A new book, coming in March, looks at the connections between The Mandalorian, Saint Christopher, and Saint Joseph.
Just one verse each day.
Jon Favreau captivated the world with the debut of his Mandalorian series – while also ruffling some feathers among hardcore Star Wars fans. While he likely never intended it to be overtly religious, or to infuse it with Christian symbolism, the popular television series has many remarkable parallels with two specific Christian saints – at least according to Aleteia’s own Philip Kosloski, the founder and main writer of Voyage Comics, a publishing company that creates “exceptional entertainment, informed by Catholic values, that inspires people to live a heroic life.”
Many have recognized in Din Djarin, the series’ main character, similarities to Saint Christopher. Others have found echoes of Jesus’ father, Saint Joseph.
In The Christbearer, a short book with original illustrations that will be released this coming March, Voyage Comics presents a selection of articles that explore the inspiring Christian themes that can be found in The Mandalorian, as well as a collection of Christian stories and legends that stress this connection. We asked Kosloski to go deeper into some of these possible connections.
It is not unusual to find pop culture icons inspired in Biblical topics, whether Hebrew or Christian. Even pre-christian folk tales, in which one can clearly see the typical hero’s journey, have eventually been somewhat christianized. In fact, the legend of Saint Christopher itself seems to be one of these ancient christianized legends. Why do you think that’s also happening now in the Star Wars franchise?
Kosloski: What I find is that whenever humans write stories about the battle between good and evil, we innately create stories that reflect the Christian mystery. For example, Jon Favreau, who created The Mandalorian series, is Jewish. Yet, so much of the series resonates with Christianity. It’s my belief that whenever we try to make something true, good, and beautiful, it will — even if unknowingly for the author — become an echo of God’s story, Salvation History.
Star Wars has not always been read from a Christian lens. Sure, the Jedi seem to be inspired by a somewhat Christian-medieval code of chivalry, but the Force has a distinctive taoist “flavor.” Would you agree?
Kosloski: Star Wars has always been a mixed bag from a Christian perspective. George Lucas, while originally raised in a Christian home, was fascinated by Buddhist beliefs and other Eastern religions. His Star Wars universe became a mix of all these religions and that is why it isn’t always easy to make a direct comparison to Christianity. There are some similarities, but also many differences.
Your book compares the Mandalorian to Saint Christopher, as they both “carry the child.” But being the Christbearer is a title that has also been given to Mary since the very early days of Christianity. Is there a way we could think of the Mandalorian in a Marian key?
Kosloski: Yes, Mary was certainly the first “Christbearer,” and in that way, can be connected to St. Christopher and the Mandalorian. For the purposes of this book, we mainly focused on two saints, St. Christopher and St. Joseph, while also encouraging people to see their own role as a “Christbearer” in the world, bringing Christ to others.
While the cover artwork does focus on St. Christoper, we actually have the book split into two parts, one focusing on St. Christopher and the other on St. Joseph. St. Christopher is the most similar to the Mandalorian, as in most Western legends he was a “bounty hunter,” a hired warrior who wanted to serve the most powerful master in the world. It took an encounter with “the Child” for St. Christopher to change his life and become a true “Christbearer.” St. Joseph certainly has many similarities, but he was a “just man,” and did not lead a life that needed a dramatic conversion.