Is there anything harder than being a parent? We love our children and we worry about them. We want to do what we should for them, even to point of being distracted from the kids themselves. So when the Mandalorian, a bounty hunter from the Star Wars universe meets “the kid,” his experience is just like ours. (Contains spoilers from episode 3.)
1. Parenthood comes as a surprise. Discovering that the bounty he is hunting is a baby comes as a shock. He had plans, but the baby upended and rearranged all his priorities. It happened gradually, as it does for all of us. No matter how much we prepare, we grow into parenthood.
2. Focusing on what he should be doing distracted him from the child. Caught between two codes, that of the bounty hunter guild and the Way of the Mandalore, Mando spends weeks ignoring the child right in front of him. Even though this kind of cuteness is irrepressible.
3. You want a good stroller. Who wouldn’t love a hovering bassinet that follows you around without any effort? It’s even the right size to fit through doors and elevators, and it definitely fits in the trunk.
4. Childcare drop-off is stressful. For most of us, that means handing our children to friendly women offering hugs. But we still leave for work hoping our kids will be okay. Baby Yoda is going to hang out with a sinister ex-officer of an evil empire and a creepy scientist who looks way too interested in him, but hey it might be fun. Like all parents, Mando gets a little anxious when they take Baby Yoda into the “playroom.”
5. Parents are at our best when we get curious about our children. When Mando finally stops letting his code distract him and starts asking questions about “the kid,” he begins to understand his child’s needs. Baby Yoda needs to be rescued from the Storm Troopers at his daycare center.
6. Everyone is a critic. As soon as Mando stops listening to everyone else telling him what he should do to make his own decisions about Baby Yoda, the storm of criticism descends. The Bounty Hunters’ Guild tells him he’s wrong, the other Mandalorians tell him he’s wrong, and the Storm Troopers really have a problem with him.
7. Parents need a community of support. Sure, the Mandalorian is an excellent advocate for Baby Yoda, but no parent can go it alone. Mando succeeds in rescuing his kid from the Storm Troopers, and most of the bounty hunters. But it’s when his community descends from the sky with jetpacks and laser guns, that Mando feels what it means to be supported by friends and family.
8. Connecting is what matters most. In the quiet moment before takeoff, when Mando and Baby Yoda share a moment together, and a knob from the ship’s control panel.