The HoloFiles

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW PART 4: Sam Witwer talks The Mandalorian Season 2, Being Up for a Role in Season 1, Mandalorian Culture, and Easter Eggs in the Show

By George Bate and Josh Reilly

Star Wars Holocron recently had the opportunity to speak with Sam Witwer about a range of Star Wars related topics. Part 1 of our exclusive interview focused on the Siege of Mandalore, with Parts 2 and 3 covering Rebels and Solo respectively. In today’s Part 4, Sam Witwer talks about The Mandalorian.

Witwer is a fan favorite among Star Wars fans, so much so that many have pushed for the actor to appear in a live action film or TV show. When asked about whether or not he would be interesting in appearing in The Mandalorian, Witwer revealed that he was originally on a shortlist for a role in the first season of the show:

“I got put on a shortlist on Mandalorian for some role and I thought maybe that was from Dave [Filoni], but then I found out it was actually from casting. Casting came up with the idea. The way they do it, I guess, is they put a bunch of people on a list and then the producers pick someone. So I relayed that to Dave, and I think it was awkward because I was saying “When I’m on the show” and this and that. But what I was actually trying to say was I actually took myself off that list because I don’t want to mess with your show (Laughs). I was trying to say that. I don’t want to mess with the show, nor do I want to take the risk that I’m wrong for the show and then you hire me because I’m your buddy. I was trying to say that but it came off wrong (Laughs). And there was this awkward silent moment. I think I need to text the guy and tell him that’s not what I meant! But what I meant to say was that if [Dave] had a need for me and there’s something I can do for you, you can tell me yourself. I’m not going to try to get in the way. That’s what I was trying to say. Because I don’t feel like Star Wars owes me a damn thing. Star Wars has been very good to me.”

Witwer also talked about how he was a fan of the many Easter eggs and smaller details in the first season, one of which being the reappearance of the Flame Trooper from The Force Unleashed:

“I was really happy to see our flame trooper [from The Force Unleashed] show up in The Mandalorian. That was fun…That was so fun. Because that’s not just a flame trooper, that’s OUR flame trooper. That’s the markings on the armor from Force Unleashed. There’s so many things in Force Unleashed that we designed, so many ideas just like that that I think would be incredible to bring into the cinematic universe. It would be great. But yeah the flame trooper, I definitely smiled at that. I don’t know if… well, look, it’s Dave Filoni, so I have to believe it was done on purpose. (Laughs).”

Witwer also teased the second season of the show:

“There are things that [Dave Filoni] has coming in The Mandalorian Season 2 that are going to blow people’s minds. Because the thing is that Dave and George always had the same instinct when it came to this.”

Witwer elaborated on these instincts that Dave Filoni and George Lucas share, and gave an example:

“And what this is is that they would ask them, ‘Okay we need to tell a story about witches.’ And then they’d sit there and say, ‘Well do we have something like that in Star Wars? What about the Nighsisters of Dathomir. They’re witches.’ Yeah, okay, wait a second now, [George and Dave] go in and look at the designs and look at how it looks and go ‘yeah that fits.’ And sometimes [George and Dave] would be like ‘Oh that doesn’t fit, we actually have to do this instead, right?’”

Witwer also talked about his interest in Mandalorian mythology, which plays a big role in The Clone Wars and Rebels and seen again in the first live action Star Wars show:

“Start them out as passivists and then, you know, have their ancient past be warrior culture. Now, they’re passivists, but then they get corrupted by the war and become warriors all over again. I mean, I remember at the time, all the fans being up in arms about how they were pacifists. And you’re just like, don’t…”Only a Sith deals in absolutes.” Don’t think that people won’t change. That’s how stories work….And with the Mandalorians, it’s not interesting to say they were a warrior culture. What’s interesting is, why are they a warrior culture? Why is that? What drove them to that? How do they think about this stuff? And learning about, even watching The Mandalorian, seeing that that character [Din Djarin] is a way more orthodox, old school, religious type Mandalorian, whereas Pre Vizsla’s the guy who is dipping his toe into the water in terms of dipping into the old ways with Beskar. Not the best Beskar, but Beskar, y’know? They’re manufacturing that armor so that people who join them can start training and have their own set of armor. He built this. You know, he was the guy who was experimenting with that. Whereas, then you jump ahead to The Mandalorian, you know. The Mandalorian has the good stuff. They’ve rediscovered the art of creating the best stuff, creating the best Beskar, you know what I mean? It’s wonderful mythology, but, like, it’s not impressive or interesting if it’s just put in front of you like all at once. You have to build that story and watch it grow.”

We’re eagerly anticipating the upcoming season of The Mandalorian after the first eight episodes were so enthralling and entertaining. Sam Witwer’s inclusion in the show would have been great and we’d love to see an actor with such range and a passion for Star Wars appear in a future live action project soon. This concludes Star Wars Holocron’s 4 part interview with Sam Witwer! May the force be with you all!

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm and Disney+.

Interview was conducted and transcribed on 04/16/2020.

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