Having been introduced to the idea that the protagonist of The Mandalorian is not supposed to remove his helmet – neither by him, nor others – in the previous episode of The Mandalorian, we see in the fourth/recent episode of the show that our protagonist hasn’t removed it since he was a kid:
Omera: “How long has it been since you’ve taken that off?”
Dyn Jarren: “Yesterday.”
Omera: “I mean: in front of someone else.”
Dyn Jarren: “I wasn’t much older than they are.”
Omera: “You haven’t shown your face to anyone since you were a kid?”
Dyn Jarren: “No. I was happy that they took me in. My parents were killed and the Mandalorians took care of me.”
Omera: “I’m sorry.”
Dyn Jarren: “This is the way.”
What’s particularly striking about this interchange between Omera and Dyn Jarren is not just how long he’s kept his helmet on in front of others, but that he was taken in by the Mandalorians. From here, we glean [at least] three things: Dyn Jarren was not born a Mandalorian, the Great Purge may have affected non-Mandalorians, although it certainly didn’t only affect Mandalorians, and that Mandalorians took in foundlings.
When Cara Dune asks Dyn Jarren as to what the consequences would be for helmet-removal, Dyn Jarren simply responds that he can never put the helmet back on again.
Something I’ve been seeing on social media these past few days have been a bafflement surrounding this helmet-removal proscription, as it does not jive with the rest of Star Wars canon, specifically with Star Wars The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels in mind, as we see plenty of Mandalorians removing their helmets.
It’s true that what we’ve seen of Mandalorians in Star Wars The Clone Wars, as well as the 3rd & 4th seasons, not to mention the second season of Star Wars Rebels has been that they have no problems with helmet-removal. However, since Dyn Jarren is a non-Mandalorian foundling and was taken in, it could be that this group of which he is a member has special rules, especially with regards to foundlings.
We’re only halfway through this first season of The Mandalorian, so we have a lot more to learn, but Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau would not have foolishly stepped into such a mistake as to come into conflict with canon for this show, so I am very curious to see what will happen in the second half of the first season of this show!