Books > Psychgeist of Pop Culture > Psychgeist of Pop Culture: The Mandalorian

Psychgeist of Pop Culture: The Mandalorian

Jessica Tompkins, PhD


Originally released in late 2019, The Mandalorian is a Star Wars spin-off series streaming on Disney+. As the debut Disney+ original programming, it has aired for two seasons and been renewed for upcoming third and fourth seasons – a testament to its enormous viewership, critical acclaim, and profound impact on the Star Wars fandom and science fiction genre, more broadly. The series follows the laconic Mandalorian bounty hunter, Din Djarin, who is hired by Imperial forces to retrieve ‘the child’ Grogu, an orphan and member of a rare alien species with strong capabilities in the Force. Forging a unique bond, Din forgoes Grogu’s bounty and goes on the run, taking in the child as his adoptive son. The series follows their journey amidst themes of good and evil, parenting and family, and nature versus nurture. In December of 2021, the world of the Mandalorian was expanded in the companion series, The Book of Boba Fett, depicting the titular bounty hunter as the lord of a crime syndicate, which wrestled with similar themes. It also depicted the anticipated reunion of Din and Grogu, who had previously gone their separate ways when Din placed Grogu in the care of Luke Skywalker for Jedi training in The Mandalorian season two finale. This book will explore the psychological underpinnings of The Mandalorian, including, but not limited to, its narratives, primary protagonists, and secondary characters. This is a science-led, rather than editorial or opinion piece, with the focus on the psychological underpinnings of character development, relationships, and environment of these stories.

Chapter 1. The Psychology of Connection: Attachment Relationships (Kelly Pelzel & Burgundy Johnson)
Chapter 2. Who Rescued Who? Bonding Through Trauma (Blake Pellman)
Chapter 3. Is This The Way? The Mandalorian’s Moral and Eudaimonic Journey (Rowan Daneels)
Chapter 4. “Wherever I Go, He Goes”: Fatherhood and male emotion (Keely Diebold)
Chapter 5. Like Father, Like Clone? The Impacts of Nature and Nurture on Boba Fett (Jessica E. Tompkins)
Chapter 6. Finding Family Beyond Mandalore: The Power of Found Family (Carlina de la Cova)
Chapter 7. The Psychology of Ownership: Boba Fett’s Armor and the Darksaber as Cultural Heritage (Stephanie Orme)
Chapter 8. Grogu and Anthropomorphism (Kevin Koban)
Chapter 9. I Was Never Alive: Identity formation the Star Wars Universe  (James Ivory & Michael Senters)
Chapter 10. We’re All Equal Here: Feminist Ethics and The Mandalorian (Gina Marcello)
Chapter 11. “Mando with No Name”: The Nostalgia of Space Westerns (Nicholas David Bowman & Koji Yoshimura)
Chapter 12. Memories of Mandalore: The Psychology of Memory and Recollection (Michael Serra)

Coming Soon
Jessica E. Tompkins, PhD is an author and researcher. She received her M.A. (2014) in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in Media Arts & Sciences from Indiana University in May 2021. Her academic research has explored the intersections of digital games, representation, gender, and fandom. She leverages her knowledge of psychology and social science in her career as an applied researcher in the games industry. She cosplays as a Mandalorian in her free time.