The Mandalorian just released its season 2 trailer and there is already scuttlebutt that there were issues on set with leading man Pedro Pascal. According to controversial film reviewer Grace Randolph, Pascal was upset that there were not more opportunities for Din Djarin to remove his helmet and show off the actor’s face. This supposedly led to a confrontation between Pascal and Lucasfilm with Pascal leaving The Mandalorian set at some point.
In the world of Star Wars, a Mandalorian does not remove their helmet in front of another person because of religious reasons. This led to a big buildup in the first season where Din Djarin finally had to reveal his face to a droid. However, Randolph reports that the second season does not have any moments with Djarin removing his helmet. This allegedly is the reason why Pascal was upset and left the set.
There are a few interesting elements to this rumor in regards to some known facts. First off, Pascal is rarely involved on set for The Mandalorian. Since the character does not remove his helmet, the majority of the on set performance is done by another actor, Brandan Wayne, the grandson of legendary Western actor John Wayne. Pascal records his vocal performance and it is layered over Wayne’s performance.
So, if Pascal is not on set as much, is he supposedly wanting to only be on set if he has an opportunity to show his face? Randolph implies that the alleged dispute left Pascal and Lucasfilm on bad terms and could affect the future of The Mandalorian. Could Pascal end up being replaced and written out of the show? Anything is possible but it is highly unlikely. The series is a subscription seller for Disney+ and the company will do whatever is necessary to keep the show going.
A more likely scenario is that Pascal’s work on The Mandalorian could transition into a total voice role. A similar setup occurs on the DC/HBO Max series Doom Patrol. Actor Brendan Fraser provides the voice for the character of Cliff Steele but rarely appears in person on the show. The actual actor that performs inside of Cliff’s costume is Riley Shanahan and Fraser can go for many episodes with just a vocal recording session on his schedule.
Could the same thing eventually happen with Pascal and The Mandalorian? If Randolph’s purported story is true, that sounds like the more possible outcome. Pascal does not need to be on set as much if the character is going to remain fully costumed. It’s worth assuming that this could be disappointing to Pascal as an actor but it might end up being the most amicable solution to this alleged problem.
The only issue with this is one of transparency. The Mandalorian has not done a lot of internal marketing to highlight that Pascal is not playing the lead character all the time. They have mostly kept up the illusion that he is the person behind the mask in every scene. If there was more openness about how the show works, maybe this potentiality would not be such a minefield for Disney to navigate. But, that’s the bed Disney has made. Maybe they will have to end up sleeping in it.