News

The Mandalorian’s Katee Sackhoff on Bo-Katan's Leap to Live Action and Efforts to Recover the Darksaber

The weapon is "vitally important to her goal" to reclaim the throne of Mandalore, Sackhoff tells Rotten Tomatoes. Surely a showdown with Moff Gideon is in order.

by | November 30, 2020 | Comments

The Mandalorian Chapter 11 Nite Owls: Axe Woves (Simon Kassianides), Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff)
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Click image to see the full poster in a new tab.

Across Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and now, The Mandalorian, Bo-Katan Kryze’s journey has been circuitous. She keeps saving her homeworld, Mandalore, only to lose it. To Katee Sackhoff, who voiced the character on the earlier animated series and now plays her on the Disney+ live-action Star Wars show, felt Bo-Katan’s attempts to hold the planet mirror the character’s arc.

“She’s always trying to do the right thing,” Sackhoff told Rotten Tomatoes when we caught up with her about joining the Star Wars galaxy. “She’s always trying to bring the people together. I think that’s the one constant with her.”

Her inability to bring everyone together over the long term and free Mandalore also hints at larger story to be told about the once (and possibly future) regent.


Katee Sackhoff in The Mandalorian Chapter 11
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

“Just because she thinks that she is the rightful ruler and just because she thinks she’s ready to lead doesn’t mean she is,” said Sackhoff, who revealed that Bo-Katan’s ego and readiness to lead was one of the many topics she discussed with Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni when they first talked about Bo-Katan’s possible appearance on the show last year.

Sackhoff “cornered” Filoni at Star Wars Celebration in April 2019 to talk about characters from Rebels — set roughly a decade before The Mandalorian possibly making the leap to live action.

“I always wanted to do this, and I needed to be sure that she fit into the world and that her age worked,” she said. “I was ‘fingers crossed’ that I would be allowed to do it.”

Then the call came, which she said was “the most surreal moment of my life.”


BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, Katee Sackhoff, (Season 2), 2003
(Photo by Justin Stephens / © SCI-FI / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

At the same time, though, playing Bo-Katan on The Mandalorian felt like a natural extension of her career, Sackhoff said: “I’ve spent the last 25 years figuring out how to play strong women.”

Besides her role as hot-shot pilot Capt. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace on the Battlestar Galatica reboot, Sackhoff has also put time in on series like The Bionic Woman, The Flash, and, most recently, Netflix’s Another Life, the second season of which she is currently shooting.

“All the pieces just seemed to fit together,” she said.

She also found a surprising new sense of ownership of the role once she had a set of armor to wear on set.

“It was just my voice [in animation], and, really, my job at that moment was to deliver performances that Dave wanted,” she explained. “When you’re going to live action and you are then given the responsibility of portraying this character in actuality, it’s a very different thing.”


The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) and Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackoff) in THE MANDALORIAN, season 2
(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved.)

Although her familiarity with the character was a benefit, it also presented a unique challenge when building the performance. Back in the recording booth on the animated shows, she could be big and expressive to get the performance Filoni wanted, but bringing that larger-than-life energy was out of place on the set of The Mandalorian.

“Bo is regal — her upbringing raised her to be so — and she’s very stoic and she’s very purposeful. When her face does something, it’s calculated, and I needed to make sure that translated because that is very much already been established in animation,” Sackhoff explained. “I had to relearn my own face to make it move less. ‘Crazy Katee’ can’t show up. It wouldn’t have worked.”

She credited “The Heiress” episode director Bryce Dallas Howard with helping her find the happy medium between “who Bo was in animation and who she is in reality.” The episode now has a 97% Tomatometer score on 31 critic reviews.


THE MANDALORIAN, season 2
(Photo by © 2020 Lucasfilm Ltd. & ™. All Rights Reserved)

Looking to Bo-Katan’s possible future, Sackhoff said the character is once again looking to unite as many troops as possible to mount the liberation of Mandalore, “provided there are enough Mandalorians floating around.”

Like so many other aspects of the ongoing Star Wars saga, it is unclear how many Mandos survived the Imperial purge of the Mandalorians and founded covert camps offworld. Nonetheless, Sackhoff is sure uniting the people is part of Bo-Katan’s plan.

Also key to the plan: obtaining the Darksaber. The legendary Jedi weapon forged by the first Mandalorian to join the Order is a symbol of succession and seemingly at the heart of Bo-Katan’s journey across the stars.

“The Darksaber represents something bigger than herself,” she explained. “It is a symbol of respect. It’s a symbol of ownership.”

When key Rebels character Sabine Wren gave her the weapon, it solidified for Bo that “she’s earned” the right to lead; of course, that brings us back to the issue of her own ego and whether or not she really earned the right to rule Mandalore.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out,” Sackhoff teased.


Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian season 2 poster
(Photo by Disney+/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Click image to open the full poster in a new tab.

One element of the story introduced on The Mandalorian suggests she will still need to prove her worthiness: Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) has the Darksaber, and Sackhoff said reclaiming the weapon is “vitally important to [Bo-Katan’s] goal.” It remains to be seen, however, if this means a showdown for the two characters on The Mandalorian or somewhere else in the Star Wars galaxy.

As it happens, Favreau has suggested that the show could switch to a multiple point-of-view format instead of following around lead character Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) all the time, so it is possible Bo-Katan’s fate will be revealed on the series. It is called The Mandalorian, after all, and saving Mandalore may keep Bo-Katan and Din in the same orbit.

The Mandalorian releases new episodes each Friday on Disney+.


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

japanese TCM Star Trek Cosplay historical drama child's play psychological thriller Holidays Lifetime Christmas movies robots RT History criterion laika Christmas dark 2018 what to watch Super Bowl deadpool Pirates HBO Max Paramount Network Set visit Endgame Nominations Marvel Studios latino teaser thriller canceled 2016 political drama die hard stop motion Marathons Pride Month Year in Review Apple indiana jones children's TV Rocky documentaries mission: impossible Hallmark parents animated james bond VH1 Britbox 20th Century Fox TV renewals Hear Us Out name the review travel Rock Amazon Sneak Peek based on movie finale DGA golden globes spanish language Film Festival Comedy Central Academy Awards Star Wars dogs quibi 72 Emmy Awards SundanceTV technology medical drama ID crime thriller Animation YouTube Premium TruTV witnail worst movies unscripted Reality Competition New York Comic Con Awards Tour OWN festivals period drama universal monsters Election Amazon Prime Video Horror Avengers classics nature TCA Universal Emmy Nominations Baby Yoda cinemax sequel See It Skip It TLC binge true crime TIFF Musical critics composers asian-american TNT Alien Tarantino Trophy Talk YA comic books Elton John black MCU Film adventure comedies Trivia Television Academy Esquire strong female leads Box Office Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt justice league CW Seed Epix south america American Society of Cinematographers First Reviews cults 007 Ovation Best and Worst Captain marvel Fantasy X-Men Vudu slashers documentary Binge Guide Teen scorecard MSNBC Trailer AMC Spike revenge Creative Arts Emmys Disney Channel National Geographic Crunchyroll Holiday Mary poppins Women's History Month toronto Mystery Schedule Nickelodeon BET aliens sag awards CMT Premiere Dates dc Writers Guild of America theme song police drama comic movie Rocketman obituary serial killer sequels Shudder The Witch halloween tv cooking independent BAFTA ratings french 71st Emmy Awards Biopics 45 hispanic romance 24 frames Pop Stephen King best fresh crime drama spider-man FOX australia toy story television directors Sony Pictures space Infographic FX 2020 adaptation zombies dramedy Heroines sitcom Paramount Mary Tyler Moore archives YouTube Red Rom-Com spinoff docudrama 21st Century Fox 2015 Emmys book A&E Fall TV HBO screenings Pet Sematary facebook Toys stoner jamie lee curtis Shondaland Ellie Kemper Quiz TBS rt archives free movies Winners A24 Drama renewed TV shows Kids & Family rotten all-time elevated horror vampires psycho Apple TV Plus emmy awards Disney streaming service dceu The CW WGN harry potter zombie ABC Family stand-up comedy joker fast and furious romantic comedy TCA Awards Disney HBO Go PaleyFest USA Apple TV+ reviews LGBTQ Marvel video Marvel Television Pop TV Interview 99% Netflix Christmas movies cancelled Lucasfilm Amazon Prime cats Bravo Disney Plus BBC VOD comiccon nfl Polls and Games award winner franchise Certified Fresh Travel Channel Funimation boxing WarnerMedia Brie Larson Turner Classic Movies news 2017 Netflix Tumblr Columbia Pictures singing competition Country anthology CBS APB DC streaming service streaming DC Universe PlayStation Warner Bros. TV Logo CNN Family miniseries Martial Arts BBC One LGBT crime FX on Hulu Cartoon Network Freeform films VICE game of thrones Extras diversity blockbuster superhero Hallmark Christmas movies Black Mirror SXSW OneApp cars hollywood Adult Swim First Look Mindy Kaling Action Reality a nightmare on elm street war ABC satire Lifetime IFC Films screen actors guild Grammys werewolf Countdown social media movies ghosts video on demand PBS worst tv talk richard e. Grant Dark Horse Comics ESPN Nat Geo festival series game show Classic Film Opinion Showtime E! cartoon Mudbound USA Network San Diego Comic-Con reboot rotten movies we love halloween DirecTV spain anime Song of Ice and Fire mutant kids 2019 cancelled TV series GLAAD GoT doctor who The Walking Dead TCA Winter 2020 TCA 2017 Starz Musicals remakes spy thriller Anna Paquin President CBS All Access Ghostbusters foreign Awards Podcast Video Games batman BBC America 4/20 Comic Book cancelled television Winter TV Character Guide Hulu Valentine's Day comics mockumentary BET Awards GIFs christmas movies The Purge Walt Disney Pictures Fox News FXX MTV NYCC disaster Arrowverse discovery concert Calendar Syfy boxoffice Peacock Amazon Studios Red Carpet Spectrum Originals Disney+ Disney Plus El Rey Western SDCC canceled TV shows Mary Poppins Returns YouTube Tomatazos Food Network Masterpiece chucky scary movies venice The Arrangement Television Critics Association natural history NBC blaxploitation Sundance TV versus Summer Oscars Sundance Sundance Now IFC politics transformers Turner sports The Academy football spanish Lionsgate Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Crackle zero dark thirty Sci-Fi dragons Thanksgiving Music Acorn TV DC Comics RT21 twilight Photos Superheroe casting cancelled TV shows biography nbcuniversal History Black History Month Tubi green book Superheroes Pixar Comics on TV cops Discovery Channel indie Spring TV E3 ITV talk show Chernobyl TV Land Comedy crossover Watching Series italian Cannes hist supernatural Fox Searchlight breaking bad science fiction