In the third season of Lucasfilm’s “The Mandalorian” (now streaming on Disney+), the narrative took some interesting detours. While it had previously focused on the main character (Pedro Pascal), it took on new meaning by focusing on the story of Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), an outcast Mandalorian seeking to reconnect with her tribe.
The series was given more volume and texture thanks to the emphasis on Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who turned from a morally hazy underworld figure to a leader of the Navarro community. While he may have strayed from the show’s central idea, he gave the series a welcome new energy and kept the show fresh and exciting.
TheWrap spoke with Sackhoff and Weathers (yes, on Zoom itself, it was a lot of fun) about their characters this season, the change in direction, and whether they’ll appear in Filoni’s “Star Wars” movie.
You guys have been on the show for a while. Carl, you’ve been at it from the beginning. Katee, you’ve been in the last two seasons but you played the character for many, many years before. How has your relationship with the characters on the show changed over the years, and what was it like working on Season 3 specifically?
carl climates: Oh. Katee, do you want to jump? I have too much time there.
katee sackhoff: I know. The character for me has been such a long experience and such a long relationship at this point. At first my ownership and love for her wasn’t as much as it is now because I really would like to… The whole point of her was to go in and portray her the way Dave wanted to be portrayed. And it was about making her vision come alive.
And when you take a character out of animation and into live action, it becomes more of a collective property. What she wanted to do became more important at that point, especially going into Season 3. I think my goal this season was to humble her. I wanted her to feel much more grounded, so that the audience would feel comfortable accompanying her on her journey. And then just trusting amazing directors to take me on that journey, because what I think is not always the right thing to do. You really have to work collectively to figure out what works and what is serving the story. But she is much more important to me now than before. I found myself falling in love with her this season.
carl climates: Well, wow, I think what Katee said makes a lot of sense to me on the one hand, and on the other hand, it doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Just because, and I’m half joking really, but just because I think it’s more of a focus. I’ve gotten to a place where, unless there’s something in the building of a character from the writer, from the creator, that’s not something I’m familiar with in my own being, it makes it a little more extensive and maybe there’s some separation in actor and character.
In this case, because we have writers who are really smart, they have a lot of experience. This galaxy is something that has a real definition because of all the decades that this IP has been around. The public is tremendously familiar with these characters and the lore, tone and style. That what I can bring to it, hopefully, is some freshness in its immediacy and in the way I play it. That’s pretty much the way I go on these things.
In every episode that I’ve appeared in, that actor Carl Weathers has appeared in, first and foremost, it’s the story of that episode. He is the character, of course, and whatever that character is doing, his intentions. And then whatever flavor I can put on that, I hope an audience is drawn in, drawn in, influenced by, because we’re propagandists at the end of the day. We are telling these stories to tell an audience something and to make them lean one way or the other or backward or forward.
Carl Times: And then I try to throw it away and forget it all. And then I look into Katee’s eyes while she’s on stage and I’m on stage and I’m trying to have a conversation with her. For me, it’s the day-to-day, the work of just arriving with a full container, emptying the container, and then trying, as Katee used the perfect word, to collaborate, to find the juice, to find the energy, to find the tone, to find it all. and ultimately deliver to the audience whatever our piece of this puzzle is.
Katee, what did you think when you read the scripts for this season and realized that the titular Mandalorian was actually Bo-Katan?
Katee Sackhoff: Yeah, I think I joked once or twice, it was “The Book of Bo-Katan” this season. I didn’t get the scripts until I finished the deal. I didn’t know. I knew he was much more involved, I didn’t know to what extent he was involved. And I think I kept going through the scripts, coming to the next script, coming to the next script, and finally I texted Dave and Jon and he said, “I’m sorry. That?”
Going into this season, I knew the biggest challenge for us was that for people who were fans of “Clone Wars” and “Rebels,” this is a character that needed to be redeemed. She needed to take them with her on this journey and be relatable and forgiving enough that they could go with her and support her. Because if we didn’t earn them, if she wasn’t redeemed in her eyes, it wouldn’t work. the entire season would not land. And Jon and I focused a lot on that, how do we make sure that this is a character that is remorseful and this is a character with growth, and that the audience will see that growth and then want to play along? ?
And it was just episode by episode, hoping that we were making it. And I’d get texts from him or phone calls from him from time to time saying, “You’re there, kid. you got it. You got it boy It’s good, awesome. Alright. I trust you.”
This was a tough season. She knew that some people would be disappointed to feel that Mando was not the focus. But ultimately, I think what needed to happen is that for this story as a whole to progress, you had to understand who the Mandalorians were deep down, because then you wouldn’t have to go back to that and answer unanswered questions. You could go ahead with the Mandalorians as part of the story. And the only way to do that was to go back to a character who was part of and responsible for the destruction of Mandalore. That would help you get to where you needed to go in The Mandalorian season 4 and then the other shows. I was nervous.
I think I would call Jon all the time or sit with him all the time and be like, “I don’t know if I could do this.” But he kept holding my hand and making sure he was in the right direction and believing in myself. He was saying the whole time that, “As long as you think you can do it, you will do it.” That was it. He was my football coach for the entire season.
He was your Yoda.
katee sackhoff: It was, all season.
And Carl, you have to give your character a few more grace notes: there’s a little more humor but also some majesty as he’s running this town.
carl climates:Well, again, I’m such a fan of what Jon and Dave have created with “The Mandalorian” and the writing, three seasons now, to see how they map out these seasons and deliver this tremendous amount of episode story. to episode. For me, it’s a joy to play a character, obviously, who has an arc because on a lot of the shows that we all watch, it’s really a challenge for the writers to deliver week after week and for the production team to deliver week after week for the actors to meet week after week. Without the word, we are all in trouble. About what’s going on right now with the writers and the statement they’re making, I’m not trying to be political, but I think it underscores how valuable writers are. And “The Mandalorian” is a perfect example.
I mean, we literally have a room that’s populated by maybe three people, so to produce such good writing week after week…
And also, as Katee had just said, think about it, when you walk into a show like this, that has so much history, it makes this sphincter clench a little bit. Because unfortunately you’re being challenged to measure up to something. And that’s not necessarily what an actor wants to have, even if we do have it anyway. Because you’re in competition, whether you like it or not, with everything from $200 million movies to $20 million episodes. You always face that. But when you have something that has an IP like this, it adds a little more challenge to it.
I’m very lucky not to have that challenge that Katee and a few others have had because Greef Karga wasn’t a character that people were clamoring to see more of. We’re creating that character as we go along. And I’m enjoying the ride and I can go from being the leader of the bounty hunters to the high magistrate. I mean, come on man, that’s a fun ride. I get all these kinds of emotions and feelings and attitudes. It’s a joy. It’s an absolute joy.
It has just been announced that Filoni will direct an upcoming “Star Wars” event film that would incorporate the world of “The Mandalorian.” Have you already started texting him asking if your characters are a part of it?
Carl Times: I wouldn’t bother him with that at all. And it’s simple. Who wants to be rejected? I don’t want to ask for rejection. It’s better to not participate and get on with it than to say, “Can I have more please, sir?”
katee sackhoff: I tend to agree with Carl. If my phone rings, great, if not, you know how much we all want to be a part of this.