‘The Mandalorian’ Stars Katee Sackhoff and Carl Weathers Are Ready to Join Dave Filoni’s ‘Star Wars’ Movie

TheWrap talks to the supporting players that made this season so grand

The Mandalorian Season 3

In the third season of Lucasfilm’s “The Mandalorian” (now streaming on Disney+) the narrative took some interesting detours. While it had previously been centered on the title character (Pedro Pascal), it took on new meaning as it focused on the story of Bo-Katan (Katee Sackhoff), an outcast Mandalorian looking to reconnect with her tribe.

Further volume and texture were given to the series thanks to the emphasis on Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), who went from a morally nebulous underworld figure to a leader of the community of Navarro. While it might have veered away from the core idea of the series, it gave the series a much-welcomed new energy and kept the show fresh and exciting.

TheWrap spoke with Sackhoff and Weathers (yes, on the same Zoom – it was very fun) about their characters this season, the change in direction and whether they’ll show up in Filoni’s “Star Wars” movie.

You guys have been on the show for a while. Carl, you’ve been on it from the beginning. Katee, you’ve been on the last couple of seasons but played the character for many, many years before. How has your relationship to the characters in the show changed over the years and what it was like specifically working on Season 3?

Carl Weathers: Whoa. Katee, you want to jump in? I’ve got way too much time in there.

Katee Sackhoff: I know. The character for me has been such a long experience and such a long relationship at this point. In the very beginning, my ownership and love for her was not as much as it is now because I really just like would … The goal was to come in and portray her the way that Dave wanted her portrayed. And it was about making his vision come to life.

And when you take a character out of animation and bring it into live-action, it becomes more of a collective ownership. What I wanted to do became more important at that point, especially in going into Season 3. I think that the goal for myself this season was to make her feel humbled. I wanted her to feel much more grounded, so the audience would feel comfortable going along on her journey with her. And then just trusting the amazing directors to take me on that ride, because what I think is not always the right thing. You really have to collectively work together to figure out what works and what’s serving the story. But she’s much more important to me now than she was before. I found myself falling in love with her this season.

Carl Weathers: Well, wow, I think what Katee said makes so much sense to me on one hand, and on the other hand, makes no sense to me at all. Only because, and I say this half-jokingly actually, but only because I think it’s about approach more than anything. I’ve come to a place where unless there is something in a character’s construction from the writer, from the creator, that is not something I’m familiar with in my own being, it makes it a bit more of a stretch and maybe there’s some separation in the actor and the character.

In this case, because we have writers who really are smart, they’re very seasoned. This galaxy is something that has some real definition to it because of all the decades that it’s been around, this IP has been around. Audiences are tremendously familiar with these characters and the lore and the tone and the style. That what I can bring to it, hopefully, is some freshness in its immediacy and the way I play it. That’s pretty much the way I go at this stuff.

In every episode that I’ve appeared, that the actor Carl Weathers has appeared in, first and foremost, it’s the story of that episode. It’s the character of course, and whatever that character is up to, his intentions. And then whatever flavor I can put on that, that an audience will hopefully be pulled in by, be drawn in by, be influenced by, because we’re propagandists at the end of the day. We’re telling these stories to say something to an audience and to either get them to lean one way or lean another way or lean back or lean forward.


Carl Weathers: And then I just try to throw it away and forget it all. And then I look into Katee’s eyes as she’s on stage and I’m on stage and I try to have a conversation with her. For me, it’s day-to-day, the work of just coming in with a full vessel, emptying the vessel, and then trying to, as Katee’s used the perfect word, collaborate, to find the juice, to find the energy, to find the tone, to find it all, and ultimately deliver whatever our piece of this puzzle is to an audience.

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 my deal was done. I didn’t know. I knew I was in it much more, I didn’t know the extent of how much I was in. And I think I kept getting through scripts, getting to the next script, getting to the next script, and I finally texted Dave and Jon and was like, “I’m sorry. What?”

Going in 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 pull them with her on this journey and be relatable and forgiven enough that they could go with her and root for her. Because if we didn’t win them, if she was not redeemed in their eyes, it wouldn’t work. the whole season wouldn’t land. And Jon and I focused on that a lot, how do we make sure that this is a character that is remorseful and this is a character with growth, and that the audience is going to see that growth and then want to go along with her subsequently?

And it was just episode by episode, hoping that we were nailing it. And I would get text messages from him or phone calls from him every once in a while that would go, “You’re there, kid. You got it. You got it, kid. Okay, cool. All right. I trust you.”

This was a hard season. I knew that some people would be disappointed that it felt like Mando wasn’t the focus. But ultimately, I think what had to happen is that for this story as a whole to progress, you had to understand who the Mandalorians were at their core, because then you wouldn’t have to go back to it and answer unanswered questions. You could just move forward 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 then help you get to where you needed to go moving forward in season 4 of Mandalorian and then the other shows. I was nervous.

I think I called Jon all the time or sat down with him all the time and was like, “I don’t know if I could do this.” But he just kept holding my hand and making sure I was in the right direction and believing in myself. He was saying the whole time that, “As long as you believe you can do it, you’re going to do it.” That was it. He was my football coach the entire season.

He was your Yoda.

Katee Sackhoff: He was, the whole season.

And Carl you got to give your character some more grace notes – there is a little more humor but also some regality, as he’s running this town.

Carl Weathers: Well, again, I’m such a fan of what Jon and Dave have created with “The Mandalorian” and the writing, three seasons worth now, to look at how they map these seasons out and deliver this tremendous amount of story from episode to episode. For me, it’s a joy to play a character, obviously who has an arc because in so many of the shows that we all watch, it’s really a challenge for writers to deliver week after week and for the production crew to deliver week after week for the actors to deliver week after week. Without the word, we’re all in trouble. Apropos of just what’s going on right now with writers and the statement that 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 have literally a room that is populated maybe by three individuals, so to turn out such great writing week after week …

And also, as Katee was just saying, you think about it, when you come into a show like this, which has so much history, it does make this sphincter get a little tight. Because you’re being challenged to unfortunately live up to something. And that’s not necessarily what an actor wants to have, even though we have it anyway. Because you’re in competition, whether or not you like it, with everything that’s out there, from the $200 million movies to the $20 million episodes. You’re always faced with that. But when you have something that has an IP like this, it adds just a little more of a challenge to it.

I’m really lucky that I don’t have that challenge that Katee and that a few others have had because Greef Karga was not a character who people were clamoring to see more of. We’re creating that character as we move along. And I’m just enjoying the ride and I get to go from being the head of the bounty hunters, to the high magistrate. I mean, come on man, that’s a joy ride. I get with all these kinds of emotions and feelings and attitudes. It’s a joy. It’s an absolute joy.

Filoni was just announced as directing 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 Weathers: I would not bother him with that at all. And it’s simple. Who wants to be rejected? I don’t want to ask for rejection. Better to not be in it and just roll with that than to, “May I have some more please, sir?”

Katee Sackhoff: I tend to agree with Carl. If my phone rings, great, if not, they know how much we all want to be a part of it.