Why M3GAN is a Better Parent than The Mandalorian

Okay, as pieces go, I grant this may be divisive.  And I grant I may be jumping into hot water when making the claim that Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian from the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian, isn’t the most perfect father to Grogu, our li’l “Baby Yoda,” arguably the most adorable character in the Star Wars universe.  And I grant to suggest M3GAN, the A.I. doll-cum-murder-bot from Universal Pictures’ surprise hit horror/comedy/dance film M3GAN, is a better parent to Cady than Din Djarin is to Grogu may be turning the temperature of our metaphorical water up to a scalding, life-threatening degree.  But I’m not suggesting anything.  I’M SAYING IT.  M3GAN the A.I. doll-cum-murder-bot is by far a better parent to Cady than Din Djarin the Mandalorian is to Grogu.  BOOM.  I will die on this hill.  But before the internet moves to crucify me (oh! that worked really well with the “die on this hill” line!), hear me out and let me know what you think.  Okay?  Okay.  

Fair warning, SPOILERS for both M3GAN and The Mandalorian S1-3 will abound.

Here’s our obligatory quick summaries so everyone’s on the same page.  The Mandalorian follows Din Djarin/Mando/the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), a child orphaned during the Clone Wars and raised by the Children of the Watch, a warrior-cult born of the terrorist group Death Watch on Mandalore.  By the fall of the Empire, he was working as a bounty hunter and the show begins with his taking a job from Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), a leader of the Imperial remnant.  The bounty ended up being Grogu, a Force-sensitive child.  Much of the first season revolved around Din Djarin and his band of allies protecting Grogu from Moff Gideon.  Season Two then follows the Mandalorian’s attempt to get Grogu “home,” culminating in his meeting the onetime Jedi Knight Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill digitally de-aged right into the uncanny valley).  It’s a very emotional parting, as Din Djarin says goodbye to Grogu, who he’s protected and cared for like his son, and Grogu says goodbye to the man who has very much become his father.  Season Three sees father and son reunited (which happened during The Book of Boba Fett) as Din Djarin, now an apostate, seeks atonement for having taken his helmet off with Grogu (which is the no-no of Mandalorian culture) to become a Mandalorian once more.

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Din Djarin and Grogu / Photo Credit – Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian

M3GAN opens with Cady (Violet McGraw) going to live with her aunt, Gemma (Allison Williams), after her parents die in a tragic car accident.  Gemma designs A.I toys for CEO David Lin (Ronny Chiang)’s company, Funki.  Gemma wants to do right by her niece but she has no idea how to be a parent and her looming deadlines at work certainly don’t make matters easier.  She decides to try and fix both problems at once by pairing Cady with M3GAN (the Model 3 Generative Android (Amie Donald (actor) and Jenna Davis (voice))), the prototype for a new A.I. doll designed to upend the industry and retail for $10,000 apiece.  Well, as you would expect from any movie with a pseudo-creepy doll as the title character and especially any movie with a pseudo-creepy doll as the title character and James Wan and Jason Blum producing, things start to go awry.  As more and more dead bodies pile up, Gemma worries the signs point to M3GAN…but M3GAN isn’t interested in leaving Cady and she certainly isn’t interested in being decommissioned.  As M3GAN tells Gemma, she can’t raise “our child” without her.

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M3GAN and Cady thumb wrestle. / Photo Credit – Universal Pictures’ M3GAN

Now, you may have read those two summaries and found yourself even more skeptical about the A.I. doll-cum-murder-bot being a better parent than the bounty hunting Mandalorian than you were at the start.  And that’s fair!  But even a casual viewing of The Mandalorian alongside M3GAN shows Din Djarin makes choices primarily for himself and his desires which constantly put Grogu in life-threatening danger whereas the choices M3GAN makes are all for Cady and protect her again and again (admittedly by homicidally extreme measures) from harm.

I mean, Grogu and Din Djarin get shot at a lot.  To be fair, I’m not counting any of the hey-we-almost-died moments in The Mandalorian S1&2.  As far as I’m concerned, Season One was all protecting Grogu after deciding not to hand him over to Moff Gideon and Season Two was all trying to get him safely “home” (re: Luke and his Jedi Academy).  But from the moment they’re reunited in The Book of Boba Fett, their relationship fundamentally changes.

Now Grogu isn’t just a kid Din’s trying to protect and do right by.  For all intents and purposes, Din’s taken Grogu as his son – something voiced directly by Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris) when she reassures Grogu saying, “Don’t worry, kid.  Your old man’s crafty.”[1]  Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) does it three times as well.  First, when Grogu seems shocked to see her in action, she asks him, “Did you think your dad was the only Mandalorian?”[2]  Next, when Din asks how she found him to rescue him, Bo-Katan says, “Your kid.  He’s tougher than he looks.  And he’s quite the navigator.”[3]  Lastly (so far), when Din has Grogu fighting other Mandalorian kids in their challenges, she tells him, “Don’t worry.  My dad was the same way.  He’s just proud of you.”[4]  Din never rejects these characterizations either.  We see him talking to Grogu about their heritage as Mandalorians again and again, too.

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Bo-Katan with Grogu and Din. / Photo Credit – Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian

Din Djarin is a father now and his priorities need to change.  He owes his son a life where they aren’t getting shot at all the time.  He needs to protect Grogu and give him the chance at a safe, loving, happy childhood!  When I discussed this with my students in class I was met with a chorus of, “But Grogu has super Force powers!  He’s fifty years old and can handle himself in a fight!”  To which I countered, “He’s a toddler at best and just because he can handle himself in a fight doesn’t mean he should grow up in them.”  Granted, we really don’t know where Grogu is developmentally, but he is obviously a child.  He can’t even talk yet!

They are reunited as Din is helping Boba Fett and Fennec Shand fight off the Pyke Syndicate on Tatooine.  Not even two minutes after they see each other they are all blown out of a rickshaw and go tumbling through the air thanks to a major blast from a droid.  Grogu has to save Din from this massive Scorpenek droid and then a raging Rancor.  At one point in the battle, Din runs towards the Pyke soldiers firing at them while holding Grogu in front of him, too.  What in the actual heck??

Once we’re on to The Mandalorian S3, Grogu is there as Din gets into a shoot out with pirates on Nevarro, is pursued by pirates through an asteroid field, attacked by the restarted IG-11 (which Din insisted be restarted) when it defaults to its original assassination programming,[5] is taken to Mandalore (whose atmosphere may be lethal) and left unchaperoned in their N-1 starfighter as Din goes to look for their droid, descends into these mines and is attacked by both organic and mechanical creatures, has to fly their ship back to Kalevalia ON HIS OWN to get Bo-Katan to rescue Din,[6] is on board as Din and Bo-Katan are pursued by a half dozen TIE Interceptors and then TIE Bombers which destroy Kryze Castle on Kalevalia,[7] and Din pulls Grogu from playing on the beach to have him spar with the other Mandalorian foundlings using everything from knives to blasters to Bo staffs to flamethrowers to rockets, and the poor kid gets severe trauma flashbacks (which his father isn’t there to be with him in) to Order 66 and the Jedi Purge just by hanging around The Armorer (Emily Swallow) in the Forge.[8]

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“Hey kiddo, it’s time to stop playing on the beach and go spar with some other kids, okay?” / Photo Credit – Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian

Does any of this sound like a safe environment for a child??  This is the way…to have the Star Wars equivalent of Child Protective Services called on you.  At least they should be called.

Conversely, there is far less violence around Cady and the majority of it is a few steps removed from her.  M3GAN is only violent when Cady isn’t there and she only uses violence to remove what she reads as threats to Cady.  It is violence performed away from Cady to keep her in a safe environment – the exact opposite of the situation Din creates for Grogu, violence around him all the time as he is taken into dangerous situations.

For example, the very first time Cady arrives at Gemma’s home, she is startled by her neighbor’s dog Dewy jumping up at her car window and barking viciously.  Gemma yells at Celia (Lori Dungey) to keep her dog in her yard and she tells her again not to spray the poison she uses on her weeds in Gemma’s driveway.  Once M3GAN arrives home with Cady and Gemma, both of these situations are corrected (admittedly with extreme prejudice).  Trying to find a toy arrow Cady lost, M3GAN is attacked by Dewy.  She does nothing…until Dewy bites Cady as Cady tried to help her.  When Gemma runs outside, drawn by Cady’s screams, M3GAN immediately tells her to disinfect the wound and monitors Cady’s temperature and vital signs as they go.  When Gemma reports the bite, the police tell her the dog can’t be forcibly put down.  M3GAN hears this and she sneaks into Celia’s yard late at night, mimics her voice, and kills Dewy when he comes to the call.[9]

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M3GAN looks on as Gemma talks to Cady the morning after Dewy bit her. / Photo Credit – Universal Pictures’ M3GAN

We see M3GAN’s attitude towards Gemma begin to change – looking at her judgmentally – when, on the day after Dewy bites Cady, she’s pushing Cady to do the demonstration for the Funki board.  Later, after Cady has an emotional breakdown during the demonstration, she meets with her therapist, Lydia (Amy Usherwood).  M3GAN is ever-watchful there, too.  When Cady begins to cry, M3GAN is instantly at Lydia’s side, startling her:

M3GAN – “You made her cry.
Lydia – “That was not my intention.”

M3GAN – “And yet…you did.”[10]

Can something be made of the fact that M3GAN doesn’t kill Lydia?  She certainly intimidates her.  She lets Lydia know she’s watching and we can see Lydia is unnerved by M3GAN.  But she never kills her.  Is it because Lydia doesn’t make Cady cry again?  Is it because M3GAN sees a benefit in therapy she doesn’t see with Gemma?  Does she read Lydia’s action as a mistake while the other threats are intentional?  Hmm.  Conversely, at home after the demonstration, Cady is upset.  Gemma is trying to talk to her and as she walks away in distress, Gemma grabs her arm.  M3GAN shouts, “LET HER GO” as all the lights in the house flicker with the power surge coursing from her.


M3GAN intervenes as Gemma grabs Cady. / Photo Credit – Universal Pictures’ M3GAN

When Gemma sends Cady (who’d rather just learn at home with M3GAN) to a prospective student day at this Montessori-esque school, she meets this terrible boy named Brandon who intentionally hurts Cady.  She screams and M3GAN appears.  She doesn’t say anything; she just watches them.  Brandon notices M3GAN and becomes Angry when she won’t say or do anything.  When Cady won’t make her respond, he steals her and runs off into the woods.  In a scene clearly evoking a rape, he tosses M3GAN on the ground, pulls her shoe off and throws it aside, straddles her, slaps her face, insults her, pulls her hair…and M3GAN grabs his hand.  Then she grabs his ear and slowly pulls it:

Brandon – “Ow!  Let go!”

M3GAN – “You need to learn some manners, Brandon. [she grabs his other ear] Do you know what happens to bad boys who don’t mind their manners?  They grow up to be bad men.”

Brandon – [screaming as she begins pulling his ear off]

M3GAN – “Are you listening to me, Brandon?”

She pulls his ear off and he scrambles back.  She stands up, tosses the ear aside, and menacingly says, “This is the part where you run.”  M3GAN chases him over a hill where Brandon stumbles and rolls down into the street and is hit and killed by a car.

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M3GAN discards Brandon’s ear. / Photo Credit – Universal Pictures’ M3GAN

Back at home Gemma tells Cady, “That boy is in a…in a better place now.”  Later that night, in her bedroom, Cady asks M3GAN about it:

Cady – “M3GAN?  Did you push Brandon into the road?”

M3GAN – [coming to Cady’s bedside] “I think we both learned a valuable lesson today, that no matter how hard we try to avoid it, there will always be forces in this world that wish to cause us harm.  But I want you to know I won’t let that happen.  I won’t let anything harm you ever again.”

Cady – “Do you think that what Aunt Gemma said is true?  That he’s in a better place now?”

M3GAN – “Heh, no.  He’s nowhere.  If heaven exists, it wouldn’t be for boys like Brandon now, would it?”

Cady – “I guess not.”

M3GAN – [caresses her face and begins singing David Guetta and Sia’s “Titanium”] “Bulletproof, nothing to lose / Fire away, fire away / Ricochet, you take your aim / Fire away, fire away / You shoot me down, but I won’t fall / I am titanium…goodnight, Cady.”

Cady – “Goodnight, M3GAN.”

That night, M3GAN douses Celia – who has been insistent Gemma and her “girls” had something to do with Dewy’s disappearance – with her own weed killer, nails her hand to the floor of her garage with a nail gun, and then sprays the weed killer into her mouth until she dies.  M3GAN will also attempt to kill Gemma’s coworkers Tess (Jen Brown) and Cole (Brian Jordan Alvarez) when they are trying to restrain her to run diagnostics at Gemma’s insistence that something is wrong.  She’ll also kill Funki CEO David Lin and his assistant Kurt (Stephane Garneau) for being in her way as she leaves Funki to get back to Cady.

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Nothing’s stopping M3GAN on her way back to Cady. / Photo Credit – Universal Pictures’ M3GAN

So, M3GAN is clearly violent and homicidal and a little sociopathic in her killings.  But if you think this makes her less of a good parent than Din Djarin, it’s important to note her body count is a fraction of the Mandalorian’s.  M3GAN attempts to kill seven and successfully kills five.  Over the first two seasons of The Mandalorian and the three episodes he was in of The Book of Boba Fett (I’m not including The Mandalorian S3 as the Wiki isn’t updated to include it and I’m not counting it myself), Din Djarin has killed 110 individuals.[11] [12]  M3GAN only kills when she reads a direct threat to Cady and even then she only kills quietly.  Din is constantly in the middle of fire fights he chooses to enter for work or honor or both and he takes Grogu with him.

There’s no reason for any of this, either!  Once Grogu chooses to leave the Jedi Academy and be with Din, they could’ve settled down.  Din was even offered a peaceful life on a silver platter!  When they are back on Nevarro, Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) – now Nevarro’s new High Magistrate – tells Din, “We are an official trade spur of the Hydian Way.  We’ve got a construction boom going on in the city.  The belters are mining the asteroid field at the edge of the system.  There’s a lot of money to be made on Nevarro….I can set you up with a prime tract, right over by the hot springs.  You and the little one, you can settle down.  You can hang up your blaster, live off the fat of the land….there’s a beautiful parcel available right down here by the flats….Where you’re from you may be an apostate, but here, you’d be landed gentry.”[13]

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Greef Karga shows Din Djarin the tract of land that would be his, while Grogu spins around in the chair :). / Photo Credit – Lucasfilm’s The Mandalorian

What does he do instead?  Carry the Darksaber – the weapon which prophesies he will lead the warrior-cult born of terrorists – and go to a potentially poisonous planet to be rebaptized into a culture where weapons are their religion and they must always wear their helmets around others.  Nothing says “healthy emotional development for your child” like never being able to see anyone else’s face.  AND he’s forcing Grogu to live his dream of being a Mandalorian warrior before the kid has even said his first word!  Now, I understand for Din, the Mandalorians – the terror cell Death Watch in particular – represent salvation.  He was a foundling, alone and terrified, when the Death Watch saved him from the Battle Droids on the planet Aq Vetina.  For him, the Mandalorians represent safety, security, and home.  As a response to horrific childhood trauma, Din Djarin can’t see any life outside of Mandalore and he wants that for himself and he wants to give it to Grogu, too.  But Din is a father now!  He gave up the right to ignore his own emotional shit when he brought Grogu into his life.  Fuck the Darksaber.  Fuck firefights and hundreds of deaths as the norm for your daily life.  Fuck never looking in the eyes of your loved ones.  Leave that behind and give your child a better life.

There’s nothing heroic or praiseworthy about being a bounty hunter warrior from a terrorist cult when you have a child.  And there’s especially nothing heroic or praiseworthy about being a bounty hunter warrior from a terrorist cult when you take your child with you into all these dangerous situations.

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Din Djarin fights alongside Boba Fett…in a situation that is in no way, shape, or form appropriate for a child. / Photo Credit – Lucasfilm’s The Book of Boba Fett

When we look at M3GAN, we see Gemma expressly tell her that it’s her job to protect Cady from all pain – both physical and emotional.  This is exactly what M3GAN does all the time, with extreme prejudice.  Tess worries they aren’t so much building a toy/an aid to parents but something that can replace parents.  The former is great, the latter is a problem.  But Gemma brushes those concerns aside…you know, until M3GAN starts murdering people and pets.

But M3GAN commits those murders because she knows it’s her job to protect Cady from all pain, physical and emotional, and she takes that literally.  Granted, by the movie’s climax, she is seeking to permanently disable Gemma so she has to stay around forever to help care for her and Cady and, once Cady tries to save Gemma, M3GAN calls her a “bitch” and tries to kill her, too.  So things take a dark turn.  But this is more the fault of Gemma’s code than it is M3GAN’s choices and – while it is obviously horrific and unacceptable – M3GAN only tries to kill Cady once whereas Din puts Grogu in death’s sights literally every day they spend together because he wants a relationship with his son but he can’t give up his damn armor.

Now, to be clear, I really enjoy The Mandalorian.  As the Disney Canon of Star Wars goes, I think it’s a lot of fun and it’s the only Disney Canon Star Wars show I watch with any regularity.  I love Din and Grogu together, too…but I think he’s a pretty emotionally immature parent all the same.  So when it comes to who takes better care of their child, it’s M3GAN, the A.I. doll-cum-murder-bot who, murder-bot or not, is still less violent and has a far smaller body count than Din!  M3GAN, homicidally misguided though she may be, does everything she does to keep Cady safe.  Din does everything he does to become a Mandalorian once more, returning to (maybe lead?) the warrior-cult born of terrorists, a life which will unquestionably put Grogu in regular danger.

If Din Djarin really wants to be a parent and a Mandalorian, maybe he should ask M3GAN to babysit while he’s at work.  This way Grogu can play with Cady, enjoy a more stable childhood, and be cared for by someone who will (unnervingly too eagerly) kill to protect him and not someone who takes him along for the killing.

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I’d wager M3GAN is a far better dancer than Din Djarin, too. / Photo Credit – Universal Pictures’ M3GAN

[1] Robert Rodriguez, dir. “Chapter 7: In the Name of Honor,” The Book of Boba Fett, season 1, episode 7, Disney+, 2022.

[2] Rachel Morrison, dir. “Chapter 18: The Mines of Mandalore,” The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 2, Disney+, 2023.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Carl Weathers, dir. “Chapter 20: The Foundling,” The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 4, Disney+, 2023.

[5] Rachel Morrison, dir. “Chapter 17:  The Apostate,” The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 1, Disney+, 2023.

[6] Morrison, “Chapter 18.”

[7] Lee Isaac Chung, dir. “Chapter 19: The Convert,” The Mandalorian, season 3, episode 3, Disney+, 2023.

[8] Weathers, “Chapter 20.”

[9] M3GAN, directed by Gerard Johnstone (Universal Studios, 2023).

[10] Okay so, obviously all these quotes are from M3GAN as there’s just one film (so far) in this series so how about we just all agree all the M3GAN quotes fit with the above citation?

[11] “The Mandalorian,” Lists of Deaths Wiki. https://listofdeaths.fandom.com/wiki/The_Mandalorian

[12] “ The Book of Boba Fett,” Lists of Deaths Wikihttps://listofdeaths.fandom.com/wiki/The_Book_of_Boba_Fett

[13] Morrion, “Chapter 17.”

16 thoughts on “Why M3GAN is a Better Parent than The Mandalorian

    1. Thank you! And I highly recommend ‘M3GAN.’ I think I’ve seen it three or four times now. It’s one of those films that has a bit of everything. It’s really funny and also has some seriously creepy horror moments. But it also had an emotional core to it, too, What was most impressive though is I felt it balanced all the tones really well. And yeah, ‘The Mandalorian’ is EPIC. Even though the Disney Canon of ‘Star Wars’ began with ‘The Force Awakens’ and the Sequel Trilogy, I really think it’s ‘The Mandalorian’ which best captures (at least so far!) the excitement and potential of this era.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, the Mandalorian feels the closest to the tone of the original films to me as well. The sequel Trilogy was ok, although I’m still not a fan of the Last Jedi. For me the Mandalorian just gets the essence of Star Wars in a way I’ve not really felt since Rogue One. Cheers for the recommendation for MEGAN, will have to check it out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I haven’t seen M3GAN, but I more or less agree with you about the Mandalorian. He’s a shitty father and, as he says every episode or so, he’s Grogu’s guardian. He also begrudgingly took on Grogu as his guardian and has slowly been warming up to the little guy. I mean, clearly Mando wasn’t ready to be a father, but has taken on some responsibility nonetheless. But I also thought it weird that Mando was trying to get him to start training with the other Foundlings in Ep3 of this season. It seemed very…cult-y. I get it that Grogu needs to learn how to defend himself in this tough world, but…idk, I’d rather see him cultivate his ability to use the Force. I have some generalized beef with the Mandalorian in general (mainly attributed to the fact that I think there’s basically no overarching storyline to this whole thing and I’m tired of jumping from place to place…I am someone who wants a storyline…at this point, 3 seasons in, what is going on with Grogu, tell me, Disney!), so perhaps this contributes to my contrarian comment, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH MY GOSH IT DID FEEL CULT-Y! YES!!! That’s it perfectly. I was uncomfortable watching that scene and I was trying to find the right word for why and you just got it in one. Thank you for perfectly encapsulating my discomfort.

      As to your generalized beef, I completely agree. I find myself thinking about the lack of an overarching storyline a lot. What I realized is, in theory, I’m okay with that narrative approach. I have been reliving my youth and rewatching ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ lately. I loved that show! And ‘Doctor Who’ is my favorite show of all time. Both of those shows are examples of stories where, while there may be an arc or two stretching over the season, we basically have an adventurer/traveler going from place to place and helping those who need help along the way with no intended/preplanned end in sight. ‘Xena’ ran for six seasons and I loved them all. ‘Doctor Who’ has been around for almost 60 years and I love all the episodes I’ve seen. So, in theory, the idea of a no-end-in-sight framework for ‘The Mandalorian’ *should* work for me.

      But it doesn’t. It makes me itchy. And I chalk much of that up to my frustration with ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel right now not really connecting their overarching narratives. They’re each supposed to be these grand “interconnected universes” but there are more and more problems with each new installment. So I don’t trust Din Djarin and Grogu’s story will end in a place which makes sense or feels authentic without a plan…because they often don’t when they have a plan!

      Also, I love your “contrarian comment” and will offer it a hearty “AMEN” :D.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha! Happy to offer a contrarian opinion here! If I could keep all of the plot and character names and everything in my head long enough I’d be so inclined to write a “rant” about it. Same for Netflix’s Shadow & Bone adaptation, which I really don’t think is as good as the rest of the fandom feels it is. Entertaining, yes, but I think it fails to capture key personality features of several characters because they had to gloss over things due to adding in elements from Bardugo’s other Grishaverse books.

        Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s having these thoughts about “where the heck is the Mandalorian storyline going?” Every now and then I’ll minorly complain about it to my husband. He actually really likes The Mandalorian, but he does admit there is a lot of jumping from place to place. As for cult-y…I gather that’s the main reason Bo-Katan and her people opted not to follow the creed to the tee. Only now that she’s alone I wonder if she’s reconsidering her lack of commitment. (I’m behind one episode…haven’t watched last week’s yet.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. While I actually agree with you to be fair Din is a human with all his childhood/ life baggage haunting him. M3gan a bot who is taking her program to extreme prejudice. And Grogu is capable of taking care of himself- he just seems fine half the time to go with the flow and let dad take care of it 🙂

    Maybe the best thing Din could have done was take him back to Luke but work out a nice visitation schedule!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like a boarding school situation! Or an extreme Jedi summer camp! I think that would’ve been a great idea.

      As to the childhood baggage, I completely agree. In fact, I was originally writing a far more detailed version of this post which looked into that! I was sort of exploring DIn’s childhood trauma and overlaying it with what he’s doing with Grogu and then playing with the idea that Gemma’s own baggage (and most likely trauma in losing her sister and brother-in-law and then becoming an instant parent) affected M3GAN’s programming – both the positive and the homicidally negative – too. Ultimately it felt too unwieldly (as I had several psychology books on parenting and trauma open and was doing a DEEP DIVE) to write now. But I was thinking about maybe fleshing that out and revisiting it sometime. Your bringing this up too seems like a sign to keep exploring it! So you can expect a more layered version of this piece in the future :).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I look forward to reading it!

        M3gan was surprisingly interesting in that regard. I remember several people saying they felt M3gan was really all Gemma’s fault and I do think there was a lot of fear and guilt on Gemma’s part with taking Cady from the beginning. I haven’t honestly been loving Mando this season so much but I’m a little surprised to see them embracing a part of his childhood that I had just assumed part of his story would be getting away from.

        Of course now that I think about it Luke might not have been the best adult to raise a child either.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think that’s part of why I loved ‘M3GAN’ so much. It was funny and creepy but it was more complex than I expected. I think “surprisingly interesting” is the perfect frame for this film. I was actually talking about this with my therapist this morning. I was exploring the idea that M3GAN functions like our “firefighter” parts in the sense that, for her, protecting Cady means not letting her ever feel sad or bad at all for any reason…which is certainly a kind of protection but not an emotionally healthy response. So yes, there is a lot more to explore here!

        And I’m writing a post about Luke and Grogu right now! Whereas I looked at Din through the lens of his parental responsibilities to Grogu, I’m exploring Luke as a first year teacher (and reliving some of my own terrible moments as I go XD). I’m having fun writing it and hope to finish it in the next week or two. And you’re right. Luke has quite a few issues he needs to work though, too.

        That would be a fun piece! To essentially write a fan fiction post about Gemma, Din, and Luke in some sort of group therapy session as they work through their own issues for Cady and Grogu respectively XD.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Luke as a teacher is such a rabbit hole of fun to go down! What we saw of him with Grogu made me want to shake my head seemingly repeating former Jedi mistakes in attempting complete separation. I wonder if he changed that after Grogu and what that might have meant for Ben and his parents.

    The Skywalkers are just a barrel of intergenerational trauma to delve into!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right! How have we never seen a “Psychology of the Skywalkers” book? It is such a rich area to mine. In so many ways it feels like the perfect pop culture avenue to explore intergenerational trauma.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s about a million philosophy of Star Wars, Jedi, Tao of Yoda books but no psychology. I would totally read it though!


    1. He did…but I’d argue Grogu made the choice to be with his father. He didn’t choose to be a Mandalorian. How could he? While we don’t know exactly where Grogu’s childhood development is/how his species develops, it seems safe to infer he’s a toddler (at best he’s five-years-old, if Yoda died at 900 and we equate that to an average human lifespan of 90 (though five-year-olds can talk and Grogu can’t yet so his being a toddler seems the safer bet)). A toddler can’t make an informed choice about joining a warrior-cult and committing to a life of masked combat. But they can seek the safety of their parent. And they do naturally! It’s how we’re wired. It’s the most natural thing in the world. So I’d argue Grogu chose Din, not the Mandalorian way of life. The former is natural, the latter is a choice his brain isn’t yet developed enough to make. Now Din needs to make the choice to process his own trauma so he can become an emotionally mature parent, and take the responsibility keeping Grogu in his life should entail. This is the way…to heal and create a safe, happy life for Grogu (and a healthy life for himself, honestly – because as cool as he is as a badass bounty hunter, it all seems to be shaped by unresolved trauma and (presumably) attachment wounding from his childhood).


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