The Book of Boba Fett Reveals the True Difference Between Mandalorians & Jedi
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower, on sale now, and Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett"Chapter 5: The Return of the Mandalorian," streaming now on Disney+.
In Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett "Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian," Din Djarin reunited with the remnants of his clan. After Din explained that he returned Grogu to the Jedi, the Armorer commented on how the Jedi must forego all attachments, which Din remarked was the opposite of "the way" that focuses on "loyalty and solidarity." However, their assessment of the Jedi was based upon a biased view of the Jedi, and breaking down both the Jedi's mandate and the Children of the Watch's creed reveals that the two groups are far more similar than the Armorer and Din realized.
For the Jedi Order, rules against attachments can be interpreted many ways and do not necessarily exclude either loyalty or solidarity. In the Clone Wars era, Jedi knights were expected to be loyal to both the Jedi Order and the Republic, and the Council viewed attachments as a problem specifically because they believed that those attachments could interfere with a Jedi's ability to put the Force and the greater good above all else. The Council reprimanded Jedi like Anakin Skywalker who focused on individual achievement rather than communal effort, because, as with the Children of the Watch, cooperation was still the backbone of the Order.
Earlier history gave even more nuance to the role of attachments in a Jedi's life. During the High Republic era, the Jedi Council still advised against attachments, but this was more of a guideline than a rule. Some works such as the High Republic subseries have provided far more nuance to the mandate, emphasizing the importance of connection as long as individual connections do not overshadow the greater good. In Daniel José Older's Star Wars: The High Republic: Race to Crashpoint Tower, Padawan Lula Talisola worried about her own attachments to her friends and fellow Jedi, but she learned from her mentors Kantam Sy and Vernestra Rwoh that community was a vital part of a Jedi's connection to the Force and the galaxy around them; the connections just needed to be balanced.
Similarly, Mandalorians must also balance their loyalty and solidarity with other aspects of their code. For example, in "Chapter 3: The Sin" of Star Wars: The Mandalorian, Din Djarin only focused on loyalty to the tribe. He turned his back on the Children of the Watch's decree to watch after foundlings. In "Chapter 8: Redemption," Din redeemed himself by taking on the task of either raising Grogu or returning him to his kind, the Jedi. When giving Din this task, the Armorer explained that while the Jedi have been the enemies of the Mandalorians in the past, Grogu in particular was not their enemy and instead a foundling -- giving Grogu the combined identity of both Jedi and Mandalorian.
The Children of the Watch's emphasis on the importance of foundlings also paralleled the Jedi Order's treatment of younglings in their care. The methods of acquiring children were different. The Jedi only took in force-sensitive children with agreement from their families if they were alive, though the amount of pressure for families to relinquish their children blurred the lines of true consent. In contrast, the Children of the Watch seemed to take in any lost child or orphan who needs a home, as seen in Din's memories of his rescue. But to both the Jedi Order and the Children of the Watch, children were the future and their training in the traditions of their respective groups began young.
Therefore, while the Mandalorians and Jedi have fought in the past, there may be more that unites them then Din realized. The lines between Mandalorians and Jedi become even more vague when taking into consideration the fact that the Darksaber was forged by Tarre Vizsla, who was both a Mandalorian and a Jedi. Grogu in particular is a unique intersection of both groups and identities. Like Tarre Vizsla before him, Grogu may be able to unite both the Children of the Watch's Way and the way of the Force in the future.