“The Mandalorian”: Katee Sackhoff also has questions about Bo-Katan

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It’s not often that an actor who created a character in animation continues to portray the role in live-action, but Katee Sackhoff just got it right.Sackhoff made her debut in “The Mandalorian” in “The Heiress”, the third episode of season 2, as Bo-Katan Kryze, a character she played for years in “Star Wars: The Clone. Wars ”and“ Star Wars Rebels ”.

Bo-Katan is a character with a lot of history. She was introduced as a member of a Mandalorian terrorist group that was trying to bring the old ways of warriors back to Mandalore, which at the time was ruled by her sister. She must have reclaimed Mandalore from outside forces more than once.

“I think it’s pretty funny that she’s having this whole thing,” Sackhoff said on a recent phone call.

Even so, there is still a lot of Bo-Katan history that is unknown to “Star Wars” fans and even to Sackhoff herself. Below, Sackhoff discusses her thoughts on Bo-Katan, touching on the live-action version of this character and what she did to make sure she nailed that key line in the episode.

Between “Clone Wars”, “Rebels” and “The Mandalorian”, what do you wonder the most about the shortcomings of Bo-Katan’s story?

There is so much about her that I wonder and don’t know. I just spent the weekend texting with [executive producer] Dave [Filoni] talk about his story, just for fun. I think the way she was raised and the circumstances in which we first met her in “Clone Wars” is such an interesting thing and I wonder how she got there. How did she get to a place where, for all intents and purposes, she’s against her sister? I have always found it very interesting and constantly want to know how it went because I am so intrigued by this family dynamic.

How has Bo-Katan grown since you first met her?

For me the main thing with Bo is how she went from a person who had no desire to lead to a reluctant leader and I think she became that. I always say that just because someone thinks they can lead doesn’t mean that they can. Bo-Katan is a leader in times of war and she wants to bring peace and unity to her people. For me, it would be very interesting to see what it really looks like for her. His sister was the boss and I don’t know if [Bo-Katan] never really wanted this job. I think she’s kind of pushed into it, and she feels she has to. While her sister was a bit of a pacifist, I think she sees that there is a need for both in a leader.

Koska Reeves (Mercedes Varnado), left, and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackoff) in “The Mandalorian”.(François Duhamel / Lucasfilm Ltd)

What was it like seeing and putting on Bo-Katan’s armor the first time around?

I legitimately cried. I was there with Dave Filoni and he kept saying, ‘The fans are going to lose their minds, Katee, they are going to lose their minds. He and I were just overwhelmed. It looked like Bo had literally stepped out of animation and into real life. And then I remember we went to show Jon [Favreau]. He was so calm in the way he separated things. We really wanted to have the perfect hair. And I think he tied Dave and I because we were so overwhelmed with that emotion and Jon was like “uh huh. ” It was really great. It was a beautiful combination of emotions.

How did you approach this character that you have known and played for so long in a completely different way – where now you play him physically too?

I honestly thought it would be easier because I knew so much about her and saw her in my head so many times and dreamed of her. But I had never moved like her and it was a really strange thing. I have, for better or for worse, an incredibly expressive face. She’s a lot more regal and stoic than me and it took some getting used to. But you didn’t want it to be made of wood. So Bryce Dallas Howard, on set, kept telling me, “No more real boys, Katee.” No more real boy. It was such a beautiful metaphor. It actually made me understand Bo-Katan better to look at him from Pinocchio’s perspective. Sit there and say, “Oh, that’s right. Pinocchio is the same as before, but now he’s learning to move and be a real boy. This is exactly how I felt.

How does it feel to know up front that you’re essentially delivering the episode’s most important line?

“On the forest planet of Corvus you will find [Ahsoka Tano]. You mean it the right way. This line carries weight. This is what “Clone Wars” fans have been waiting for and it is such a beautiful moment for them. Can you imagine if I screwed this up?

My dialogue is very technical on “Star Wars” and you can’t just memorize it like you would normal lines. Therefore [my fiancé] I started throwing tennis balls at myself while we were having a dialogue because we figured if I could play wrestling then I actually had my lines memorized. There were definitely a few times where I focused on the lines and got hit in the face with a tennis ball. But it was actually the best way to memorize the “Star Wars” dialogue – to have bullets thrown in your face.

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