Warning: This article contains spoilers from The Mandalorian season 3, episode 7.
After only appearing in a single episode ofThe Mandalorian season 1 and a single episode in The Book of Boba Fett, Paz Vizsla became a prominent recurring character in The Mandalorian season 3.
Beyond being a devout Child of the Watch and a fierce Mandalorian warrior, season 3 dove deeper into Paz Vizsla, exploring his role as a father and a leader whose values go beyond dogmatically adhering to the Children of the Watch’s rules. All of this built to and culminated in his game-changing decision in “Chapter 23: The Spies.”
As Bo-Katan Kryze used the Darksaber to cut an escape route for her fellow Mandalorians through the sealed blast doors of Moff Gideon’s secret base on Mandalore, Paz covered their escape. Yet, even after the other Mandalorians escaped and Bo-Katan told him they were clear, Paz chose to stay behind and continue shooting at and killing the Imperial Super Commandos wearing beskar armor. He closed the blast doors behind him and told Bo-Katan to go as there were too many of the Super Commandos.
Paz chose to make a valiant stand and potentially sacrifice himself to save Bo-Katan and the other Mandalorians. He actually killed all of the Super Commandos on his own, but he did not survive as the three Praetorian Guards that Moff Gideon requested earlier in the episode appeared, and they quickly killed Paz, with their weapons able to pierce his beskar armor.
Paz didn’t go out the way he thought he would, but he knew the risks. He went out fighting until his last breath and he did it because he is a protector and a leader of Mandalorians, which this season showed on numerous occasions.
This was established from the very first scene of the season when Paz immediately jumped into action to protect his son Ragnar and the Children of the Watch’s covert from the dinosaur turtle. Everything he did to get Ragnar back in “Chapter 20: The Foundling” continued to show this. Beyond the obvious fact that he wanted to protect his son, Paz also recognized that there is more than one way to lead as he did not try to do it all himself and worked well with Bo-Katan and Din Djarin, even following Bo-Katan as the leader of the war party.
Convincing the other Children of the Watch to defend Nevarro against the pirates was another defining moment of leadership for Paz, demonstrating the influence his words and actions can have over others. He used that influence to do what he believed was right, even when that meant admitting he was wrong.
When Bo-Katan returned to Nevarro in “Chapter 23: The Spies” with Axe Woves, Koska Reeves, and the other Mandalorians she recruited, Paz told Ragnar to take the children inside. Paz wanted to make sure his son and the other children would be safe, especially if violence erupted between the various Mandalorian groups gathered together.
As the scouting party traveled to the Great Forge on Mandalore, Paz and Axe Woves got into a heated disagreement about the rules of a game they were playing and it escalated into a full-on fight. Grogu (in his new IG-12 suit) broke up the fight, and when their ship was attacked by a giant monster, Paz and Axe Woves were the ones who picked up Grogu in the IG-12 suit and carried him to safety.
Given all these developments, it ultimately isn’t too surprising that a character who has proven himself to be a protector and leader chose to sacrifice himself to save others. However, it is important that those Paz sought to protect include Mandalorians who he had fundamental disagreements with or even fought in the past, including Din, Bo-Katan, and Axe Woves.
In the end, those disagreements and fights didn’t matter. Despite their different beliefs and practices, Paz viewed them all as Mandalorians and felt it was his duty to step up and protect each and every one of them.
Paz’s character development and the development of his relationships with Din and Bo-Katan made his sacrifice much more impactful. It is also proof that being Mandalorian isn’t about wearing a helmet, winning the Darksaber in combat, or being descended from a Mandalorian house. Being Mandalorian is about honor, loyalty, and protecting one another, and that was what Paz embodied to the very end.