In The Mandalorian‘s first season finale, our hero was sent on a quest to return Baby Yoda to his people. Din Djarin’s reaction was telling: “You expect me to search the galaxy and deliver this creature to a race of enemy sorcerers?” The implication is that even this experienced and well-travelled bounty hunter isn’t familiar with the Jedi, which raises the obvious question as to why?
After all, not too long ago, the Jedi were a major force in the galaxy. Jedi Generals led troops in battle in the Clone Wars across numerous planets and their headquarters was an enormous temple right in the center of Coruscant. And yet, by the time of The Mandalorian, it seems both the Jedi and the Force have become an obscure myth.
Djarin isn’t alone in being in the dark about Jedi, of course. In A New Hope, the similarly well-travelled Han Solo says, “I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything,” and Darth Vader is casually dismissed by other Imperials for his “sad devotion to that ancient religion.” Luke Skywalker himself, meanwhile, only learned about the Jedi when he met Obi-Wan, though it’s understandable that Owen and Beru would want to keep that information from him given his ancestry.
So, how could this collective amnesia have come about? First up, it’s worth remembering that the Star Wars universe is a very big place and there were relatively few Jedi. Even if someone had been involved in the Clone Wars (as Djarin was as a child), it’s very unlikely that they would have seen or met a Jedi. On top of that, the Emperor conducted a propaganda campaign after Order 66 designed to erase the Jedi Order from popular consciousness. So, if people are knowledgeable about them, they may not want to reveal it for fear of a knock on their door by Stormtroopers.
You could also argue that the Mandalorians don’t socialize much with outsiders or aren’t taught history beyond the legends of Mandalore. Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how The Mandalorian season 2 handles this incongruity, especially as our heroes are set to encounter legendary former Jedi Ahsoka Tano. The standard of writing in this show has been exemplary so far, so I have confidence they won’t drop the ball.