Mandolorian, Jedi and The Stoicism of Star Wars
Unless you have been living under a rock—you probably know The Mandalorian. If not—short history—he is a character in the Star Wars franchise, first introduced in the Disney+ streaming television series of the same name. The character is a bounty hunter who wears beskar armor and a helmet that conceals his face. The series follows the adventures of the Mandalorian as he travels through the outer reaches of the galaxy, completing various bounty hunting missions and encountering various characters from the Star Wars universe.
The character is played by actor Pedro Pascal and was created by Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. The series is extremely popular and has received critical acclaim for its storytelling, action, and visual effects. AND… 1 March 23 is the launch of season 3.
The Mandalorian (Din Djarin) is often portrayed as a stoic character, meaning he is calm and composed, rarely showing strong emotions or reactions. He is known for being a skilled and efficient bounty hunter who is able to remain focused and collected in even the most dangerous or stressful situations. However, the character does have moments where he reveals a softer side, particularly when it comes to his growing bond with the child he has been entrusted to protect, known as Grogu, “The Child” or “Baby Yoda.” The Mandalorian is a complex and multifaceted character who is capable of both great strength and vulnerability.
Stoicism is really not that simple. It is a school of philosophy that was founded by the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Citium in the 3rd century BC. It emphasizes the importance of reason, self-control, and virtue in achieving a peaceful and fulfilling life. According to stoic philosophy, the key to living a good life is to focus on what is within our control, rather than trying to control external events or circumstances. This means accepting that some things are beyond our control and learning to let go of negative emotions like anger, frustration, and anxiety. Instead, we should strive to cultivate virtues like wisdom, justice, courage, and self-control, and to use reason to guide our actions and make sound judgments.
Stoicism teaches that we should seek to live in accordance with nature, recognizing that we are a small part of a larger whole and that we should strive to live in harmony with the natural world. The ultimate goal of the stoic philosophy is to achieve inner peace and tranquility, or “ataraxia,” by living a virtuous life and letting go of negative emotions. Stoicism has had a lasting influence on Western philosophy and has been embraced by many as a way to lead a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Din Djarin (The Mandalorian) is not a Jedi—but of course Luke Skywalker, a Jedi Master, has now shown up in the series and it certainly seems as though Grogu has some Jedi skills as well. The Jedi are highly disciplined and skilled individuals who use the Force, an all-encompassing energy field, to maintain peace and justice in the galaxy.
The Jedi philosophy as is stoic philosophy places a strong emphasis on self-discipline, self-improvement, and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. Jedi are taught to cultivate virtues like compassion, courage, and self-control, and to use their powers for the greater good.
The Jedi Code is a set of guidelines that Jedi adhere to, which includes the following tenets:
- Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.
- Jedi use their powers for knowledge and defense, never for attack.
- Jedi respect all life, in any form.
- Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.
- Jedi serve others selflessly, without seeking personal gain.
The Jedi philosophy is one of balance, harmony, and service to others. Jedi strive to maintain inner peace and calm, even in the face of conflict or adversity, and to use their powers for the betterment of all.
Some elements of Jedi philosophy align with the principles of stoicism. Jedi are depicted as highly disciplined and self-controlled individuals who seek to live in accordance with a code of ethics and to use their powers for the greater good. They are often depicted as trying to maintain a sense of inner peace and calm, even in the face of conflict and adversity.
Like the stoics, the Jedi believe in the importance of reason and self-control, and they strive to cultivate virtues like wisdom, justice, and compassion. They also place a strong emphasis on living in harmony with the natural world and seeking balance in the Force, the all-encompassing energy field that binds the galaxy together.
Of course I know the Jedi philosophy is a fictional creation and is not necessarily intended to be a direct analogue of any real-world philosophical system.—really, I know this. While it may have some similarities with stoicism, it is ultimately a unique and distinct set of beliefs and practices within the Star Wars universe, but I am super hopeful Disney does not trash the series.