The Mandalorian's Jon Favreau Weighs In On Pedro Pascal Playing Similar Father Figures On Star Wars Show And The Last Of Us

The Mandalorian and The Last Of Us
(Image credit: Lucasfilm / HBO)

The talented Pedro Pascal is presently in the midst of a big pop culture moment. He's been acting for decades and turned a lot of heads with his fantastic turn as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones Season 4, but now he plays the lead on two hit shows with massive audiences: Disney+'s The Mandalorian and HBO's The Last Of Us. It's been exciting to watch him work and the series do well – but many have pointed out that there exists notable similarities between his roles, and now joining that chorus of voices is The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau.

The filmmaker is presently on a worldwide press tour promoting the upcoming third season of the hit Star Wars show, and it was during a recent Q&A with Empire that he pointed out a funny similarity between Pedro Pascal's twin hit shows: both feature the actor as a reticent father figure who goes on a long strange journey with a young companion. Or as Favreau put it,

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.

In The Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal plays Din Djarin, a bounty hunter who ends up becoming a paternal figure to Grogu – a diminutive, mute alien who is part of the same unnamed species as Star Wars' legendary Jedi hero Yoda. In The Last Of Us, Pascal plays Joel Miller, a rebel in a postapocalyptic world who travels with a young girl (Bella Ramsay) who may be the key to stopping the deadly fungus that has decimated humanity. It's not terribly hard to see a connection.

That being said, Din and Joel do indeed have different personalities (as Jon Favreau points out), and it most definitely should be noted that The Mandalorian and The Last Of Us didn't exactly invent the dynamics that exist between their main characters. The Japanese manga Lone Wolf and Cub, for example, was first published back in 1970  with a similar premise, and it specifically has inspired a great number of other works – such as Road To Perdition (both the comic and the Sam Mendes movie adaptation), and director James Mangold's Logan. We've even seen the archetype played by both George Clooney and Clint Eastwood respectively in the last few years in the films The Midnight Sky and Cry Macho.

The setup is long past being original; it's just funny that Pedro Pascal is in two examples of it simultaneously and has been doing a terrific job in the different roles.

And Jon Favreau is most definitely a fan of what the actor is doing. When asked if fans will get to see more of Pedro Pascal's usually mask-obscured face in The Mandalorian Season 3, he suggested that audiences watch The Last Of Us:

Watch it on HBO! It's a great show, by the way. I've been on the road, I missed the last one, so I don't want any spoilers. He's great!

Currently in the midst of its first season, The Last Of Us aired its seventh episode this past Sunday, and if you're like Jon Favreau and need to catch up, all you need is an HBO Max subscription. As for those looking to watch The Mandalorian Season 3, Star Wars fans are now just a couple days away from new episodes, as the premiere is scheduled to launch on March 1 (so get your Disney+ subscription and begin your rewatch now).

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.