The Mandalorian May Be The Title Character, But The Supporting Characters Steal The Show

It's fairly common for the main character in a series to be a little overshadowed by the supporting cast. From Frodo Baggins to Sookie Stackhouse, protagonists in big, sprawling stories have to ground the story for everyone else around them, and "The Mandalorian" is no exception. Pedro Pascal's Din Djarin is the strong, silent type, only speaking when necessary and hiding his features behind his shiny beskar helmet, which makes him even more likely to disappear into the background while some of the people around him take center stage. Din isn't a boring character by any stretch of the imagination, he's just good for others to bounce off of by necessity. 

There are a lot of incredible characters in "The Mandalorian," ranging from adorable aliens to intergalactic mercenaries, providing a little bit of something for every "Star Wars" fan. Like the spaghetti westerns that inspired the series, the worlds of "The Mandalorian" are full of colorful characters from all walks of life, portrayed by a wonderfully varied and talented cast. It's really not a shock that even though the name of the series is "The Mandalorian," his co-stars steal the show — I mean c'mon, who could ever begin to compete with Grogu? Let's look at some of the supporting stars that make the series really shine, and get pumped for season 3 to debut on Disney+ on March 1, 2023.

Getting to know the locals

Djarin is a wandering sort, originally a working bounty hunter before taking on the all-consuming duty of playing papa to baby Grogu, which means that he encounters a whole lot of unique locals in various locales, including the sands of Tatooine and the volcanic Nevarro. Much of Nevarro is sadly under the control of a vicious tyrant known only as The Client, played with seething creepiness by acclaimed director Werner Herzog. He's a deliciously devilish villain, working under the even more villainous Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), who has gotten pretty darn great at playing villains after his time as Gus Fring on "Breaking Bad." Thankfully, there are plenty of decent people on the planets Mando and Grogu visit, and he manages to collect an impressive roster of friends and allies throughout the first two seasons. 

One of the most lovable and down-to-earth (down-to-Tattooine?) characters of them all is Peli Motto (Amy Sedaris), a mechanic who manages a hangar at the Mos Eisley spaceport and has a whole menagerie of droids who help her with her work. Djarin doesn't like droids but learns to trust Motto, who takes excellent care of baby Grogu and forms a bond with the little troublemaker. Motto is one of the most hilariously honest, horny, and human characters in all of "Star Wars," earning the love and respect of weirdos everywhere by answering the question "can you have sex with a Jawa?" while briefly appearing on the spin-off series "The Book of Boba Fett." (The answer, by the way, is yes!) Motto is the kind of character who adds a bit more fun and flavor to the story, giving some breathing room to more serious Mando moments. 

Cowboys, outlaws, and mercenaries

While on his adventures with Grogu, Djarin has made a wide array of allies, and it's been a blast getting to know the scoundrels that haunt the corners of the "Star Wars" universe. The "Star Wars" movies, for the most part, focus on soldiers and rebels, but "The Mandalorian" explores the scrappier side of the universe, where people are just trying to get by. There are other Mandalorians, like Katee Sackhoff's Bo-Katan and Emily Swallow's Armorer, who come from very different ends of the culture and force Djarin to figure out his own commitment to the old ways. There are good old-fashioned mercenaries like Ming-Na Wen's Fennec Shand and Bill Burr's Migs Mayfield, who show our protagonist that there's more than one way to be a hero. And, of course, there's Cobb Vanth, the most charming swashbuckler the franchise has had since Han shot first back in 1977. 

Vanth, played by consummate cowboy Timothy Olyphant, is the swaggering sheriff of Freetown, and when we're first introduced to him, he's wearing Boba Fett's old Mandalorian armor. Vanth is ridiculously cool, the kind of old west hero that harkens back to another era despite living in a futuristic space world. Some fans (myself included) would watch an entire series just about the man we come to know as the Marshall because he's lovable and fun. I'm just glad that he gave Fett the helmet back because hiding Olyphant's mug beneath it seems like a crime. 

A touch of the Force

While Djarin is more used to dealing with his fellow Mandalorians and members of the criminal underworld, it's Grogu who puts him in the path of the Jedi. The little green guy is extremely Force-sensitive, which means that he needs to be with other Force users to help him train his powers. This puts Djarin in contact with a couple of different Jedi, including the badass Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and the legendary Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). The Jedi provide a pretty stark contrast to the various villains and morally ambiguous mercenaries that Djarin usually ends up working around, and each of them is a scene-stealer in their own way. Luke Skywalker is, well, Luke Freaking Skywalker, the guy who blew up the first Death Star. He's kind of a big deal. 

Ahsoka, on the other hand, has mostly appeared in the animated "Star Wars" shows like "The Clone Wars," and her live-action appearance on "The Mandalorian" was an introduction to the character for many fans. The passionate Togruta was Anakin Skywalker's padawan, training under him and fighting in the Clone Wars, and she became a hero for Jedi and non-Jedi alike. Dawson is a great addition to the "Star Wars" universe and embodies Ahsoka beautifully, which makes her upcoming spin-off series even more exciting. 

The ultimate scene-stealer

Of course, there is one character that steals every scene he's in, regardless of whether he's sharing the screen with a Mandalorian, mercenaries, or a Jedi. The little baby Grogu, affectionately referred to as "baby Yoda" by fans everywhere until we got his real name, is possibly the cutest puppet in existence. Yoda is kind of a strange-looking puppet (though he improved tremendously over his original design), but Grogu is even cuter than a baby Pikachu. He's absolutely adorable and he's got a fun personality, too, brought to life through a combination of puppetry and computer-generated imagery. He's a magical little guy with a silly sense of humor, an appreciation for shiny things, and the desire to put random things in his mouth (just like most toddlers). Everyone plays second fiddle to Grogu, whether they're masked Mandalorians or digitally de-aged Jedi masters. He's just that cute. 

"The Mandalorian" is a "Lone Wolf and Cub"-style story about Djarin and Grogu, though "The Mandalorian and his Little Buddy" doesn't have the same ring to it. The pair work best as a duo, and watching them together is one of the greatest joys of the series. The many side characters are all wonderful and deserve plenty of praise, but nothing compares to seeing everyone's favorite grumpy space dad and his big-eared boy.