Let’s face it: The forces of good and evil in Star Wars aren’t the sharpest crayons in the box when it comes to military strategy. We all know how well super-weapons and long-legged, armored walkers worked out for the Empire. Likewise, the entire Rebel defense strategy, as demonstrated on at least two planets, seemed to be digging a trench. Literally. That’s it. One analyst now makes an argument that Din Djarin, a//k/a The Mandalorian, may actually be the smartest soldier in Star Wars. And you know what? We generally tend to agree with him. Generally.
A member of the Army National Guard, engineering officer and former infantryman recently wrote an analysis of The Mandalorian’s military tactics for Wired. He concluded that the Disney+ show depicts some of the most realistic military engagement in the Star Wars universe. As he notes, Djarin is “an expert at cover and concealment.” He puts those skills to the test in the Sanctuary episode in protecting a defenseless village. Together with Cara Dune, he makes use of their environment by creating defensive barriers and obstacles. They use the enemy’s weakness against it, to great success. But does that make the Mandalorian bounty hunter the smartest soldier in Star Wars?
Is the Mandalorian the smartest soldier in Star Wars?
Of the current Star Wars products, I think the answer to that question is yes. It certain wasn’t Admiral Holdo. (Seriously, what commander doesn’t share a tactical plan with the subordinates she needs to effectuate that plan until it’s too late?) Likewise, for a former Stormtrooper, Finn is dumb as a box of rocks. And the gang on Star Wars Resistance? How any of them are still alive, on the Colossus or in the First Order, is a mystery. But to say Din Djarin is the smartest soldier in all of Star Wars?
I think General Anakin Skywalker might beg to differ.
Granted, Anakin was at times impulsive and unorthodox, but his methods proved more than adequate. His strategies, and his clone troopers, were some of the most effective in all of the Clone Wars.
Likewise, we get another dose of Anakin’s strategic brilliance in Timothy Zahn’s novel Thrawn: Alliances. Later, even as Darth Vader, he knew the Empire’s tactical reliance on the Death Star was misplaced. He did, after all, ominously warn the Imperial elite not to “be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed.”
Din Djarin, smartest solider in Star Wars? Perhaps. A pity we’ll never get to see him put his skills to the test against the mind of Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker.