It’s a question that’s thrown the, let’s say, more intellectual corner of the Star Wars fandom into an inescapable loop.
As legend has it, Mandalorians — and, specifically, Pedro Pascal’s hero on Disney’s new series The Mandalorian — remove their helmets very rarely, and only when they’re alone. We know “Mando,” as he’s nicknamed, has worn his face protection since childhood. So naturally, we can’t help but wonder: Does the Mandalorian fuck with the helmet on? Or does he not fuck at all?
Clearly compromising narrative and plot for fan service, The Mandalorian slyly alludes to this debate in Chapter Six, when Bill Burr’s character, Mayfield, meets a former romantic partner of Mando’s. Mayfield asks Xi’an if she’s ever seen Mando’s face, and she responds, “A lady never tells.”
Sure, Xi’an. This throwaway joke may be enough for some people, but it’s not good enough for me. I went to the Death Star and back to find out who Luke Skywalker bonked in the Star Wars universe. Now it’s time to dig up the dirt on Mando.
I reached out to some Star Wars erotica experts to see if there was any deeper lore surrounding the Mandalorian, his history and his rigid code of honor. Sure, the helmet-sex thing may seem like a small piece of character development, but such a change to the Star Wars official canon could, quite honestly, undercut the underlying logic propping up the entire universe.
According to one Star Wars erotic fanfic writer who goes by Das_Flute, the answer is buried “deep in the weeds.” To start, it’s not necessarily true that the Mandalorians from Mandalore keep their helmets on at all times. “Even other depictions of the Mandalorians in the Disney era — including the shows run by Dave Filoni, who also has a big hand in The Mandalorian — depict Mandalorians without helmets, Mandalorians who are pacifist, etc.,” Das_Flute explains.
This means it’s likely that our hero belongs to “some kind of radical splinter group of the wider Mandalorian society, especially as Filoni’s earlier shows featured a number of such Mandalorian groups who interpret cultural practices very differently,” Das_Flute says.
Grace Taylor, a prolific Star Wars fanfic writer whose work focuses on Boba Fett, agrees. “The Mandalorians appear to be a clan-based warrior culture where both marriage and adoption are vital parts of life,” she says. But as we see more of them, the more likely it is that the show’s hero belongs to a particularly fundamentalist sect. Taylor says the Mandalorians we see depicted in the show “are basically the Amish version of Mandalorians.” This group “took one precept about being a people set apart and turned it into a hyper-fundamentalist dress code.”
Which brings us to “foundlings,” an important tenet of Mandalorian culture. A foundling is basically an adopted child who becomes Mandalorian. “Being a foundling is such a big deal to these Mandalorians, it might be that they only reproduce by bringing in such younglings rather than by sexual reproduction,” Das_Flute tells me.
“The Mandalorian’s brief flirtation with settling down in the series’ fourth episode indicates that he can’t have both his community and a partner — so maybe his sect forbids marriage and partnerships the way the Jedi Order forbid attachments,” Taylor ponders.
But then again, “that doesn’t rule out sex,” she adds. “maybe the Mandalorian has never had fully naked, helmet-off sex with anyone, but I’ll bet you a camtono of beskar he’s done some other stuff.”
To glean more insight into Mandalorian sexual practices, let’s talk about the character who first introduced us to Mandalorian culture: Boba Fett.
“Considering the volume of romantic fanfiction I’ve written for Boba Fett, I might be the closest thing the fandom has to a Boba Fett sexpert,” Taylor says. “No matter what the current gatekeepers say about his standing in-universe, all Mandalorian lore following him borrows from his original backstory. So while his ethic was never explicitly stated to be Mandalorian, any discussion about Mandalorian culture and practices still has to start with Boba Fett.”
It’s safe to say: Boba Fett fucks. “If we go by the old [Expanded Universe] where Boba is a Mandalorian, he definitely took off his helmet and he definitely had sex,” Das_Flute explains. “In Tales from Jabba’s Palace, it’s heavily implied — as much as a PG 1990s Star Wars story could — that Jabba the Hutt gave Princess Leia to Boba for a night to enjoy as a reward, but his code of ethics was such that he’d never take advantage of an unwilling woman.”
There are also stories that detail Boba Fett as being divorced with a daughter, “confirming that, at the very least, he’s had sex with one woman,” Taylor tells me, and others alluding to a sexual relationship with Natasi Daala, a commander of the Imperial Remnant after Return of the Jedi. (It’s important to note, though, that he plunged into the Sarlacc in full armor, adding credence to the theory that his helmet is always stays on.)
So where does that leave us? The Mandalorian is a fundamentalist whose religion doesn’t necessarily outlaw sex, but does adhere to strict laws regarding armor and adoption. In other words, he’s probably tamed his beskar steel in something taboo from Naboo, and while doing so, most likely kept the helmet on. Because after all, who can resist a man in a mask?
“The fact that his face is hidden isn’t stopping pretty widows from hitting on him, and it won’t stop the fandom from thirsting after him either,” Taylor explains. “Their helmets represent a threshold of intimacy and a challenge to anyone who dares to get close. There will always be something attractive about a quiet, capable man who gets the job done.”
So while Xi’an might be a lady who never tells, Star Wars experts know the truth. “Of course, as fans, we have the benefit of knowing that under his helmet, the Mandalorian is portrayed by the effortlessly handsome Pedro Pascal,” Taylor concludes. “Which is, all things considered, a nice bonus.”