A very select group of characters have been brought from the various ancillary mediums into the Star Wars live-action world. Saw Gerrera of The Clone Wars was the first to fulfill the feat, joining the cast of Rogue One and expanding our view on the workings of the Rebellion. Cobb Vanth recently made the jump from page to screen , carrying forward a thread set up in the Aftermath trilogy in The Mandalorian "Chapter 9 - The Marshal."
Star Wars fans were over the space station to see Bo-Katan Kryze make her live-action debut in the latest episode of The Mandalorian . It was a long journey for the character, who first appeared in The Clone Wars and later in Rebels . Fortunately, the Nite Owl leader was modeled after her voice actress, who has now described the process behind bringing Bo-Katan to life...
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight , actress Katee Sackhoff detailed her hopes of playing Bo-Katan Kryze in live-action:
"I sort of thought to myself, at the back of my mind, you never know [about playing Bo-Katan in live-action]. I knew that it would probably never happen. Fan castings never happened, and so I slyly mentioned it to Dave Filoni when I saw him at one point, and he was like 'You never know' in his cheeky little way that he does it."
Despite her previous doubts, a phone call to meet with executive producer Jon Favreau changed everything:
"When I got a phone call to sit down with Jon Favreau, I think my brain exploded. I sat down at this meeting really thinking I have to jump through hoops. I walked in and it was pretty surreal. He was like 'Do you want to do this?'. I didn't even know how to answer the question. Of course I wanted to do it. I was such a huge fan of the show so this was pretty amazing."
Sackhoff felt it was imperative that Bo-Katan's obscure animated features be conveyed in live-action:
"It might sound really crazy but Bo-Katan has a scar on her face and I was really attached to that. I was really attached to her freckles. I was really attached to how her eyebrows point down in just the weirdest way, where it was finding the animated version of it which was a bit cartoonish in the sense that they go down at such a point, and then translating that onto a real person and making sure it didn't look cartoonish."
Spitting Mando's iconic line back in his face was a long process, and the character's intentions were always in mind:
"I don't know which version of that they actually kept, but I don't think I've said 'This Is The Way' more times in my entire life. I think I said it many, many times that day, trying to give options. Like, what was she thinking? What was she planning? What does she want? We'll all just have to wait and find out."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Bringing characters over from animation into live-action is still a new experience for Star Wars, making the process largely undefined. Saw Gerrera in Rogue One was several decades older than when we met him in The Clone Wars, and Cobb Vanth's appearance in the books was left up to interpretation, so Bo-Katan was the first character that required a seamless transition.
With Bo-Katan being modeled after Katee Sackhoff, using the actress for the live-action role was a no-brainer. Everyone's stories about meeting with Favreau and Filoni when getting their parts are amusingly similar, showing how highly-regarded both of the creators are.
Sackhoff clearly approached the role very seriously and wanted to get every detail right, even down to the subtle scar on Bo-Katan's forehead that many people have likely never noticed. Translating the character's eyebrows from animation to live-action is a tightrope walk, but there was nothing out of the ordinary in the finished product.
"This is the way" is quickly becoming one of the more iconic lines in Star Wars, and as much as it has meaning for Din Djarin, it's also a point of ridicule for many of those surrounding him. That it took many takes to get Bo-Katan's sarcastic delivery of the line sounds right, as there's a lot of nuance and deception behind her words.
Having Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian is still surreal, and she's just the first animated character to join the show. Ahsoka Tano will be joining the fray in the coming weeks, with Captain Rex and Sabine Wren likely by her side. The Mandalorian is an ever-growing world, and the galaxy far, far away is feeling more connected than ever before.