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

sag awards cooking MSNBC Sundance Turner Classic Movies Drama Walt Disney Pictures BBC America sports The CW Family Set visit Thanksgiving 20th Century Fox anime CMT GLAAD child's play Ovation green book Amazon Prime japanese Bravo SundanceTV Esquire DC Universe social media BBC Christmas Podcast spider-man Mary Poppins Returns critics biography Syfy scary movies ESPN vampires christmas movies Infographic FX on Hulu TIFF Toys ratings prank binge ABC Signature Funimation Lucasfilm Disney Reality Competition Spring TV Quiz monster movies Country based on movie Crunchyroll asian-american Tubi Lifetime The Walt Disney Company Sneak Peek TCA Awards Musicals Rocketman war Holidays BET justice league razzies CNN NBC VICE popular Comics on TV Amazon Studios El Rey indie Star Trek dragons cancelled TV shows quibi twilight boxing series NYCC elevated horror doctor who halloween nfl X-Men natural history Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt period drama james bond game of thrones ViacomCBS BAFTA latino Netflix documentaries worst CBS Reality Certified Fresh Pop TV Calendar CW Seed remakes Marvel Television Baby Yoda Pop game show Grammys Writers Guild of America YA Martial Arts IFC TCA trailers Classic Film joker blockbuster mockumentary Hallmark Christmas movies revenge New York Comic Con First Reviews Music disaster blaxploitation criterion FX 21st Century Fox Brie Larson Mindy Kaling TBS Lionsgate Year in Review Marathons comic books History VOD comic Pride Month saw obituary 007 Travel Channel pirates of the caribbean Superheroes TV renewals Discovery Channel die hard cartoon toy story Red Carpet Acorn TV streaming stoner 2015 anthology directors tv talk 24 frames versus ABC Family YouTube Red a nightmare on elm street Apple TV Plus TV One comics name the review Amazon Prime Video Starz Emmy Nominations high school ID Paramount Plus Comedy Best and Worst rom-coms IFC Films Mudbound BET Awards cats festivals new star wars movies TCA Winter 2020 Columbia Pictures canceled jurassic park strong female leads animated Alien witnail laika Pet Sematary slashers Marvel casting Broadway fast and furious SXSW discovery Mary poppins Black History Month OneApp werewolf Vudu Disney+ Disney Plus Polls and Games Dark Horse Comics Character Guide Awards USA dark thriller Comedy Central robots HBO RT History Epix FOX franchise Premiere Dates docuseries award winner Watching Series emmy awards 2016 travel Paramount science fiction telelvision Sci-Fi The Academy Showtime DC Comics singing competition 2017 canceled TV shows Fox News Teen sequels Legendary Tarantino FXX cults Hear Us Out stand-up comedy comedies kaiju See It Skip It women fresh Song of Ice and Fire police drama Women's History Month archives space heist movie Film Festival APB Opinion kong Horror indiana jones Arrowverse Star Wars Marvel Studios hist football Shondaland hispanic 99% PaleyFest Masterpiece serial killer golden globes Schedule video on demand Black Mirror TNT diversity LGBTQ RT21 adventure politics GoT renewed TV shows WGN OWN Rocky Kids & Family Ghostbusters dogs children's TV toronto Video Games Tumblr political drama Biopics batman superhero CBS All Access cops cancelled television Trophy Talk book HBO Go Awards Tour finale facebook MTV Western rt archives italian Box Office films 2021 Valentine's Day Pirates nature ABC 2018 Exclusive Video Logo Spectrum Originals A&E LGBT Amazon Superheroe crime satire Television Academy south america independent Pixar cinemax The Arrangement true crime docudrama documentary technology Trivia Fox Searchlight romantic comedy free movies Heroines video Disney streaming service historical drama spinoff DirecTV harry potter National Geographic Chilling Adventures of Sabrina BBC One Cartoon Network Mary Tyler Moore cancelled The Witch Winners Election king kong unscripted kids reboot spain Warner Bros. Apple USA Network Chernobyl TV Land Spike nbcuniversal Adult Swim halloween tv aliens zombies President australia ghosts book adaptation Stephen King DC streaming service dceu worst movies TV Crackle ITV Freeform PlayStation Academy Awards superman black teaser TLC crime thriller San Diego Comic-Con Sundance Now hollywood sitcom Endgame Mystery YouTube screenings venice Lifetime Christmas movies scorecard Paramount Network Turner GIFs comiccon Oscars Rom-Com miniseries DGA Winter TV cancelled TV series television spanish theme song Tomatazos mutant concert movies Super Bowl godzilla Nickelodeon Animation Hallmark adaptation french Ellie Kemper Cosplay foreign 45 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Film Shudder MCU A24 Fantasy Sundance TV Creative Arts Emmys crime drama 4/20 jamie lee curtis Avengers zero dark thirty movie spanish language breaking bad Television Critics Association parents medical drama Rock TruTV all-time E3 American Society of Cinematographers The Walking Dead Nominations Sony Pictures Food Network psycho richard e. Grant festival Disney Channel boxoffice transformers spy thriller Extras 93rd Oscars Disney Plus Binge Guide universal monsters mission: impossible rotten movies we love crossover Peacock Countdown Action Emmys E! chucky rotten 2020 Holiday VH1 dramedy Summer The Purge Trailer YouTube Premium romance talk show Photos Fall TV Hulu news TCA 2017 supernatural HBO Max Musical what to watch sequel 2019 Cannes classics Captain marvel Apple TV+ Comic Book Interview reviews deadpool stop motion First Look PBS SDCC Nat Geo psychological thriller hidden camera screen actors guild Netflix Christmas movies blockbusters zombie WarnerMedia TCM 71st Emmy Awards composers dc Universal Elton John Britbox best Anna Paquin AMC cars 72 Emmy Awards golden globe awards