The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau watches The Last of Us too and has shared thoughts about the inevitable Joel and Din Djarin comparisons.

Pedro Pascal has become a top-tier actor for the role of the protective father figure, having simultaneous roles as both The Mandalorian’s Din Djarin and Joel Miller in The Last of Us. Every actor has something of a type, and Pedro Pascal seems to have become known as a father-figure who protects his child in a world (or galaxy) gone wrong. Given the popularity of The Last Of Us, it’s no surprise Jon Favreau – showrunner of The Mandalorian – has watched the series as well.

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Favreau shares that he too has been watching The Last of Us. He also notes how much Joel and Din Djarin have in common as father figures respectively seeking to protect a high-value child from external threats. However, he also notes the differences between Pascal’s two major roles in 2023:

“It’s amazing how much he’s really cornered the market on this dad, protective father archetype…but they’re different characters, though! Completely different characters, but both have that same… There’s a central relationship of modeling a protective father in a not very communicative relationship.”

While Favreau concedes both Joel and Djarin fall into the same archetypal category, they do have quite a few distinct differences that set them apart from each other.

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Yes, Joel and The Mandalorian Do Have Differences

Pedro Pascal in The Last Of Us and Mandalorian season 3 with Bella Ramsey's Ellie and Grogu

The two characters both find themselves thrust into the role of a father to a child they’re not related to, but Joel and Djarin have very different motivations and backgrounds. Joel has a much darker past, one where he had to do terrible things to survive in a world that’s fallen apart. For all that’s the case, though, he has to be paid to protect Bella Ramsey’s Ellie in this dystopia. Although their bond has grown over time, it’s happened despite Joel’s best efforts to stay distant due to the trauma of losing his biological daughter during the initial global outbreak in The Last of Us.

In contrast, Djarin’s Mandalorian went back to save Grogu despite having already been paid to retrieve him for the Empire. He chose to rescue and continue protecting Grogu simply because it’s the right thing to do, initially as much of out of creed as a sense of attachment. While he similarly couldn’t help but form a bond with Grogu, he didn’t actively try to resist it as Joel has done with Ellie. Additionally, Djarin has a more religious background due to the traditions of his clan, giving him a system of belief as opposed to Joel who’s quite jaded and struggles with concepts like faith and hope.

Din Djarin is, therefore, more of a hero in his protection of Grogu when compared to Joel; the latter is fighting against his own nature, including the self-interest and inner darkness that would normally keep him away from someone like Ellie. Favreau seems to indicate he doesn’t believe any version of the father-figure archetype is better than the other, and he’s absolutely right; both provide Pedro Pascal with distinctive and exciting roles that are equally entertaining. The Mandalorian season 3 starts streaming March 1 on Disney+.

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Source: Empire Magazine

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