The Mandalorian: Dropping the Mask
We love a dark hero. Mysterious and intriguing, they allow us to live vicariously through them, wondering what it’s like on the outskirts of society.
But actually being that dark hero is a different story.
The Mandalorian is proof that life as a tough and resourceful warrior isn’t as exciting as it appears. Underneath the armoured exterior is a normal guy who just wants to do the right thing.
After his parents were killed, The Mandalorian was adopted into Mandalorian culture, growing up to become an efficient, if violent, warrior and a member of The Bounty Hunter’s Guild.
Ultimately, he wants to maintain a reputation for being expensive and formidable in an increasingly dangerous galaxy. He believes this is his ikigai; his calling. But that belief is a mistake.
Becoming the hunted
The seemingly impossible happens. Originally hired to capture an alien infant and deliver him to a remnant of the fallen Galactic Empire, The Mandalorian protects The Child instead — and he becomes the hunted. He connects with his humanity in this decision, and continues to make choices that demonstrate a growth of morality.
This ‘weakness’ in his armour is the very thing that transforms his ikigai, giving him purpose and meaning. If only he could’ve done this earlier in life…
The Mandalorian does some questionable things to attain wealth and success. But his ikigai is more powerful than simply being good at his job and making money. After all, as Ayn Rand says, “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
If I were The Mandalorian’s coach
In early adulthood, I’d ask him this: How do you really want to show up? How do you want to be remembered?
In exploring these questions together, we’d explore F.E.A.R — False Evidence Appearing Real. We all have limiting self-beliefs, but we can overcome them if we ask ourselves:
- What stops you?
- What would you want if you knew it was okay if you got it?
- What would you want if you knew it was okay to fail?
When The Mandalorian meets The Child, his definition of wealth changes. His altruism is allowed to develop, and he can drop his mask. No longer trapped in a model of living that doesn’t suit him, his mind and body are finally alert to others. We can all learn from this, because we’re all covered in some kind of armour, and we’re terrified to remove it.
The Mandalorian isn’t comfortable with the constant battle of thought and emotion inside him. Through coaching, he’d learn that in life we always have choices. So I’d like to ask him:
- If you could step out of your comfort zone, what opportunities would arise for you?
- What could you do, and what could be your impact, if you let go?
As Susan Davis said, “To keep growing, you need to be open to the unfamiliar and even the uncomfortable.”
Which character from popular fiction do you think could benefit from coaching?