Movie Reviews

Katee Sackhoff Explains the Hard Process of Bringing Bo-Katan to Life in ‘The Mandalorian’


Even though fans of The Mandalorian were already aware that Katee Sackhoff had joined the Disney+ series and would be marking Bo-Katan’s first live-action appearance, it nevertheless left viewers speechless the moment she revealed herself in the recently released third episode of the series. Well, if you were pleasantly surprised to see the addition of Bo-Katan so early in Season 2, Sackhoff was actually “dumbstruck” when she was offered the part and even found playing the character in person “hard at the beginning.”

Katee Sackhoff recently shared that ever since the The Mandalorian was being conceptualized, she had expected that the character of Bo-Katan, which she voiced in Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, would be part of it in some capacity. But just like Ahsoka Tano’s live-action portrayal is planned to be brought to life by Rosario Dawson, Sackhoff was sure that if Bo-Katan is added to the series “they would probably recast her.” Thus, when series creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni presented her with the offer to play the part, she was both touched and shocked. 

RELATED: The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 4 Synopsis Leaks, What Can We Expect?

“I got word that a meeting was happening with Jon Favreau. I went to his office, sat down with him and listened to him talk about what a fan he was of the world and of Bo-Katan, and it took a while into the conversation to realize that he was talking about me. And then he very basically asked if this was something I would be interested in. I think I looked at him like he was crazy, I mean who would say no to that? It was one of those moments in my career where I was dumbstruck.”

For Sackhoff, it was a “big moment” when she first wore the entire uniform of Bo-Katan. “Dave was there the first time I had my whole costume on and I had tears in my eyes. I was so overwhelmed and so excited. I was a little in shock that this was my life. I have seen actors around me get opportunities and been so excited for them, and I’ve never really had a moment where I was blown away,” she added. 

But Sackhoff still had to solve the big hurdle of how to the play a character as acutely portrayed as Bo-Katan in live-action. Her animated appearance had tons of different features, attributes, and minute details that Sackhoff found were too integral to her characterization. While she was aware that translating every detail to the screen would be impossible, she still wanted her to be recognizable enough to not be a “jarring presence” for the fans. 

“Her freckles, her red hair, her green eyes, her eyebrows which point down in a slightly unnatural way, and the scar on her forehead. With the hair color, we know what she looks like in animation, but does that translate to live-action? Just because she has bright orange hair doesn’t mean that’s the natural look on a real person. We altered and darkened her hair a little bit, we made the eyebrows just a touch more subtle, but they’re still there. I really wanted to make sure the fans recognized her and that she wasn’t a jarring presence for them visually. I didn’t want them to pick her apart, I wanted them to just enjoy the story with her in it.”

What truly helped Sackhoff in realizing her vision for the character was Filoni and Favreau’s constructive approach to her ideas and the episode director, Bryce Dallas Howard’s expertise. 

“It was a completely different experience for me. One of the things that worked in my favor this episode was Bryce Dallas Howard, who is such a phenomenal director and also an amazing actor. I couldn’t have done it without her, she truly helped me understand that just because I knew this character so well didn’t mean that I’d worked out how to play her yet.”

And she did perfectly play the character, right down to that bombshell moment when she name-dropped another highly-awaited Star Wars character. But “The Heiress” was certainly not the last we saw of Bo-Katan as she has an epic face-off with Moff Gideon in the pipeline. This news comes to us via Variety.

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