Din Djarin and Bo-Katan

Din and Bo: The Male Anima and Female Animus

Star Wars has always had anima/animus pairings throughout its many films, and The Mandalorian now has one with Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze. Whether you call the pairing Dinbo, Bodin, or Din-Katan, this season has show us a new approach to the popular concept of anima and animus.

It takes a departure from most traditional portrayals of the anima/animus, to show us one in which the Jungian ideas of male and female are inverted. Din and Bo represent a female Anima and a male Animus, respectively.

Of course you may be wondering what an anima and animus pairing even is. And why it matters to Star Wars. As I’ve written before, Star Wars has been influenced heavily by Joseph Campbell and his Hero of a Thousand Faces. Joseph Campbell in turn, was influenced by the psychoanalyst Carl Jung.

Jung wrote that there is a collective unconscious that manifests itself in dreams and myths. There are archetypes in our dreams and stories that embody roles such as the Father, the Child, etc. The Animus is the unconscious masculine side of a woman, and the Anima is the unconscious feminine side of a man.

Jung believed that the Animus is more complex than the Anima, and that in people’s internal psychology, these archetypes go through several stages that represent the individual’s maturation and actualization. Now in real life, these don’t apply to much, but for understanding Star Wars and its storytelling, these archetypes figure heavily in motifs and themes.

Before diving into Din and Bo and their anima/animus relationship, let’s go over the main anima and animus relationships in the films. These represent traditional anima/animus relationships with Reylo (Rey and Ben Solo) being the most developed anima and animus in all of Star Wars.

Luke and Leia were the first anima and animus in Star Wars

Star Wars: A New Hope follows the Hero’s Journey outlined by Joseph Campbell fairly faithfully. Luke Skywalker is the titular hero, and for him, his sister Princess Leia represents his anima. Campbell and Jung see the anima as a feminine archetype that acts as the soul for a young man. She is the driving spirit that calls the Hero to action.

Leia’s message through R2D2 is what motivates Luke to seek out Ben Kenobi and begin his journey. By Return of the Jedi, he will learn that she is his twin. It’s a fairly simple anima/animus relationship, and because Luke is the hero, we primarily see Leia as the anima for him. Leia has several animus figures, Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Luke won’t really act in an animus role until after the events of Return of the Jedi, when he trains her in the Force briefly.

Again, it’s not an overly complex relationship here, and Leia acts more as Anima than Luke does as Animus.

Luke and Leia, a simple anima/animus relationship
Luke and Leia are a traditional and simple anima and animus

Padme and Anakin — an anima and animus story gone wrong

Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung wrote that there were dark or Shadow versions of archetypes, including the Anima and Animus. Padme Amidala–though unintentionally–acts as a Dark Anima for Anakin Skywalker. It is not that Anakin loving Padme is wrong, rather his love for her becomes obsessive due to his fear of loss. If she is his motivating soul, she reflects the corruption of that soul. Not because of Padme herself, but because of his own fears. He begins to treat her as an idea rather than as a person, and so Anakin cannot grow or mature.

Anakin Skywalker is a Dark Animus for Padme. Padme sees him as an outlet from her immense duties, and as someone who exists only for herself. Her feelings are entirely understandable, as she was put into an adult role far too young.

Consequently, he is arrested in the Romantic stage for her. For Carl Jung, as a person matures, their relationship to the Anima and Animus matures as well. The Animus goes from Man as an idea of physical power, to Man as a Romantic, Man as an Orator/Clergy [Truth teller], to Man as Psychopomp. The Anima goes from Eve, to Helen, to Mary and Sophia. It is best to read this simple Wikipedia for a summation.

For Padme, Anakin is stuck in Romantic. She does not wish to see the unpleasant Truths of him until it is too late. Anakin rarely sees Padme above the level of Eve [woman as a source of love and fulfillment of desire]. Anidala represents an Anima/Animus that fails for both characters, as neither Anakin, nor Padme can see the whole of each other.

Anakin and Padme are a more complicated and dark anima/animus
Anakin and Padme are a dark Animus and Anakin with a more comlicated story

The Dyad– the Quintessential Anima and Animus

It would take far too long to go over what is the most complete and realized version of the Anima and Animus in Star Wars. Rey and Ben Solo are an extremely literal Anima and Animus pair. They are the Dyad, a name borrowed directly from Joseph Campbell’s thoughts on the Jungian archetype of the Divine Pair.

As Rey is the main character, we see Ben Solo go through all levels of Animus, representing her eventual understanding of Ben Solo, her Darkness, and thus herself. They are a Holy Union of masculine and feminine. For Ben Solo, Rey is his Anima, his soul. As Adam Driver said of his character, Ben knows that as long as he goes to her, is with her, he is where he needs to be.

She is very truly his Light. And for Rey, what begins as the beast-man of Kylo Ren [a Dark Animus], eventually becomes an extremely literal Psychopomp, leading her with (with his ship, his holocron) to the Land of the Dead that is Exegol. He will go to the Pit, emerge from Death, bring Life to her, and go back to the Mystical Unconscious. In the Rise of Skywalker novel, she can still speak to him, where ever he is.

There are many, many metas about Rey and Ben Solo and their anima/animus story. I encourage everyone to read these, as they go much more into depth, than I can go into here on a blog primarily about Din and Bo. Here is one to start.

Rey and Ben Solo as the anima and animus
Rey and Ben represent the ultimate anima and animus–it drives the story of the sequel trilogy

Din and Bo — The Inverted Anima and Animus

Dinbo is the first pairing in Star Wars that inverts the Anima and Animus in the gender of its pairing. Whether Din Djarin and Bo-Katan Kryze become romantic remains to be seen. Certainly, the episode Guns for Hire drapes the pair in romance.

But what stands out in this season of the Mandalorian is that Din Djarin is the Anima role, and Bo-Katan is his Animus. Din is the soul and motivator for Bo-Katan’s reconnection to the spiritual heart of Mandalore. Bo-Katan is the Psychpomp Animus.

Unlike with the Dyad, in which we see Rey’s Animus go through all steps of the Animus over the course of several films, for Din and Bo, these two are already towards the end of these steps early on.

This is likely because neither Din, nor Bo, are youths any more. In the Skywalker Saga, we see young people grow psychologically to be heroes before us. Instead, Din is a 40 something man who has undergone some development already (though I do not believe his growth to be finished), and Bo-Katan Kryze is a 50 something woman that has lived a hard life of mistakes.

Din as Knight, Bo as Fisher Queen

Our story presents Bo-Katan in the role of the Fisher Queen. The Fisher King is an older man, who has lost his soul and spiritual ties. Her life is already a traditionally masculine one in Arthurian folk tales. Because the Anima is the embodiment of a man’s soul, Din Djarin adopts the role of a feminine spirit (and perhaps we must regard Percival the Fool as a form of female anima, too).

When Bo-Katan Kryze first meets Din Djarin in the season 2 episode “The Heiress”, she is already intrigued by him, even if she doesn’t know why. Marie Gould, at the excellent podcast, What the Force, pointed out that Grogu is a sort of Grail Child.

Bo-Katan Kryze will end up rescuing this Grail Child and his Father multiple times. Din Djarin, the bearer of Grogu, is Bo’s Anima on several levels. He is the damsel that must be rescued in both the Heiress and the Mines of Mandalore.

But most of all, when she puts aside her biases and follows him (as Ben follows Rey), she is lead to the waters where she can see the Mythosaur. This shakes her to her core, and renews her faith. Through following her soul [Din Djarin] she is lead to the Children of the Watch, where she meets the Wise Woman (another Campbellian/Jungian archetype who will direct Bo to reunite Mandalore with a renewed faith in her people.

Bo as the female Animus

For Din Djarin, Bo-Katan Kryze represents the female Animus. She is both the Truth Teller, and the Psychopomp. Din has led a cloistered life, knowing only what his covert tells him. But it is Bo who does not hesitate to speak bluntly to him. She tells him openly he is in a cult. She tells him truths of Mandalorian history that was denied him. This is not to say she doesn’t have biases–she doesn’t understand that the Children of the Watch isn’t exactly the Death Watch she was swayed as a youth and brought into–but she has a perspective he doesn’t.

But ultimately, she is the way to his subconscious. She leads him to Mandalore. She leads him to the Waters. The Psychopomp is the Guide that leads you to the underwater caverns that represent the Soul, and to Death itself. She brings him back from Water again and again.

Din Djarin as the male Anima (and the Fool)

Joseph Campbell believed that women in stories were already Goddesses that simply needed to realize their own spiritual potential. Din Djarin is in this role. He is a great motivator, rallying the Armorer, Paz Viszla, and Bo’s Nite Owls to her cause.

But he goes about this with seemingly no self-awareness of his own power. Again, he is Percival the Fool, a Knight that is a man, but who acts in a role seen as feminine in other fairytales. The Tarot Card of the Fool usually portrays the Fool as androgynous, and associated with Spring.

The Fool, a more feminine or androgynous figure. Din Djarin acts as a male anima, and Percival the Fool. Innocent and Spiritual.

Bo often chides him for his naivete in their first meeting in both the last season and this season, referring to Din and his beliefs as “adorable.” But it is when she chooses to save him and follow him, that she learns is is more clever and resourceful than he seems.

Din holds on to his memory of Bo-Katan saving him until it is needed. She gains her people back though the Darksaber he never cared about (he only cared about her), and she finds the gardens on Mandalore. Spring returns, life returns. The Anima and Animus, Din and Bo, have brought the return of Mandalore.

I do not think the story of Din and Bo is over, though this season may have represented the bulk of it. They are an anima/animus and the continued union of the two brings renewal to Mandalore. Grogu is the Child that will likely lead Mandalore into the future, and Din and Bo are a Sacred Father and Mother to him.

Since the revival of Mandalore represents a threat to the nascent First Order, I do wonder if all three (Din and Bo and Grogu) will be separated, leading to Mandalore’s loss again. Of course, it would take awhile for Mandalore to return at all, and it may be that the First Order can ascend by virtue of Mandalore taking a long time to be restored.

Hopefully, we will see more of Din and Bo in season 4 of the Mandalorian in their established roles as Knight and Queen, and parents to Grogu.

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