Why Does the Mandalorian Say “This Is the Way”? Here’s What the Mantra Means
The first time you heard “This is the way” on “The Mandalorian,” you probably wondered what it meant. The repeated phrase has become the mantra of the series, and Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) – aka the titular Mandalorian – says it often when he’s in the company of other Mandalorians.
We initially hear the phrase when we see Din with the Armorer (Emily Swallow) for the very first time. She asks him, “Have you ever removed you helmet? Has it ever been removed by others?” After he answers no to both questions, she says, “This is the way,” and the phrase is then echoed by others who are present.
The line returns again later when the Mandalorians return to help Din and Baby Yoda, aka Grogu, get away from the Client’s goons. Din comments, wryly, that they’ll need to find a new hideout and one of his allies responds, “This is the way.” This time, Mando echoes it back. Eventually, the show demonstrates just what the phrase means, but here’s a refresher if you need help.
What Does “This Is the Way” Mean in “The Mandalorian”?
To Din, “This Is the Way” embodies what it means to be a Mandalorian, and it includes a code of traditions and ideals they all must uphold. They don’t take off their helmets, ever, and if they do, they must atone for the sin (which Din is set on doing in season three). They believe foundlings are the future of their society; Din himself was a foundling, and that’s part of why he so fiercely protects Grogu and why the other members of his clan help him protect the little green guy. They give beskar to foundlings and either reunite them with their own kind or bring them into the fold.
However, when Din meets other Mandalorians, it becomes clear that they don’t all believe this. Din comes from an Orthodox Mandalorian splinter group called the Children of the Watch that preached the Way. To Bo-Katan, the group is a cult with ridiculous ideals (including, but not limited to, the helmet thing). But to Din, the existence of other Mandalorians who don’t follow the Way is very shocking, and on some level, he doesn’t seem to accept them as real Mandalorians (though his feelings toward them loosen as the series continues). It’s possible that season three will see Din fall further away from the orthodoxy of the Children of the Watch – and maybe take off his helmet for good.
Do All Mandalorians Say “This Is the Way?”
“This is the way” is a particular ideal for the Children of the Watch group, so the other Mandalorians in both “The Mandalorian” and the “Clone Wars” animated series don’t say it. However, some of the other Mandalorians have said it to Din – either to honor their shared devotion to justice, protection, and connection or to mock him, depending on the circumstance.
“The Mandalorian” season three premieres on Disney+ on March 1.