By George Bate & Josh Reilly B.
The Mandalorian Season 3 recently came to an end as Bo-Katan Kryze retook her home planet of Mandalore in an action-packed finale. Katee Sackhoff, who previously played Bo-Katan in animation in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, had a supporting character in a two episodes of Season 2, but became a co-lead in Season 3 as Din Djarin and Grogu’s clan of two became a clan of three with Kryze joining the lovable duo.
The HoloFiles and Star Wars Holocron had the opportunity to speak with Katee Sackhoff after the conclusion of The Mandalorian Season 3 to discuss her huge role in the show, how close she feels to Bo-Katan as a character, and more.
When approached to bring Bo-Katan to live-action in The Mandalorian Season 2, Sackhoff was given no indication by creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni that she would be so integral to the story moving forward and play such a sizable role in Season 3. “I had no idea,” Sackhoff said. “They didn’t tell me anything until you know I got the scripts, and then I was like, ‘Whoa! Wait a second. This is different.’ I wasn’t prepared for that. I was prepared for Bo to maybe be in more of the episodes this season, because I was told she’d be in more. But I didn’t realize that it would be the Bo-Katan backstory season. I had no idea.”
Bo-Katan went through quite the journey in Season 3. After being elected as leader of the remaining Mandalorians by The Armorer, Bo-Katan wielded the darksaber in battle with the villainous Moff Gideon. Speaking about that fight with Giancarlo Esposito’s antagonist in the finale, Sackhoff stated that “one of the things about [The Mandalorian] that people are starting to realize is that these characters are so big, and these seasons are so big to shoot that it would be impossible to shoot this with one person.” Sackhoff continued by praising the work of her stunt double Joanna Bennett. “For that amazing fight with Moff Gideon, the lion’s share of it fell on Joanna Bennett, who is my stunt double, who is fantastic. We spent so much time together this season getting everything right and working on it there. I did aspects of the fight for sure, because Joe and I, at the end of the day still move differently. But she’s amazing, and I think the most important thing is, as an actor and loving Bo as much as I do, taking my ego out of it and realizing that it would be a disservice to not put the best person in the suit to portray the character that day. In this season, there were no less than three stunt doubles in my suit doing different things because that’s what the character required, and that last battle was awesome, just awesome. It turned out really amazingly.”
Another memorable installment of Season 3 was “Guns for Hire,” which featured surprise appearances by Christopher Lloyd, Jack Black, and Lizzo. Sackhoff recounted that she had already met Lloyd prior to the filming of this episode, but reiterated how big of a fan she was of his from his Back to the Future days. In regards to Black, Sackhoff was worried about breaking character due to the actor’s reputation for improv and comedy. “When when they told me that Jack [Black] was going to play Bombardier, I was like, ‘oh my God, how am I gonna do this?’ [Laughs] My character is the straight character, and I also I don’t have the benefit of having a helmet on. This is gonna be so hard like, how do I not laugh? And the good news is that Bryce [Dallas Howard] and Jon [Favreau] and I had a discussion beforehand that Bo can find these people humorous. She is charmed by them, and that made my life a lot easier because I didn’t have to completely hide my smile.”
Sackhoff also spoke fondly of working with Lizzo, who played the Duchess of the planet in the episode. “Lizzo is such a phenomenon musician, and so humble,” Sackhoff said. “She came in and really just wanted to make sure that she did a good job because she loves the show so much, and you have to respect that. And she’s a phenomenal musician. And I love her music. She’s absolutely fantastic.”
After the finale of Season 2 saw Din Djarin with the darksaber at the expense of Bo-Katan, some posited that Bo-Katan could be the antagonist of the new season. However, Sackhoff never saw Bo-Katan’s journey proceeding in a way that would make her the series villain. “I’ve never seen Bo as an inherently dark, bad character, maybe because it’s that I have such a love for her. I’ve always seen her as a misguided youth, someone who put her faith and trust in the wrong person. But she’s always done what she thought was best for her people. She just made some mistakes, a lot of mistakes along the way. but I’ve never seen her as just a bad person.”
Sackhoff continued by explaining how she enjoyed the direction taken by Favreau and Filoni to make Bo-Katan a collaborator, rather than villain, of Din Djarin. “I knew that that story wise, it would be difficult for them to play that story out because you have a character that the fans love in Din Djarin as well as Bo-Katan, “Sackhoff said. “So it’s a really really hard thing to to decide who gets to win that fight. So I think that they did what was right in that, she bested the thing that bested him [on Mandalore in Chapter 18]. And then they did something really phenomenal after that, and said, none of it mattered, anyway.”
One of the many reasons why Sackhoff’s character has continued to capture the attention and interest of audiences for over a decade now is because of the complexity and nuance of Kryze. In playing the character for such a long period of time, Sackhoff was asked what traits of her own does she think Bo-Katan would benefit from. “She could have benefited from a little bit of humility this season [Laughs],” Sackhoff said. “Bo doesn’t really second guess herself a lot, or seemingly doesn’t. I think that that’s a really great trait to be able to trust your gut at all times. What I would hope is that Bo, moving forward, actually sticks with it. I hope she doesn’t get deterred with the amount of work that is required of her and her people moving forward. I guess resiliency is a good thing.”
Bo-Katan’s resiliency dates back to her time in The Clone Wars and continued into Rebels. At the end of Rebels, a darksaber-wielding Bo-Katan leads Mandalore. However, when we catch up with Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian, Mandalore has fallen and the darksaber is in Gideon’s hands. Sackhoff discussed her approach to playing a character who has so much history and back story told off-screen. “It’s always interesting when you have such a wealth of backstory but such a reduced amount of it ends up on screen,” Sackhoff said. “It’s such a beautiful thing to know a character so well inside and out that I can dream as her and the story, like the movie just keeps going in my head because I know so much of her story, even so much of her story that fans don’t know. I know that there is an amazing story there, and so I would love to see it as an audience member. I would love to see that at some point. Whether or not we’ll get to or not, I have no idea. But she is so fleshed out in my mind. My only hope is that she continues to be on camera.”
Speaking of future on-camera appearances, many fans have wondered if a Bo-Katan spin-off series could be on the horizon, something Sackhoff certainly appears open to exploring. “A solo show would interest me!” Sackhoff said. “I think it would largely also depend on what the focus was what the story was. But I think that that there is more than enough backstory and current story of the Mandalorians as a people for Bo to have her own show.”
More broadly, Sackhoff has appeared in a number of iconic franchises in her career, from Halloween to Battlestar Galactica to DC. The actress pointed out a few other iconic franchises she would like to get her hands on, including a potential jump to another sci-fi franchise. “I grew up watching Star Trek. I would love to do a Star Trek movie. I would love to. It’d be amazing. I just go for the trifecta at that point.” Sackhoff continued, “I’m a huge superhero nerd too, and I am obsessed with Poison Ivy. And I think that I would thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy playing that character. So you never know.”
Watch the full interview below: