Since the Star Wars franchise acquisition in 2012, The Walt Disney Company has produced films that both extend the chronology of the Skywalker Saga, but also add backstory in-between previous films, like Rogue One (2016) and Solo (2018). Serving this latter role, Star Wars: The Mandalorian is set five years after Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983). Created by Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian follows the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din “Mando” Djarin, and his adventures involving The Child. Fans of Star Wars are first introduced to the concept of a Mandalorian bounty hunter through Jango Fett in Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002).
Throughout the Star Wars franchise, the theme of fatherhood has managed to drive each film's narrative directly. Of course, one of the most recognizable quotes in the entire franchise is Darth Vader revealing to Luke that he is his father. The importance of fatherhood is also established through “Duel of the Fates” in Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) in which Qui-Gon and Darth Maul fight over what will ultimately define the fate of young Anakin Skywalker. Executive producer Dave Filoni explains the significance of the duel scene and how it sets the foundation for the Skywalker Saga by removing a positive father figure and laying the foundation for Anakin to eventually become Darth Vader. Other examples of poor father-child relationships are also depicted through characters such as Jane and Galen Erso in Rouge One; Kylo Ren (Ben) and Han Solo, and Rey and Palpatine in the final trilogy.
However, The Mandalorian offers a healthy and positive depiction of fatherhood between Mando and The Child, highlighting the challenges of being a single parent. Since the Mandalorian tribe adopted Mando after he had been abandoned through his own parents' death, his experience fuels his decision to become a caretaker for The Child. Although there are moments throughout the series when he tries to rid himself of the responsibility, Mando does his best to look out for The Child, keeping it safe from the dangers of their adventures. However, Mando doesn’t fully accept the role of a father until the season-one finale, when The Child is deemed a Mandalorian foundling. Watching as he struggles to adjust to the unexpected responsibility of fatherhood, viewers are taken on a journey through Mando as he transforms from a selfish lone ranger into a guardian for The Child, becoming a clan of two.