Fans of Star Wars animated series The Clone Wars and Rebels favorite Bo-Katan Kryze long waited to see when Katee Sackhoff, who voiced the character for eight years, would make her live-action debut. Their patience finally paid off with her emergence in the episode "Chapter 11: The Heiress" on the hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian. The episode revealed that Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) stole the famed darksaber from Bo-Katan, who fans saw wield on the animated series. The actress spoke with Deadline Hollywood about the experience.
"For Bo-Katan, the darksaber represents so much, there's so much lore about it, but at the same time, it's in her mind and based on history; it's the way to bring together the people of Mandalore and the way to rule and respect that is by earning it," Sackhoff said. As established by The Clone Wars and Rebels EP Dave Filoni, the weapon was forged by Tarre Vizsla, a Mandalorian who tried as a Jedi and took control of Mandalore and ruled it. The saber changed hands after the weapon was originally stolen from the Jedi Council. "She's a warrior and she has struggled tremendously with being a leader," Sackhoff continued. "For her, I think there is a struggle and a story about who she becomes in peace, if that were to ever be accomplished and what kind of ruler she would be. She's never really, that we've seen, gotten that opportunity, and whether or not she's ready for that. Just because she thinks it's her rightful place, doesn't mean she's ready or equipped to rule Mandalore,"
During the episode, Bo-Katan reveals to Mando/Din her relationship with the Jedi to one Ahsoka Tano, which fans of the animated shows are already aware of. "To say that she had a good relationship with the Jedi is a bit of an overstatement," Sackhoff admitted. "I think that there is some sort of history there [with the Jedi]. What Bo-Katan specifically means by that is not for anyone to know yet." Returning to the role, the actress met with Filoni, who also has a creative role on The Mandalorian to bring her up to speed on the character. "From my experience with them and my experience in the industry, if you go and sit with a showrunner and ask questions, they'll give you answers," Sackhoff said. "It may not be specific answers, and it may not be directly what's going to happen in the future. But if I go and sit down with Dave Filoni and we talk about the world of Star Wars and how it relates to Bo-Katan, he'll tell me anything I want to know. It's just a matter of asking the right questions and then seeing how it fits in a storyline. There are no guarantees moving forward for anyone in any series. Things change and you never know. My questions are never, 'What's my involvement in this?', rather it's 'Let's talk about Bo-Katan'."
When it came to Sackhoff's first day on the set of The Mandalorian, it was surreal going from the animated world to the live-action evoking the classic 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. "My first day felt a little untethered," she told Starwars.com. "I did feel a little like Roger Rabbit in this alternate world where I was human but I wasn't…. Because I had seen her on-screen and some of the things that she did on screen as animated Bo didn't work for live-action Bo. And it was finding that right balance because I want fans to instantaneously feel familiar with her but I also wanted to make sure that she was bigger and better than they could have imagined." The Mandalorian streams Fridays on Disney+.