Can The Mandalorian take off his helmet? In short, yes and no. We've now seen Din's face on more than one occasion, with Mando seemingly becoming less strict about when and where he can take off his helmet.
Recent episodes have teased more about both The Mandalorian armour and Din Djarin’s fanatical clan called the Children of the Watch. They appear to be the main reason behind the helmet-wearing mantra and can be fairly contradictory at first glance. To help, we've into Star Wars lore and key scenes from last year and The Mandalorian season 2 to parse out why we never see Mando remove his helmet (up to a certain, very recent, episode) and why it’s so important to the future evolution of the character. One day, we’ll potentially Pedro Pascal’s face full-time in a galaxy far, far away – and it’ll mean something.
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Why can’t The Mandalorian take off his helmet?
While Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin may not be part of the Mandalore race he is, for all intents and purposes, a Mandalorian. He follows The Way (the code) of the Mandalores and adheres to its rules.
One of the rules is – as revealed in The Mandalorian’s third episode – to never remove your helmet or, as the Armorer states, let it “be removed by others.” That’s at odds with previous Mandalorians in Star Wars media (such as Rebels’ Sabine Wren) who freely show their face.
Why the inconsistencies? The commandments set down by The Way are perhaps even a little stricter now that The Great Purge has forced the clan underground, at least for his splinter group.
That event saw the Empire kill several Mandalorians and robbed them of their beskar during the events of the original trilogy. As revealed in season 2, Mando's current clan are a more fanatical splinter cell away from the core tenets of the Mandalore race. Other Mandalorians, such as Bo-Katan, take off their helmet whenever they please.
Mandalorians are also hunted in a way they weren’t previously – which makes not removing their helmet a practical reason (i.e. they won’t be killed).
Does The Mandalorian ever take off his helmet?
Yes! While Mando previously only removed his sustenance, for example, he's seemingly mellowed beyond that. In Chapter 4, The Mandalorian reveals he takes his helmet off to eat but, on several occasions in the series, gets aggressive any time someone approaches or motions to remove his helmet. That angry demeanour has mostly gone in recent weeks.
It appears Mando stringently follows The Way of his clan, The Watch, but, like most religions and followings, the rules aren’t black and white.
That flexibility and bending of The Way is best shown in The Mandalorian season 1 finale. There, Din removes his helmet to let droid IG-11 heal his wounds with Bacta Spray. When desperately required and under certain conditions, Mando allows himself to take off his helmet.
Still, he is wary. “It is forbidden. No living thing has seen me without my helmet since I swore the creed,” he says of why he'd rather kill the droid than let him take off his helmet. Of course, IG-11 says he isn’t technically a living thing and Mando reluctantly goes along with it.
In Chapter 12, we even get a sneaky look at his face as he lifts it up to eat while next to Grogu. It seems that his reluctance to not remove his helmet is slowly melting away.
That reached a major turning point in Chapter 15. In that episode, Din was forced to remove his helmet for plot-convenient reasons. Namely, an Imperial scanner had to scan his face without a helmet. It wouldn't be a surprise to see him take off the helmet completely in future seasons.
So, the answer as to why he doesn't take off his helmet are clear: Mando takes great pride in The Way over practically everything else in his life. He generally doesn’t remove his helmet out of reverence to The Mandalorian code, something that has been tightened up after the Great Purge. There are exceptions, but not many, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see Mando turn his back on The Way in future.
It’s potentially something that will be explored further down the line. Will Mando soften up and let a loved one see his face? Or will he remain closed off to the world and under that helmet forever? The Mandalorian season 2 finale might be The Way to all of those answers – and then some.