybody wants to be a series focusing on the fascinating possibilities the Star Wars universe has to offer, it would make the heart of the show devoid of any real meaning. To put it simply: Din’s constant effort to do what’s best for The Child and the Child’s appreciation and growing affection towards Din is both the path in which the story is finding ways to grow and the show’s endgame intertwined together.
When Ahsoka mentions she cannot train The Child it can be something that is justified by her own journey trying to find Thrawn on her way to reaching her long-lost friend Ezra Bridger. But it is also because she understands how much Din Djarin and The Child have grown close to each other, a “strong attachment” as she puts it, and how that changes the way to deal with his future training. She makes it obvious that The Child’s future wouldn’t be the same without Din’s presence, and we’ve noticed how Djarin has grown since Chapter 1 to realize this is something that works both ways. It is at times like these that we are reminded of the quote often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And The Mandalorian is proving to be just that. It sort of parallels how raising a child sometimes is. Oftentimes you long for a time when you understand each other better when your relationship is a bit more complex, but it’s often in the small moments along the way that true happiness is found and built upon. The Mandalorian has also managed to build upon the small things, making for a more relatable storyline. So being, the adventures these characters have taken us on and the worlds they have taken us to have proven to be such a bright light in the troubled times we live in that no matter how it all ends, that’s what it will be remembered by. The journey itself. Good times!