A Beginner’s Guide to Dating a Mandalorian
Ever wondered what it would be like to date a Mandalorian? Are there things you should know first? The pros, the cons? What to expect? Here are the answers to your questions based on concrete experience. You're welcome.
Date a Mandalorian, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. Mandalorians are mysterious and cool and sexy, they said. Well let me tell you, as someone who is, at present, sitting in the same room as a Mandalorian, married to him, and currently seven months pregnant with said Mandalorian’s child, I think I can boast of having full authority on this subject. And yes, they are mysterious and cool and sexy. Allow me to enlighten you further.
I first met my Mando when I was twenty-six, he was about thirty-five, and I was the bounty that he was sent to apprehend. My “employer”, Cinthian Darr, had sent him after me with a promise of four hundred credits. Apparently he considered it worth the expense to get his favorite slave girl back. My rebellious spirit was attractive to the wretch I guess or maybe he just wanted to punish me for what I did the last time I saw him. Whatever the reason, he recruited the Mandalorian to come after me. That being the case, I didn’t stand a chance. Especially considering this particular Mandalorian’s skill.
I am proud to say that I managed to evade him for approximately two minutes, winding through narrow streets and alleys. In the end, however, I found him quietly waiting for me around a turn, leaning casually against the wall.
When I tried to flee, he caught me and stilled my attempts at fighting with almost contemptuous ease. Within a few seconds, I was cuffed and being hauled back towards his ship and slavery. I didn’t even try to struggle or beg for mercy. I could tell that here was a man who had done this a million times before with far more dangerous criminals than an escaped slave girl.
And here is my first piece of advice. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by Mandalorians’ intimidating and stony exterior. You will have to be prepared because as I found out on this first short trek with my Mando, they can be incredibly close-mouthed, flinty, and intimidating. The frightening efficiency with which they do basically everything and the beskar armor add to the effect. When they do respond or talk to you, not much changes except that they are they are inclined to be brusque and to say something that will most likely make you feel about the size of a baby porg. Or maybe smaller. If you are put off by your perspective significant other being a tough nut to crack, look for love somewhere else, honey.
About five minutes after we had taken off, the Mandalorian in front of the controls and me in the passenger chair in despairing silence, the cockpit door opened. I turned in shock. There in the doorway stood one of the smallest, cutest alien babies I had ever seen. The enormous ears and eyes added to the innocent expression. It held out its tiny hands and cackled. Behind me, I heard a quiet sigh. Mando leaned down and beckoned and the baby shuffled happily into his arms. He set it on his lap.
“I thought I told you to stay in bed, you little womp rat.”
He rubbed the back of one of the big ears with his finger. I could hear a note in his voice that sounded like affection and it contrasted sharply with the dispassionate tone that he had used when he offered me choice of being brought in warm or cold. The baby only cooed and reached for the ball on the top of one of the control board levers. To my great surprise, the Mandalorian unscrewed it and handed it to him.
“Isn’t that a little dangerous?” The words slipped out of my mouth before I realized I was saying them.
The Mandalorian turned to face me and I shrunk back in the seat under that inscrutable stare.
“What do you mean?”
I swallowed heavily.
“Well, I mean the ball. Isn’t that a choking hazard?”
He cocked his head, considering, and looked down to where the baby was attempting to cram the ball into its small mouth.
He turned back to the controls and adjusted one of the switches.
“Aren’t you going to take it away from him?”
“No,” came the answer. There was a pause and I thought that he was going to clam up again, but then he gave a quiet sigh and said, “If I take it away, he’ll cry and refuse to stop until I give it back.”
“So you’d rather he chokes than cries?”
The Mandalorian looked back at me rather sharply and I got the impression that he was frowning under the helmet.
“I didn’t ask for your opinion.”
His tone was unfriendly again. I scowled and slouched back in the seat. We flew on in silence for several minutes. Suddenly, I felt a gentle touch on my leg. Looking down, I saw the baby had somehow gotten off the Mandalorian’s lap and had come over to me. It looked up with those impossibly big eyes and held up its hands to be picked up. I coughed hesitantly. There was no response from the control chair.
“Um, Mandalorian, sir,” I said after a moment. “Your…your baby…”
That made him pay attention anyway. The Mandalorian swiveled around and looked at the baby who was still holding up his arms to be held.
“Come here, kid,” he said. He replaced the baby on his lap and started to turn back to the controls. The little green bottom lip stuck out and got lower and lower until the baby dissolved into thin, shrill howls. I winced. The Mandalorian tried various things to calm him, but in the end, he simply turned and shoved the baby at me.
“You hold him,” he growled exasperatedly. “I need both hands right now.”
He turned back to the control board and took the twin steering sticks. I looked down at the already brightening baby, who was snuggling into the loose front of my shirt. He looked up at me and grinned conspiratorially and I almost laughed. This baby was a force to be reckoned with. And he had his caretaker wrapped around his little finger and knew it.
I knew a little bit about the Mandalorians and knew that among other things they often took in foundlings, which was what I assumed this baby to be. The only other things I knew for sure was that they never took their helmets off and that they were incredibly deadly with their weapons. Oh, and that they were terrifyingly good bounty hunters; I could vouch for that now.
We touched down about half an hour later. Even with the baby sleeping peacefully in my arms, all my dread came crashing down on me again. It had taken me six years to get that escape opportunity. It wasn’t likely that I’d ever get another one and knowing Darr, I would be punished severely for my efforts.
The Mandalorian’s hands moved over the control board, turning off switches and shutting down the ship’s engines. He stood up abruptly, then paused when he saw the baby curled up in my lap and his intimidating bearing seemed to soften a little. Reaching down gently, he took the still-sleeping child out of my arms, settled him in his levitating bassinet, and closed the doors.
“Come with me,” he said gruffly and then left the cockpit. Feeling myself beginning to shake, I followed him.
We left the ship, and began to walk towards the hideously familiar marketplace. The smell of the greasy street food and still greasier people made my stomach turn and I had to fight a rising wave of nausea. Biting my lip, I followed the Mandalorian’s tall form through the crowd, glaring at anyone who caught my eye. By the time we reached Darr’s house, however, most of my attempted bravado was falling away. The cold fear in the pit of my stomach had grown until it filled my whole body and I was shaking so hard I could barely stand up. The Mandalorian knocked and a droid opened the door. It scanned the card he offered and then showed us in. We were led into the entrance room where Darr was waiting. One look at his face, and I felt what little courage I had felt disappear. I was back in the nightmare.
“Ah! Here’s our little truant,” Darr growled. “Thank you, Mandalorian. I see your reputation was not unfounded.”
He handed over a small credit bag. The Mandalorian opened it briefly and seemed to be counting the credits.
“You promised me four hundred.” The voice coming through the helmet sounded dangerously level.
“Four hundred? No, it was three fifty!” Darr scowled, running a clammy hand down my spine where the low back of my shirt left it bare. I shivered violently. The Mandalorian was apparently unmoved.
“It was four hundred.”
The two men before me stared at one another and it was Darr who backed down first.
“Aw whatever you say, Mando. You boys always ask for more than you’ve earned.”
“So where’s the other fifty?”
Grumbling, Darr fished out more credits from his wallet. The Mandalorian counted them and then gave a curt nod and put them in the bag.
“Good day to you then, Mando,” Darr said. The Mandalorian gave him a long unsettling look then glanced at me and went for the door. I turned to watch him go. The moment he disappeared, however, there was a crack. I felt a sickening pain on the back of my head that dropped me to my knees with an involuntary sob. I heard Darr’s wicked chuckle.
“This is only the beginning, girl,” he snarled. “After what you did…”
He lunged towards me then stopped. Glancing up I saw that the Mandalorian was standing in the doorway again, looking back.
I admit that it would have been much more romantic if he had swooped in and saved me then and there, but Mandalorians are not romantic as a rule. (Note that down) To him, I was just another bounty. An unfortunate one in a bad situation perhaps, but still a bounty and he had already gotten into trouble once when it came to absconding with bounties after they had been payed for.
I don’t need to describe the rest of that day in any more detail. Suffice to say it was pure misery. As I lay in a cell that night, I wished fervently that the Mandalorian had simply killed me when he found me instead of leading me back to this horrible place.
I must have been sleeping, no doubt I worn down somewhat by loss of blood, when the door of my cell slid open. Blinking in the light, I made out the form of the Mandalorian, finger to his helmet where his lips would be in a gesture of silence. Nodding, I stood up and limped over to him. I had no idea what was going on, but after what I had just gone through, I didn’t have the strength to resist.
I followed him for what seemed like an age and gradually realized that he was taking me along the same route that I had used to escape. My head swirled as I tried to figure out what game he was playing and a vague hope grew in my heart. Only when we reached the street, though, did I let myself hope for real.
By the time we reached his ship, I was panting and exhausted, although that was partly due to my injuries. Fact number three: Mandalorians’ are incredibly fit. They can and will run you to the ground. Don’t even try to challenge them: you will end up losing.
He lowered the gangway and we both went aboard, the door closing after us with a sharp, metallic thud. As soon as he did, I heard a muffled wailing. The alien child who had sat in my lap was crying somewhere on the ship. I expected the Mandalorian to go for the child, but instead he took me to the small sleeping quarters. He gestured to the lower of the two bunks and I sat feeling as though I were dreaming. The Mandalorian disappeared though a doorway and I had begun to wonder if he simply couldn’t hear his foundling’s crying though the helmet when he returned with a medical kit. He opened it, knelt down in front of me, and began to dress my various wounds. I might have hissed a few less then complementary things when he reached some of the deeper cuts, but if I ever seemed in too much distress, he would stop what he was doing and give me a few seconds breather. It was a good fifteen minutes before I was patched up and by the end of it, I was feeling much better.
“Come with me.” They were the first words he had spoken to me since we left his ship that afternoon.
The Mandalorian climbed swiftly up to the cockpit and I followed as quickly as I could. As I reached the room, the wailing suddenly became louder and I saw the Mandalorian was bending over the baby’s bassinet which he had just opened. He picked it up, setting it in the crook of his arm and pointed to me.
“Look, she’s here now.”
I stood there stunned as the baby slowly unwrinkled its little face and began to smile. I took the baby hesitantly from the Mandalorian who then slumped exhaustedly in the control chair.
“He’s been crying since he woke up.”
I stared at him.
“Sir, did you bring me her to make the baby stop crying?”
The Mandalorian turned his head to look out the ship window.
“Partially?” I could hear the rising tension my voice. “What else?”
He didn’t respond immediately and I felt the blood draining from my face. What did this mysterious man want from me? Did he seriously just break me out of Darr’s cell to comfort this crying kid? Or did he want something for himself?
He looked up and saw my expression which probably bordered on terrified.
“I…I didn’t like the way he treated you,” he said quietly.
My mouth actually hung open. The baby started laughing and reached up to touch my shocked face.
“So…you…can I…that is, am I coming with you sir?”
The Mandalorian tilted his head in silent assent.
He stood up and went to leave the cockpit, but paused on the threshold and turned back, looking at me, the helmet making his gaze as inscrutable as ever.
“You can call me Mando,” he said and then he was gone. Like I said before, Mandalorians are a people of few words. Do not get into a relationship of any kind with one if you are in need of constant or even frequent conversation.
He gave me some spare clothes of his in place of my torn, bloodied, revealing slave garments. I am somewhat travel-sized so his clothes practically swallowed me, but I was thankful all the same. On our first stop after my rescue from Darr’s cell, Mando (as I now called him) went into the town and got me some clothes of my own to my great surprise and pleasure. They didn’t fit perfectly, but they were a great improvement over wearing his.
We traveled around quite a bit. Mando would land in a town or city, refuel, and ask around for people in need of a bounty hunter. I would either stay on board the Razor Crest (it seemed rather a dramatic name for the old ship) with the baby or (occasionally) go into the town with him, the bassinet floating along behind me. He had given me a wristlet to control it, as there seemed to have been an unspoken agreement between us that I’d be the baby’s caregiver when Mando was gone or busy.
The next several months passed in much the same way. Allow me to just say here and now that if you do succeed in gaining a Mandalorian’s affection he is most likely not going to say so for a very, very, very, VERY long time unless you give him plenty of encouragement and even then, you might just have to be the bold one in the relationship. Mandalorians are incredibly and I mean INCREDIBLY shy when it comes to expressing feelings of any kind. With that said, it is not surprising that I didn’t notice much out of the ordinary with regards to Mando for quite a while. We started out as somewhat uneasy friends that gradually warmed to each other. The discovery that we both shared a love for a Sabacc (although neither of us cared to bet on it) contributed greatly to this warming and many long hours where whiled away with the game. Mando also taught me to fly the Razor Crest. He said it was good to have another pilot on board in case of an emergency. It also meant that he would be standing or sitting near me, guiding me with his either voice or hands for hours at a time. I began to feel a strange flutter in the pit of my stomach when his gloved fingers covered mine to help me though a maneuver.
After I had been with them about three months, I suppose I began to notice that Mando seemed to look at me a lot, but I didn’t think much of it. I had my own problems. By this time I had come to the uncomfortable realization that I was falling hopelessly in love with him. He was tall, imposing, every inch the daring fighter, not to mention having a gorgeous deep voice that made me tingle and (as I discovered on the rare occasions that I saw him without armor) a decidedly well-built frame. Even his helmet was attractive. How is that even possible? To this day I swear I don’t know, but it’s the truth.
As a note from a professional, the helmet does add greatly to the difficulty of deciphering your Mandalorian’s feelings. When you can’t see someone’s face, guessing what they are thinking is incredibly difficult. Another important fact to be aware of is that Mandalorians have no clue when it comes to flirting. They almost never engage in it and if you try it, more than likely they will think you are threatening them or will miss the point altogether. I tried a little when I first started having feelings for him and it had absolutely no effect. To this day he claims that he honestly didn’t know what I was doing.
I was in complete despair by that point: certain that the man I was falling for so hard would never return my regard. Romantic love didn’t seem to fit his personality although the more I saw him with his foundling son, the more I realized that there was a tenderness in Mando that he kept deep down inside and only allowed to show completely when he and the baby where alone (or at least he thought they were).
The only indication that I had of his growing feelings for me was that he started sharing more personal information over our games of Sabacc. Never much at a time and always with some completely valid reason as to why he was telling me, I learned how he had lost his parents in the Clone Wars, been discovered and raised by the Mandalorians, his life as a bounty hunter, his fateful mission that ended with the adoption of his child, and his so-far fruitless search for the child’s people. Knowing him (and Mandalorians in general) as I do now, his sharing such personal things should have given me some hope. Unfortunately for me, it did not and let me tell you: it is very uncomfortable to spend most of your time in the same tiny spaceship as the person with whom you are secretly, hopelessly, despairingly in love.
In return for his stories and confidences, I gave him what little there was to know about myself. I had lived in a small farming village, been captured by slave traders at age nine, and moved around between masters until I came to Darr and Mando rescued me.
Towards the end of the fourth month, in complete desperation, I started ignoring him as much as possible to try and quash down this “insane crush” as I thought of it, once and for all. Poor Mando was confused and worried thinking that he had done something wrong or had offended me somehow. Instead of talking to me however, he tried to stay out of my way to make it better, which of course only served to make me feel worse. Things got more and more painful and awkward between us until it all came out one night in a rush.
We had landed just outside a small city a few hours before and Mando had gone into town to try and stock up on some things that we needed. I was left to mind the little one who quickly went to sleep so I had nothing to do. I tried tidying and even went up to the cockpit and tried to run through all the flight procedures that I could think of, but I couldn’t settle down. The fact that I was sitting in his chair which smelled like him and seemed to envelop me in Mando-ness didn’t help of course. I gave up and went below, lowered the gangway, and sat with my legs stretched out, looking at the country around me. It began to get dark: still no Mando. I thought it was odd that he should be out so late since it was only supposed to be a supply run, but maybe he had found a job and wouldn’t be back for a day or two. He usually tried to warn me when he did that, but it wasn’t always possible for him to make it back to the ship before leaving on the mission.
Nothing could have prepared me, however, to see Mando sprinting out of the twilight towards the Crest, blaster in hand. I leaped to my feet as he came dashing up, sending a two shots over his shoulder as he did so.
“Saana! Close the hatch!” he shouted, diving past me and heading for the cockpit at a run. I hit the control to raise the gangway and then ducked with a yelp as four blaster shots whined just over my head in quick succession. As soon as the door was closed, I turned and ran after Mando. Already the Crest was lurching as it lifted off. I heard several more lasers ping off the hull before we were out of range and Mando was panting hard as though he had been running at that speed for a good while.
It took about fifteen minutes for him to get us to a point where he could let the computer take over and then he slumped back gratefully in his seat. We had made a habit of only leaving the emergency lighting on when we were landed and it was daytime and in the scuffle of taking off so hurriedly, neither of us had turned them on. I turned away to do so now and just as I hit the switches, Mando gave a long sigh that was almost a groan. Turing sharply, I was horrified to see that he was bleeding steadily from several places.
“Mando! You’re bleeding!”
“I know,” followed by another sound that was definitely a groan.
“Then why are you just sitting there?” I shouted and ran for a medical kit.
Upon more thorough inspection I discovered that he had received two bad blaster hits in the right leg near his hip and a long, deep cut along his arm and another on his hand looked like they had come from a knife. His beskar armor had taken most of the heat from the fight, but a few lucky shots (and slices) had gotten past his guard. He told me in a deceptively calm voice that a group of about fifteen bounty hunters had boxed him in while he was walking through a narrow street and that he had had to fight his way back to the ship. In the end, I had to do a combination of stitches and cauterization while he sat still and gritted his teeth. I tried to keep my hands steady as I worked, but his labored breathing and the occasional hiss of pain were making it hard. By the time I finished, my hands where shaking and I was biting my lip to keep back tears. I sat back on my heels and looked up at him as he stood up and adjusted the dressing on his leg. Seeming to notice my gaze, he looked down and our eyes met through the visor of his helmet. Something in me snapped and jumping up, I threw my arms around him with a sob that I couldn’t stop.
He was hesitant at first, then I felt him relax and his uninjured arm went around my back. I cried against the metal of his chest-plate for several minutes. Never in the whole time I had known him had Mando come back with anything more serious than a couple of bruises and scratches. I knew that he had almost died several times in the past, but actually seeing him legitimately injured caused my heart to twist with fear. When I finally stepped back from his embrace, I reached up and grabbed the sides of his helmet as though I could cradle his face underneath.
“Mando…Oh Mando, don’t scare me like that! I…I love you.”
The words were spoken before my glitching brain caught up with my tongue. I heard him breathe in sharply and then go stiff as stone. I dropped my hands and stood there, my face on fire, in completely horrified mortification over my stupid slip-up. I hung my head, refusing to look him in the face. Then, though the mist of my embarrassment, I heard the soft chuckle that I knew was Mando’s though I had only heard only a few times when he was playing with his son and didn’t know that I was nearby. I looked up in surprise and saw that his body language was an odd combination of happy and nervous.
“I’m glad,” his voice sounded shy. “I’m not alone then.”
I stared up at him in complete shock.
Mando nodded, his head dropping self-consciously and I realized that he was probably blushing under his helmet.
“I’ve loved you for so long, Saana; so long.”
In response, I more or less fell into his arms again and he caught me and held me close against him with another soft laugh which I echoed. When we parted again, I reached out and touched the helmet gently with one hand.
“Such a pity,” I said, a hint of playfulness creeping back into my tone. “I could kiss you this very moment, but this blasted helmet of yours is getting in the way.”
“So it is.” I could hear the smile in his voice.
“Very well, my Mando, I shall have to be content with kissing your hand.”
This I proceeded to do very gently and then he lifted my free hand as well and leaned down so that my forehead was touching the cold metal of his helmet.
Mando sighed and looked down at our clasped hands.
“My name is actually Din Djarin. Mando is just short for ‘Mandalorian.’"
“Din,” I tried the name on my tongue and found that it rested there pleasantly.
“Saana,” he echoed and gathered me back into his arms. We only separated when a sharp beep informed us that one of the controls needed adjustment.
Now here it must be said that if you find kissing someone to be an essential part of a relationship, a Mandalorian probably isn’t for you. The Creed states that a Mandalorian cannot take their helmet off in front of anyone other than their husband or wife and their children. Thus if you do not marry them, you will never see or touch your significant other’s face unless they abandon the Creed and their helmet forever. Mando (or rather Din as I now started to call him) was not about to do this. I understood and accepted that, but there were definitely times when we both wished that the Creed’s rules were different. I discovered that he had a ticklish spot on the top of his shoulder near his neck and took to kissing that instead, especially when he was sitting down facing away from me in the control chair. He would flinch and we both would laugh. His substitute to kissing me was to lean his helmeted forehead against mine while holding my face. It got the point across, of course, but was sadly lacking in more ways than one.
Time passed. It was harder, in a way, knowing how we felt about each other. The confining quarters of the Razor Crest were both a curse and a blessing. If one or both of us were in a bad mood, then the air practically sizzled. On the bright side, it forced us to accept all of the parts of each other as lovers. Nothing confirms your compatibility with someone like spending most of your time in a confined space with them and ending up not wanting to kill them most of the time.
We always stayed in our separate bunks at night, but Din, who slept up top, would sometimes dangle his arm down and I would hold his hand. This resulted in both of us waking up with numb hands and arms more than once of course, but it was rather romantic if you ask me.
After a year and a half as lovers, Din and I started to talk of being married. Into the midst of these happy plans, however came a great sorrow: we had to give up the child. On a remote planet in the Outer Rim, we found an inhabited Jedi temple. The masters there agreed to instruct him in the ways of the Force and to care for him until he grew old enough to be on his own. Never had I seen Din so upset as they day we said goodbye to our little womp rat. I was sad too, of course, but the bond I had with the little foundling was not the same as the one that bound him and his adopted father. Din kept himself together admirably until we made it back to the ship, then he simply collapsed into his chair and cried. I had never heard him cry before. I comforted him as best I could for a while and then told him to go to bed while I took us off-planet. For the next five days, he was not himself. I was worried sick; trying to make sure he ate and slept even a little. Then, quiet suddenly on the sixth day after we had left the child behind, he walked purposefully into the cockpit where I was sitting, idly tapping my nails on the edge of the control board. I swiveled around as I heard his footsteps. He leaned against the doorframe for a moment and then came to sit in the passenger chair, taking both my hands in his.
“Saana, I know we only started talking about this lately, but I’ve been thinking: when would it make you happy to be married to me?”
I smiled and swung our clasped hands gently.
“If I could marry you this very moment, I’d do it.” I felt an impish grin break out on my face. “Where is the next good stop?”
We were married two days later in a tiny, simple ceremony in a little backwater town on a little backwater planet. It took perhaps half an hour and then we were walking briskly back to the Crest, hand-in-hand, both conscious of how odd it felt to be wearing a ring. As soon as we stepped inside, however, every other feeling was lost in a sense of excited anticipation. Din closed the hatch and we stood facing each other in breathless silence. Finally, I reached up and laid my hands gently on either side of his helmet. He covered my hands with his and helped me lift it. I closed my eyes at the last moment until the helmet was well and truly off, then I opened them and felt a thrill go through me that seemed to pierce my heart. Here stood my Din, finally unmasked. His hair was a soft brown, curly and slightly tousled from the helmet we had just removed. He had a nice nose, a slightly pointed chin, kind eyes, and was looking at me with an expression that made my heart skitter… I took a moment to take it all in and then threw my arms around him and kissed him full on the lips and…and everything was perfect.
So, as I sit here almost two years later in my comfortable living room (Din insisted on getting a house after we discovered my pregnancy as space travel is reportedly bad for developing babies and their mothers) with my very loving husband rubbing my lower back as an excuse for reading over my shoulder, I have one last thing to say. To anyone out there who is considering dating a Mandalorian, be warned: it is hard at times. They are tough to read and impossible to argue with, and have an armor that extends past the metal they wear. Nevertheless, if you can get under their shell, if you really love them and they love you in return then nothing, not even beskar can come between you and happiness.
And that’s that! I hope you enjoyed my little story! I'm no Star Wars or Mandalorian expert so I'm sorry to those of you who are for any inaccuracies. This idea just presented itself to me and stuck around until I wrote it. Do you wish you had a Mando of your own? Let me know in the comments. Cheers!