|Star Wars character|
|Created by||Jon Favreau|
|Portrayed by||Emily Swallow|
|Body double||Lauren Mary Kim|
|Occupation||Mandalorian tribe leader and armorer|
The Armorer is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise who appears in the Disney+ television series The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett. Dressed in red body armor and a gold helmet, she is the leader of a tribe of Mandalorian warriors, which includes the title character of The Mandalorian. A mysterious, patient, and intelligent character, the Armorer provides spiritual guidance for the clan, and forges and repairs their armor.
Jon Favreau, the creator and showrunner of The Mandalorian, was among the creators of the Armorer. The character was partially inspired by the films of Akira Kurosawa, as well as the history and culture of the samurai, particularly in the character's slow-paced movement and aura of authority. The Armorer is portrayed by Emily Swallow, who provides both the character's voice and live-action performance, while her stunts are performed by Lauren Mary Kim. When Swallow auditioned for the role, she knew little about the character and did not know it was for a Star Wars series.
The voice Swallow uses for the Armorer has elements of British and Mid-Atlantic accents, which stemmed from a suggestion made by a casting associate during her audition. She also partially modeled the Armorer's voice after characters from the Lord of the Rings film series. Aspects of The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow's personality influenced Swallow's performance. Kim's combat style in the Armorer's fight scenes was inspired by the Filipino martial art known as Kali.
The Armorer's costume took several weeks to make, and it proved to be challenging to perform in due to limited visibility and the fact that small movements in the costume were very noticeable. Swallow wore the helmet and armor costume for up to nine hours at a time during filming. The Armorer has been received positively by fans and reviewers alike, and has been described as a fan favorite.
The Armorer appeared in three episodes in the first season of The Mandalorian. She is the leader of a tribe of Mandalorian warriors on the planet Nevarro, where they live in a secret enclave. She provides spiritual guidance for the clan, and forges and repairs their armor. Little is revealed about her backstory, and, like other Mandalorians, she wears highly durable armor and conceals her face with a helmet that she never publicly removes. The Mandalorians are in hiding after having suffered persecution by the Galactic Empire, and although the Empire has fallen out of power by the time of The Mandalorian, the clan has not yet regained its former status or power.
The Armorer made her first appearance in the series premiere "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian". The show's protagonist, a bounty hunter known simply as "The Mandalorian", brings her money he received from having collected his most recent bounties, including a bar of beskar steel, a very rare form of metal used to make Mandalorian armor. The Armorer explains that the Empire stole the beskar from the Mandalorians during an event known as "the Great Purge". She uses the beskar to make a single shoulder spaulder for the Mandalorian, and asks whether he has yet identified his "signet", a symbol used to identify clans of Mandalorians. When he says that he has not, she assures him that he will soon. The Armorer says the remaining beskar will be used to assist the "foundlings", a term for children who were not born Mandalorian but rather adopted into their culture. This pleases the Mandalorian because he was a foundling himself. As the Armorer works on his armor, the Mandalorian has flashbacks to his youth, when his family was killed.
The Armorer reappears in the episode "Chapter 3: The Sin", in which the Mandalorian brings her a large amount of beskar, which he received as a bounty for collecting a young alien known as "the Child" and turning him over to a remnant of the fallen Empire. The Armorer uses the steel to make a full cuirass for him. She also makes him a set of explosive projectiles called "whistling birds", named for the whistling noises they make as they fly toward their target. Another clan member named Paz Vizla reprimands the Mandalorian for working with the Empire to obtain the beskar, which leads to a brief fight between the two warriors. The Armorer quickly and quietly diffuses the quarrel, reminding them the Empire no longer exists and that it is good the beskar has been returned to the tribe. She speaks about cowardice, honor, and the "Way of the Mandalore", which serves as the tribe's religion and creed. Later, off-screen, the Mandalorians on Nevarro are largely wiped out by the Imperial remnant after the tribe reveals itself at the conclusion of "Chapter 3: The Sin" to assist the Mandalorian. The Armorer is one of the few members of the clan to survive.
In the first-season finale "Chapter 8: Redemption", the Mandalorian and his allies come to the Mandalorian enclave while fleeing from attacking Imperials, only to find it unoccupied except for the Armorer, following the elimination of most of the tribe. The Armorer explains that some Mandalorian warriors may have survived and fled off-world. She is collecting the armor of the fallen Mandalorian warriors and melting it down for salvage. When the Mandalorian presents the Child and reveals he has supernatural powers, the Armorer tells him about the Jedi Order, of which most other characters in the show are not aware. She speaks of the history of the Jedi warriors and their past associations with the Way of the Mandalore, sharing a story from "eons past" about a battle between the Jedi and "Mandalore the Great", a mythological figure in Mandalorian culture. This marks the first time the Jedi are identified by name in The Mandalorian.
The Armorer instructs the Mandalorian to watch over and protect the Child, whom she calls a "foundling", as was the Mandalorian himself, once. She says honor demands that the Mandalorian seek out and deliver the Child to the others of his kind, and that until this occurs, the Mandalorian and the Child are a "clan of two", and that the Mandalorian will be like a father to him. She engraves onto the Mandalorian's pauldron the likeness of a Mudhorn, a type of creature the Mandalorian and the Child worked together to kill in "Chapter 2: The Child"; the Armorer declares it his signet. She also gives the Mandalorian his first jet pack. The Mandalorian invites the Armorer to flee with him, but she refuses to abandon the enclave until she has salvaged what remains. When the Mandalorian and his allies depart, the Armorer waits until five Stormtroopers armed with blasters enter the enclave and attempt to question her. Armed with nothing but her forging tools, the Armorer fights and kills all five in under a minute.
The Armorer reappears in The Book of Boba Fett in "Chapter 5 : Return of the Mandalorian". Now hiding on the ringworld of Glavis, the Armorer and Paz Vizla (the only two survivors of the massacre on Nevarro) are found by Din Djarin, who has recently completed his quest to deliver his foundling to the Jedi. In the course of his quest, Djarin has also claimed the Darksaber, a lightsaber that acts as the ancestral blade of the Mandalorian ruler. Inspecting the Darksaber, the Armorer explains its history to Djarin. He also provides her with the beskar spear which Ahsoka Tano had given him, a weapon the Armorer disapproved of since beskar was never meant as a weapon, just as armour. Djarin asks her to forge the spear into a gift for his foundling, Grogu. Later, the Armorer trains Djarin in the Darksaber's use, a weapon he struggles to master. She tells him that he isn't fighting with the blade, but against it. Paz Vizla challenges Djarin for the saber, a duel he loses. The Armorer asks both men whether they have ever removed their helmets as part of their creed. While Vizla never has, Djarin admits that he has. The Armorer banishes Djarin from the Watch, saying that he is no longer a Mandalorian. However, she informs Djarin that the only way of atonement is to come into contact with the water in the mines of Mandalore, but they were destroyed by the Empire during the Purge. Despite stripping Djarin of his status, the Armorer allows him to keep his armor and the Darksaber.
The Armorer is a mysterious and enigmatic character, with a calm and patient temperament, and a Zen-like personality. She is very intelligent and knows how to act quickly in complex situations. She observes what is happening around her and only speaks when necessary, and although she displays knowledge of many different things – from the Mandalorian's past to the history of the Jedi – she often does not reveal her knowledge until she believes the time is right. Swallow said of this: "she will reveal it in good time, but no one's going to get any information out of her without her being good and ready." She is very slow-paced in her movements, and displays what Swallow calls a "simplicity [and] efficiency of movement". The Armorer plays a relatively small role in the first season of The Mandalorian, but an important one, repeatedly setting the title character on the correct path of his hero's journey. She is the leader of the Mandalorian tribe, providing guidance and direction to a clan that has lost its way after the Empire has persecuted them. She does so by reminding them of their moral code and set of values, and encouraging them to regard each other as a family. The Armorer is the first person in the series to say "This is the Way", which serves as a credo for the Mandalorian clan and is repeated throughout the first season. She believes strongly in Mandalorian traditions, and is dedicated to ensuring the survival of her tribe, serving as their spiritual leader as well as armorer. Although strong Mandalorian women had previously been featured on such animated series as Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Swallow felt the Armorer was the first female Star Wars character to serve as the "spiritual leader" in the same vein as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda.
The Armorer is confident and comfortable in her leadership position, and conveys an unwavering authority with little effort. Swallow said of this: "One of the coolest things for me in playing her is trusting that she does have that authority without having to be very forceful at all." This is illustrated by the way in which she breaks up a fight between Mandalorian warriors in "Chapter 3: The Sin" without raising her voice or physically interfering. This also demonstrates that she is well-respected by the members of her tribe, which Comic Book Resources writer Narayan Liu said is particularly impressive because "in such a focused warrior society, it would conceivably take a lot to command the respect of one's comrades". The Armorer's voice conveys a sense of authority, mystery, and sophistication, and Swallow said she enjoys the contrast between her educated accent and warrior lifestyle, saying: "There's just a lot of seeming contradictions about her that I love." Swallow, as well as several reviewers, have noted that the fact that the tribe's armor is crafted by its leader, rather than a trade worker, speaks to the importance of armor and the warrior status in Mandalorian culture. Liu wrote of this: "Who better to forge Mandalorian armor and weaponry than one with experience, who fully understands its importance to the Mandalorian culture in this hostile galaxy?"
Swallow feels that through her creation and maintenance of the armor, the Armorer is effectively the keeper of their history and rituals, because "she actually has a record based on what it is that she's made". That role is even more important at the time of The Mandalorian, Swallow said, since much of the Mandalorian society has been suppressed and destroyed by the Empire. In addition to her expertise at foundry work  the Armorer is an excellent fighter, displaying great strength and speed as well as particularly honed skills with melee weapons, as seen in her fight with the stormtroopers in "Chapter 8: Redemption". Since the character had been so quiet for much of the first season of The Mandalorian, Swallow believed it was a shock when she fights the stormtroopers as well as she does. Liu argued that the Armorer was the most efficient fighter in the series, even more so than the Mandalorian or other fighter characters like Cara Dune. Liu wrote: "None so far seem more suited to handle the hostility of the Empire and the merciless desert than the guiding hand to the Mandalorians, the Armorer, who, in the season finale, proved that she's the best of the best."
Concept and creation
Jon Favreau, the creator and showrunner of The Mandalorian, was among the creators of the Armorer. Creation of the character, as well as other elements of the series, was influenced by the films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The Armorer in particular drew influence from the history and culture of the samurai, especially in the character's slow-paced movement, sense of ceremony, and aura of authority. Favreau and others involved in the show debated what gender to establish for the character, and ultimately decided to make her a woman, but Swallow said they "didn't want to make it a big deal". She said: "I think they just sort of felt like, 'Why not?'" The animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars had also featured several strong female Mandalorian characters and leaders, which Swallow said may also have been a consideration in determining the Armorer's gender.
The Armorer is portrayed by actress Emily Swallow, who provides both the character's voice and live-action performance. Her stunts were performed by Lauren Mary Kim, who was also the stunt performer for various other characters on The Mandalorian.
Swallow auditioned for the role, but she knew little about her character or the series at the time of her audition. The character was described as having a recurring role on a Disney series, which was identified only by the code name "Untitled High Budget". It was not disclosed that it was a Star Wars show, though Swallow's agent suspected that might be the case. Swallow was given only a six-word description of the Armorer character in advance of the audition: "Leader. Strong. Zen, but with authority." However, a casting associate at the audition gave her a little bit more backstory for the character, which Swallow said was helpful. Although she said the audition itself was fairly "low-key" and "mundane", with only her and a single casting associate, she was given only a handful of scenes to perform but little context about how they fit into the overall story of the show, which she described as "bizarre". Swallow later reflected that it was good she did not know it was a Star Wars project because she felt it would have made her more nervous, and instead she was able to approach the audition like any other.
The scene she read in her audition was a variation of the scene in "Chapter 3: The Sin" in which she breaks up a fight among members of the Mandalorian clan, though the final scene was changed slightly when adapted to television. Her audition dialogue included the Armorer's line "This is the Way", which would become one of the most popular lines of the series. The casting company made clear the character would be masked, in case some actors opposed having their faces concealed. Swallow previously did mask training in graduate school acting classes at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, but this marked the first time she had used the training on television, which she called an interesting challenge. Favreau believed Swallow's mask training was evident in her performance.
In preparation for the role, Swallow re-watched the original Star Wars films, which she admired, saying: "I still get so completely swept up in them, in the heart of them, and so to be a part of that legacy is incredible." She also watched shows like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which she had not seen before, and she tried to conduct internet research about the history of the Mandalorians, but found it difficult because "as soon as you google anything related to Star Wars there are infinite rabbit holes you can go down", so she regularly questioned The Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni about the history of Star Wars and whether certain actions were consistent with the continuity. Due to his past work in other Star Wars series, Swallow called him "an encyclopedia of Star Wars knowledge", and said it was a comfort to be able to draw upon his expertise.
Although Swallow herself is American, the voice she uses for the Armorer has elements of British and Mid-Atlantic accents. This stemmed in part from her audition, when a casting associate asked her to try some takes with a British accent, since they had mostly been considering British actresses for the role before her. Swallow had experience performing with a British accent from her theater work, as well as on the animated series Castlevania. She also partially modeled the Armorer's voice after characters from the Lord of the Rings film series. Swallow believes the Armorer's accent conveys authority and mystery, though she added: "Maybe it's because I'm American that I think that it's so interesting." Swallow also brought a sublety to the part that she said was influenced to a certain extent by her previous work on the television series Supernatural, where she played a powerful primordial entity named Amara. Swallow said while playing the part, she realized Amara seemed more powerful if her movements were minimal and deliberate, and she applied this same approach to the Armorer.
Swallow drew some inspiration for her performance as the Armorer from the personality of Deborah Chow, who directed the episode "Chapter 3: The Sin" and was the first woman to direct a live-action Star Wars story. Swallow said she particularly drew from Chow's "intense curiosity", as well as the way she conveyed authority and commanded a room "in a very graceful and simple way". Swallow felt the Armorer had this same effect by the way, particularly by the way she breaks up the fight in "Chapter 3: The Sin" without even raising her voice. Swallow said she did not realize how much Chow influenced her performance and interpretation of the Armorer until later, when reporters asked her about the origins of the character. Chow did not know this herself until informed by a reporter, after which she said it was a great compliment. Chow has praised Swallow's performance and called the Armorer "such a great character".
The Armorer costume is predominantly red body armor, along with a gold helmet punctuated with tiny horn-like spikes. The helmet has a T-shaped visor similar to those of all Mandalorians, as first featured on the popular Star Wars character Boba Fett. However, Vanity Fair writer Anthony Breznican observed that her helmet is more ornate and elegant than those of other Mandalorian characters on the series, which he believed was meant to communicate an aura of leadership and regality. It is stylized more like an ancient Spartan warrior than the others, particularly around the visor. The costume also includes thick red gloves for welding and foundry work, as well as a fur shoulder piece, which Emily Swallow said she liked, but "it sure doesn’t seem very practical for somebody who is surrounded by fire all the time". The costume tapers below the waist in a fashion similar to a skirt, though one with what Swallow calls a "strong, powerful quality that doesn't call too much attention" to itself.
The Armorer's costume took several weeks to make. Swallow called it an "incredible process", and was impressed by the attention to detail. Swallow first saw sketches of the costume a few weeks before filming began, and she said "my breath was taken away", adding: "I feel like it's one of the most amazing combinations of elegant and powerful that I've ever seen in a costume." The costume was designed to give the character a sense of regality and communicate her position of leadership and authority over the other Mandalorians. Pedro Pascal, the actor who plays the title character on The Mandalorian, jokingly said upon first seeing the Armorer's costume on set: "Wait a minute, why does she get to look so much cooler?"
Swallow has said the experience of wearing the costume is "not nearly as dignified as it translates on film". It was often difficult to move in it, and the helmet provided very little peripheral vision. Even simply walking across the room was difficult because of the limited visibility, and because Swallow could not look down, she often feared she was going to trip, though her character's deliberately slow walking pace helped avoid doing so. Swallow said: "I'm really glad that it looks as dignified and impressive as it does, because being inside of it feels ridiculous." She and the other Mandalorian actors would occasionally bump into each other, hit their helmets against each other, or trip over each other. Swallow said: "I really hope that at some point they release a bloopers reel, because when you put like two or more Mandalorians in a room together, chaos ensues."
All of the Armorer's scenes were filmed and completed more than a year before The Mandalorian was publicly announced, which Swallow described as "liberating" because she did not feel pressure stemming from publicity or the Star Wars fan community. Before shooting began, Swallow spent time discussing the character with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni. She was not provided with a detailed backstory about the Armorer, but they described for her the inspirations behind the character, which she said was useful for her performance. Swallow credited Favreau with creating a comfortable and collaborative filming environment, in which no one felt pressure despite the enormity of the Star Wars franchise, but rather excitement and a desire to make a quality product. Swallow felt there was a "magical" feeling and "giddy playfulness" on the set unlike any other she had experienced before, and she said it reminded her of "being a kid and playing Princess Leia". Favreau was present when most of the scenes with the Armorer were shot, and Swallow felt he did a good job of keeping everyone on the same consistent path, but also allowing each of the directors to bring their own unique style and abilities to their episodes.
Swallow said filming The Mandalorian was the most secretive process in which she had ever been involved, to the point she could not even tell her family or friends what she was making. Swallow was initially provided only portions of the episode that involved her character, and only later was she allowed to read the scripts for the full episodes. When she wanted to read the scripts, she had to access a web portal, which tracked when she logged on and for how long. During the filming, the production staff was even more stringent with secrecy because photos from the set had recently leaked to the Internet, and paparazzi photographers were on the rooftops around the studio. Whenever Swallow walked around the lot while wearing her costume, she had to conceal herself by wearing a black cloak with a hood, which she called her "cloak of invisibility". Swallow knew little about the show outside of the scenes specifically involving her character, and she did not know certain cast members were even in the show until they were later announced in news releases.
A microphone was fitted inside the helmet so she could deliver dialogue while filming. Unlike most roles Swallow has played, she was not required to wear make-up or have her hair styled to portray the Armorer because the character is masked, which is something the actress appreciated. However, she wore the helmet and armor costume for up to nine hours at a time during filming. The costume was not heavy, but the helmet was fitted with foam padding so it fit closely to Swallow's head, and she occasionally asked to remove the helmet between takes because she felt claustrophobic. Portraying emotion was a challenge because her face was completely obscured, so she could not use her eyes or facial expressions. During filming she quickly learned that small movements could make a large impact due to the costume, which she believed was beneficial for her performance, but also presented challenges because minor gestures could become distracting or convey the wrong emotion. During filming of the first episode in particular, Swallow said, the actors portraying Mandalorians had to "learn on the fly" how to master these movements and determine how they appeared on camera.
Several months of preparation work and rehearsal was done in advance of filming on the actual sets. The Armorer's scenes for the "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" and "Chapter 3: The Sin" were shot concurrently with each other, with episode directors Filoni and Deborah Chow, respectively, alternating shoots on the set. Swallow said Chow in particular gave her time to try different things and explore the character. The Armorer's scenes were filmed on sound stages, with settings designed to resemble tunnels and sewers. Swallow said she and the other actors portraying Mandalorians had to develop a type of "language" for their masks and armor costumes. She occasionally dropped props like her tongs or hammer due to her thick gloves. Scenes with her hammering metal or putting things into fire took a long time to prepare and film due to mobility challenges with the costume. The fire was not real, but rather a digital effect added later. Swallow and the filmmakers spent a considerable amount of time discussing how the Armorer would handle the beskar steel in "Chapter 3: The Sin", including such details as how she could look at it and stack it. Since the material is an important part of Mandalorian culture and history, the character treats it with a type of reverence, but it is also tainted due to its previous association with the Empire, with the filmmakers comparing it to Nazi gold. Swallow felt her character's handling of the steel purified it and returned it to its past noble standing.
The Armorer's fight scene against five stormtroopers at the end of "Chapter 8: Redemption" was performed by stunt performer Lauren Mary Kim. The Armorer's combat style in the scene was inspired by the Filipino martial art known as Kali. It was the Armorer's only moment in the first season in which Swallow was not the one wearing the costume for the entirety of the scene. Swallow told the show's fight coordinator that she would be willing to undertake martial arts training and perform a portion of the scene, but she was told the stunts would require years of training. Swallow trained in Kali for a few weeks and did as much as possible, such as the transitions before and after the fight scene. Swallow and Pedro Pascal knew each other prior to filming The Mandalorian. They were familiar with each other through the New York theatre scene, and both appeared on the show The Mentalist at the same time. Swallow was a fan of Taika Waititi, who directed "Chapter 8: Redemption", and she expressed her admiration for him and his work but tried not to be too effusive because, she said, "the Armorer doesn't really fangirl, I think". In the first-season finale, The Armorer appeared in scenes with the animatronic puppet used to portray "The Child", who became a viral sensation with fans and became affectionately known as "Baby Yoda". Swallow said she "fell in love with it like everybody else", adding: "I was thrilled when they brought him in that little bag for the scene that I got to have with it. I just wanted to snuggle it." Swallow met Star Wars creator George Lucas during one of her filming days, after he visited the set as a surprise for Favreau's birthday. Some time after her scenes were filmed, she did dubbing for parts of her dialogue in a recording studio in New York.
The Armorer has been received positively by fans and reviewers alike, and has been described as a fan favorite. Narayan Liu of Comic Book Resources called the Armorer the strongest character on The Mandalorian, and described her fight with stormtroopers at the end of the season finale as one of her greatest moments on the show so far. Liu wrote: "There are a wide variety of bounty hunters and trained soldiers that appear throughout the series, but the Armorer is unmatched." Brian Silliman of Syfy Wire called the Armorer "one of the more interesting characters featured thus far" in The Mandalorian and "a fantastic addition to the lore of the galaxy far, far away". He complimented Emily Swallow's ability to portray emotion despite her face being concealed, and was particularly impressed by the way in which Swallow and Pedro Pascal forge an emotional connection in their scenes despite both wearing masks. Charlie Ridgely of Comicbook.com "said fans became invested in the Armorer from her first appearance, and that she gained more depth as the series progressed. He described her as "the most mysterious and intriguing" of the Mandalorian characters, as well as one of the "most dangerous characters in the show". Judith Anne Dela Cruz of Epicstream called the Armorer an "intriguing" character, writing: "There's definitely tons of cool characters in The Mandalorian, but a number of Star Wars fans have their eyes drawn to The Armorer."
Armaan Babu of MEA WorldWide wrote: "The Mandalorian introduces a wide array of new characters to the Star Wars universe, but perhaps none so commanding as The Armorer." Matt Berger called the Armorer one of the biggest surprises from the series premiere of The Mandalorian, and that her crafting of the Mandalorian armor was one of the "most mesmerizing sequences" of the episode. He also wrote that the Armorer had "one of the most unique looks to any Mandalorian that the Star Wars world has ever seen". Q.V. Hough of Screen Rant said the Armorer played a "small but integral role", noting her importance in advancing the story and setting the Mandalorian on his path. Nick Venable of CinemaBlend said he was intrigued by the interpersonal relationship between the Armorer and the Mandalorian. Charles Ridgely of Comicbook.com praised Lauren May Kim's stunt work as the Armorer, describing her fight scene with stormtroopers in "Chapter 8: Redemption" as "epic" and saying she "had fans jumping out of their seats". Screen Rant writer Jessie Atkin expressed hope that the Armorer would return for the second season of The Mandalorian and that additional details about the character and her backstory would be provided. The Armorer was ranked seventh on a Screen Rant list of the most interesting characters from the first season of The Mandalorian, eighth on a separate list of the ten best characters from the show, and third on a list of "10 Characters We Hope To See Return In Season 2". Additionally, the Armorer's armor was ranked tenth on a Screen Rant list of the ten best costumes in the first season of The Mandalorian.
Swallow said most of the direct feedback she has received and seen about the Armorer have been positive. She has attended Star Wars fan conventions since the release of the show and said she has been "greeted with so much joy and positivity", particularly from young girls who appreciated that the Armorer is a "badass warrior". Swallow said she has been particularly impressed by fan art of the character that she had been sent on social media, including drawings of the Armorer and models constructed resembling her armor. Swallow has shared some of this fan art on her own social media account, including a drawing of the Armorer fighting stormtroopers, and an image of the Armorer making a gesture similar to Rosie the Riveter in the "We Can Do It!" poster. Although Swallow has appeared in franchises with large fanbases before, such as Supernatural, she said the level of fandom for Star Wars was bigger than anything she had ever done. Swallow said it has been "liberating" to portray a character in a mask because there is no attention paid to her physical appearance in reviews and among fans, saying: "Nobody cares how I look. They love the character so much, and it's really kind of freeing." Unlike with Supernatural, Swallow does not get recognized in public for her connection with The Mandalorian, which she enjoys.
The line "This is the Way", first spoken by the Armorer and repeated by her several times throughout her appearances, became one of the most popular and oft-quoted lines of dialogue from The Mandalorian. Silliman said even after just one week, the line was being spoken "everywhere". Fans often request that Swallow write the catchphrase when she signs autographs. Swallow said she first realized the line was a hit when she attended the premiere of The Mandalorian in Los Angeles on November 13. During a screening of "Chapter 3: The Sin", when one of the Mandalorians says "This is the Way" during the final climactic battle, the entire audience repeated the line back to the screen, after which Swallow said, 'OK, I think we have something here.'" She said of the phrase: "It's pretty fun to have something that seems to be lodged in people's psyche as a real phrase for all The Mandalorian people." There has been a great deal of speculation among fans as to the identity of the Armorer. Some have theorized she is Sabine Wren, a Mandalorian warrior and one of the main cast members of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels. Others have argued the horns on her helmet are a reference to Darth Maul, a Star Wars antagonist who at one time ruled the Mandalorians. Maul is a member of the species Zabrak, all of whom have an array of small horns atop their heads similar to those on the Armorer's helmet, leading to speculation she may be a Zabrak herself.
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- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 7:58–8:45 Swallow: "And that I just love that she, 'cause we get to see little hints of that with our hero, with our main man Mandalorian, you know, that she's referencing things from the past and it seems like she probably knows something about his past specifically but she's a smart one, man, and she's very patient and she's not going to reveal anything to him too soon 'cause I think she sort of sees that he needs time to discover a lot of these things on his journey. And so that's definitely interesting for those of us who are watching because I do, so many people have said to me, 'It seems like she knows so much and she's revealing so little! And I love that, it's so much fun.'"
- Denholm 2020, p. 30
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- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 64:38–65:25 Swallow: "When I talked with Jon and Dave before we started shooting, Jon talked a lot about Kurosawa and those films, which was something I guess George Lucas also drew from when he was making the original movies. And he talked about the samurai, and the simplicity of movement and the efficiency of movement, and kind of that unwavering authority that doesn't have to push too hard. And I love that about her, and I feel like that's sort of what lets us know that she knows a lot more than she's letting on. And she will reveal it in good time, but no one's going to get any information out of her without her being good and ready."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 28:17–29:05 Swallow: "And that's also something that spoke to my heart so deeply with this character, that she cares so deeply about reminding these sort of, I mean, the Mandalorian are a bit orphaned right now, they don't really have a place to be where they feel safe, and she connects them to who they are and to these codes that are so important to them, and reminds them that even when, like, there's danger and there's a bit of distress and they don't know who they can trust, they can always go back to this code and if they stick to this code they are sticking to the core of who they are and they have each other. It is a family."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 29:51–30:06 Swallow: "The Armorer I think is trying to keep the Mandalorians that are there grounded in who they are and what is important to them, because if they don't have that, what else do they have in the universe that has been a little bit of chaos right now?"
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- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 22:32–23:01 Silliman: "Your catchphrase that you gave birth to under it that says, 'This is the way.'" Sparrow: Oh my god." Silliman: "Which, Star Wars catchphrases are created fairly easily, but when that line came up were you at all aware that that would go the distance? Because even in a week, it's everywhere." Sparrow: "I felt like it could. It felt, I mean it felt pretty important to me. But yeah, I had no idea that it would have the impact it did."
- Swallow 2020, 8:47–8:58 "I did go in knowing that this character was, like, the leader of these people that were in hiding and were kind of like a spiritual guide in a sense, and somebody who has this calm, quiet authority."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 26:35–27:05 Swallow: "And I do think, I mean, there's lots of strong Mandalorian women that are in the Clone Wars and the animated series, but in terms of the, like, the Star Wars movies and now this, it's, I think one of the first times that the more spiritual leader is a woman. Because usually that's Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda. And they've been dudes. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 27:36–28:06 Swallow: "She is like the coolest presence in the room, that she commands authority without... I mean, I don't think anyone was aware that she was capable of the force that she shows in that last episode, and I love that, that it just kind of comes out of nowhere, because she doesn't need to use it the rest of the time." Gordon: "No, she just walks in the room and everyone is silent and everyone just commands respect at the very sight. All the other Mandalorians there just immediately fall and follow that respect of that leader."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 14:31–15:05 Swallow: "I loved, especially in that scene in episode three when there's this fight breaking out right next to her, a lot of like metal armor clanking together, guys being guys, like she doesn't raise her voice. She sits there and lets it play out, she stops it at exactly the right moment, and she's able to calm everybody in that room down without being forceful, and that is something I think I saw Deb do. It was really useful for the Armorer."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 70:02–70:53 Swallow: "Adding some element of like a mid-Atlantic or British dialect to me definitely conveys authority. I mean, I thought a lot about, like, Lord of the Rings and characters that I'd seen in that. And I think that also, to me that contributes to the mystery. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm American that I think that it's so interesting." Breznican: "Well it does sound more sophisticated. You know, it's a very sophisticated kind of British accent. A very educated person. She's not a cockney from the, you know, the back streets of London. She's from Oxford." Swallow: "I think it's so interesting that it's yeah it's sort of that educated voice in this warrior figure. There's just a lot of seeming contradictions about her that I love."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 65:25–66:19 Breznican: "It's interesting that the Armorer is considered the leader. Normally, like, a blacksmith would be just a trade worker, you know? But that is what the leader of this group does. Did they discuss much about that dynamic and why that's the case? I guess because the armor is such a key part of who a Mandalorian is." Swallow: "Yeah, I think because the Mandalorians were traditionally, the warrior part of their tradition is so important to them. So I think that's probably one of the reasons that she is held in such esteem. And then also because she's the one who makes all this armor, she sort of has... it makes sense to me that she would also be the one who is sort of the keeper of their history and the keeper of their ritual, because she actually has a record based on what it is that she's made and the armor that she's had to replace and the battles that these warriors have gone through."
- Acebedo, Bayani Miguel (November 14, 2019). "Star Wars: Emily Swallow Reveals More About Her Mandalorian Armorer". Epicstream. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 6:57–7:58 Swallow: "So, I mean, I personally, I assume that she was just another Mandalorian within the clan of Mandalorians, but I think that she probably comes from a tradition of these armor-makers and I think that the armor-makers because they have this physical log of battles and everything based on the pieces that they've replace and the signets that they've made, they are necessarily sort of the keepers of the history of the people, and I think that in this time with the fall of the Empire, and with the Mandalorians, especially the clan that we get to see, that they're in hiding, and its incredibly important for somebody to hold on to that history so that it's not lost. So I think that you know she came from a line of people who did that but now in these circumstances that's even more important."
- Lowry, T.S. (February 6, 2020). "The untold truth of Mandalorians". Looper.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 69:10–69:49 Breznican: "Making the leader of these Mandalorians a woman, it is striking and significant in a way. So what did they tell you about why they made that decision, without again making a big fuss about it or making it seem unusual?" Swallow: "I think they just sort of felt, like, 'Why not?' You know, it could go either way, and it's something that I know we've seen in the animated series. There have been a lot of powerful Mandalorian women. But we haven't gotten to see that as much in the live-action Star Wars. And so maybe that played into it a little bit. But I don't think there was like a... I think it was just sort of like, 'Well it could be a woman or a man. Wouldn't it be interesting if it was a woman?"
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 29:01–29:42 Swallow: "They talked about, and I think even George Lucas, he was super interested in Kurosawa films and the rituals of the samurai and that formality and that order and that sort of spiritual aspect. That was something that Jon talked about right away with the Armorer, and how she is sort of a spiritual figure for this clan that's in hiding. And, you know, we talked about the importance of ritual and the importance of their code and the importance of all these things that are central to their people and that have sort of gotten lost because they've been overthrown."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 6:28–6:57 Swallow: "Jon talked a lot about, and this is something that George Lucas was really enamored of as well, he talked about Kurosawa films and the, you know, the order of the samurai and the, the status of some of the warriors in that culture and the regality and formality and the deliberateness of movement."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 68:28–69:00 Swallow: "Jon talked about how they discussed this character, they decided to make it a woman, but they didn't want to make it a big deal that they're were making a woman and I love that about it too. That, like, clearly she is a female and she even sort of has a skirt, but even that, like, has such a strong, powerful quality that doesn't call too much attention to it. I feel like it's one of the most amazing combinations of elegant and powerful that I've ever seen in a costume.
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 26:18–26:35 Swallow: "I really appreciate that she's a woman but it's not a big deal that she's a woman." Gordon: "Yeah, it doesn't matter." Swallow: "It's just matter-of-fact. And Jon's decision to make her a woman was just kind of like, they were creating this character and they were like, 'Well, why not?'"
- Dela Cruz, Judith Anne (January 23, 2020). "Emily Swallow Says She Did All of The Armorer's Scenes in The Mandalorian Except One". Epicstream. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
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- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 62:10–6241 Swallow: "So I really had very little information. I had a couple of scenes and they were very bizarre. You know, I didn't have anything to attach it to. But in some ways I'm so glad for that now, like, now seeing what this has become and how huge it is and how exciting it is because I didn't really get that worked up about it. And I remember just being in the room with a casting associate and doing it a few different ways on tape. And at one point he said, 'You know, why don't you try it with a British accent?', because I guess they had mostly being seeing Brits for the role."
- Swallow 2019, 10:05–10:43 "When I auditioned for it, I did not know what I was auditioning for. It had a code name. The character that was listed in the scene was anything that was at all familiar to me. And I knew that it must be something along the lines of, like, superheroes or something Disney related because you get a lot of fake scripts and stuff for auditions, but I did not know what I was auditioning for. And even after I got cast they were very vague about it. It had a code name, and my agents were like, we think we know what this is, but it was sort of one of those things that, 'We can neither confirm nor deny.'"
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 63:34–64:10 Swallow: "I can actually probably, I'm going to look up the audition email on my computer and tell you what information I had." Breznican: "Real-time research here. This is good." Swallow: "Yeah. Oh, here we go. OK. 'Recurring role of Armorer in the Disney streaming service straight-to-series 'Untitled High Budget.'" BREZNICAN: "That's, that's what it, the code name? 'High Budget Project'? Got it." Swallow: "So, they said about her: 'Leader. Strong. Zen, but with authority.' And that was it."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 24:25–24:39 Busch: "Did you even know you were trying out for a Star Wars TV show?" Swallow: "I knew that it might be. It was my agent said, 'We think this is what this is, but we're not really being told.'"
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 26:03–26:40 Giannakopoulos: "So when you went for your audition, did you know that you were auditioning for Star Wars?" Swallow: "I did not. My agent said they thought it might be, you know. It had a code name, but there was nothing in it that even remotely related to Star Wars. And so I thought, 'Oh, OK, well that's interesting.' But like, I knew at that point nothing about The Mandalorian had been announced, so I didn't have anything to attach the audition to, to even know, like, even if it was Star Wars I didn't really know what I was getting into."
- Swallow 2020, 8:08–8:35 "I had a vague idea what it might be. My agent said, 'We think this is something to do with Star Wars,' but it was very, very secretive. At this point, you know, I'd gone in for plenty of things that have, like, fake scenes and fake names, so you kind of just say, 'OK, I'm going to treat this like I would any other audition and kind of make the connections that I think I can make and not worry about the rest.
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 25:16–26:00 Swallow: "But I also, I'm so grateful to the casting office that was running the audition, Sarah Finn, Sarah Finn Casting, because they gave me a little more backstory about like the elements of this character that were important to this scene and the kind of authority that she did have over the other people in the room. And then they were the ones that suggested that I do it, I guess they mostly had been seeing Brits for the role so they suggested that I do a take with a British accent, and that sort of stuck. We decided it gave her another air of mystery and sort of authority to have that."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 26:04–26:19 Swallow: "It was a really, really mundane audition. Like, I didn't know what I was getting myself into, and I'm so glad, because, you know, I would've been worked up about it, I would've been nervous, and usually that means you don't do as well if all those things are happening."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 26:50–27:23 Swallow: "My audition was so incredibly low-key. I went in for the casting office and went on tape with one of the casting associates, and I did the scene, there were a couple of scenes, and I did them, and then I remember he said, 'You know, we've mostly been seeing Brits for this role, so why don't you do a take with a British accent?' And so I was like, 'All right, yeah, I'll do that.' Because I'd done that plenty. I did that on Castlevania, I did that plenty in theater, so I was like, 'Sure.'"
- Schmidt, JK (November 23, 2019). "Star Wars: The Mandalorian Actress Details the Secretive Audition Process". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on January 12, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 27:40–28:00 Swallow: "But yeah, I did the scenes, it was with this casting associate and nobody else, and then they started to reveal a little bit more about it when they offered it to me, but at that point, like, they'd hardly cast anyone. There so weren't really big names attached yet."
- Bernardini, Gabrielle (November 12, 2019). "Emily Swallow Teases Disney+ Series 'The Mandalorian': "There Is A lot More Moral Ambiguity" (Exclusive)". Distractify. Archived from the original on November 13, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 28:00–28:21 So I still didn't quite know what I was getting into, which I'm really glad for, because I shot all of my stuff a year ago, before the series was ever announced, before anyone involved with it was ever announced, and I'm so grateful for that because I think that it really let me work in a way where I, like, I didn't have to feel the pressure of being part of this huge thing."
- Swallow 2020, 8:35–8:47 "I'm really glad for that, because with the Mandalorian, I mean I had no idea how big it would be, and I'm glad because I think it would've been a lot more stressful."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 24:39–24:54 Swallow: "But that line 'This is the Way', I remember being in my audition scene." Silliman: "Really?" Swallow: The scene that I auditioned with was some version of that scene in the third episode, where the fight breaks out."
- Swallow 2020, 8:58–9:11 "And my audition scene was pretty similar to that scene in the third episode where she's kind of bringing down the hammer in a very polite way with the Mandalorians that are getting ornery, and trying to fight with each other."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 64:20–64:37 Breznican: "Did you know it would be a masked character?" Swallow: "I did. They made that clear in the audition in case I was like, 'No way I'm gonna do that.' But that was really kind of an interesting challenge to me because I started acting in theater and I did a lot of mask training like when I was in grad school. And I'd never gotten to use that in television."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 21:26–21:37 Swallow: "I knew when I was auditioning that this character was going to be masked, and I appreciate, because there might be some actors who would be like, 'Nope, don't want to do it if you're not going to see my face.'"
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 33:37–33:54 Swallow: "That, for me, it was really fun, I think especially because of my theater background and having done way back in grad school having done mask work, and doing a lot of physical work. It was really a fun challenge to have to be more aware of that. I enjoyed it."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 10:44–11:20 Silliman: "Do you have any mask background?" Swallow: "I do, actually. I started acting in theater and I got my MSA in acting and part of that is doing mask training and that wound up being incredibly useful, you know? I'd never had to call on that for anything that I'd done on television before. And I don't even know if they knew that necessarily when they cast me, but Jon did say once he found that out he was like, 'Oh, it really shows that you kind of know how to use the mask.'"
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 31:52–32:12 Swallow: "That was very different from anything I'd done on TV before, and actually let me kind of call back on some of my theater training and mask work that I'd done in theater, which was really cool because I hadn't gotten to do anything like that on camera before, and it turned out that was a useful thing to have."
- Swallow 2020, 9:47–9:57 "I knew when I auditioned that my face wouldn't be seen, but I didn't know exactly what the mask and all of that were going to look like, and I really enjoyed the challenge."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 33:00–33:40 Giannakopoulos: "When you got the role did you go back to watch the original Star Wars again, just to prepare yourself for this?" Swallow: "Oh yeah. Yeah, I did that, and I tried to educate myself more on the Mandalorian people. I knew with the animated series there had been a bit more about that. But it was pretty daunting because, as soon as you google anything related to Star Wars there are infinite rabbit holes you can go down. So I definitely did some poking around, but it was helpful to get to talk to Jon and to Dave about what was most important for this story that we were telling."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 24:11–24:24 Swallow: "I go back and I look at those first movies and I still get so completely swept up in them, in the heart of them, and so to be a part of that legacy is incredible."
- Swallow & Jordan 2020, 10:42–10:54 Swallow: "I grew up with those three original movies, and so I had, like, Ewok stuffed animals when I was a kid, and of course tried to do the Princess Leia hair and all that. And Leia was someone I always, always of course someone that I looked up to."
- Swallow & Jordan 2020, 10:55–10:08 Swallow: "But there was a lot that I have since learned that I didn't know. Because I followed all the movies but I hadn't gotten into like The Clone Wars and all of these incredible animated series."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 15:42–16:20 Swallow: "Well, it was super, super comforting to have Dave there, because he is truly an encyclopedia of Star Wars knowledge. And so, there's a lot of things in this world that we're creating anew, but there's a lot that's tied to the Star Wars lore, and so he just knows everything about every movie, every animated series, all of the backstory, so it was great to have him there and be able to ask him questions and ask, 'Would this be in keeping with this things that's already been established, or are we breaking from this thing already established?' That was really cool."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 33:40–34:18 And we were all super, super, super lucky to have Dave Filoni as one of the directors and one of the producers because he is just an encyclopedia of Star Wars knowledge. I don't think I've ever met anyone... I think he probably knows more than the Internet knows about Star Wars. So it was helpful to have him to know, to really ground ourselves specifically in where we are in the Star Wars timeline for this story and what it means with the events that have preceded and what hasn't happened yet. It was great to have that there."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 34:18–35:02 Swallow: "One of the first things that I found when I was working on Amara was that it felt like she would be a lot more powerful if she moved very minimally. Because it felt like, when you have somebody who's that powerful, I think trying to, like, show it by making these big movements, it just, like, you don't buy the power at all. You're like, 'Oh no, you don't have anything.' And so, maybe that was something, you know, having worked on Amara for a season and... because again, once again, Emily in real life is not still. I am always in motion. But kind of trusting that minimal movement and that efficiency and economy was definitely useful for the Armorer as well. So that's sort of a point of connection for the two of them."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 14:17–14:31 Swallow: "It was more of a feeling, and you know, honestly I didn't even really think about the fact that I had drawn from her until people started asking me about it. But it was partly because, you know, I was, I, there were definitely days when it felt a little overwhelming to have all of this stuff on. And I didn't know if what I was trying to communicate was translating, and the way that she spoke with me and the way I saw her command a room was just so, I think I said this before, like she commands authority without any effort. ... There was this ease that I saw to the way she directed that I think just draws people to her. You know, she draws you in, and that was something that I thought, I think I saw in her and I recognized that that could be useful to the Armorer."
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- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 81:26–82:00 Breznican: "I asked about working with you and she said, 'Oh, you know, I'm really glad I got to work with Deborah so early in the development of this character, because I put a lot of her presence on set into the Armorer,' and I wondered if she discussed that with you?" Chow: "Seriously? Oh my God." Breznican: "That's what she said, yeah. She said you have this very, like, you have control of the room, but it's a very calm control." Chow: "Oh my God. She's never said... she never told me that. Wow. OK. Well that's great. That's a huge compliment.
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 82:26–82:30 Chow: "But she was awesome. She was great and its such a great character."
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- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 67:09–67:25 Breznican: "Her armor is very interesting. It has a real Spartan quality to it. The ancient Spartan mask is very similar to the way the eye slits are cut. It's also just maybe more ornate and elegant than the other masks."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 9:24–9:53 Swallow: "I was wearing those fantastic gloves for welding and to protect me, but it was so hard for me to actually pick things up. And there were so many takes of, you know, I spent a lot of time doing these sequences with the hammering and the putting the metal in the fire and forging things, and there were so many times when they needed me to pick something up and I just couldn't get a grip on it or I would drop it.
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 24:52–25:12 Swallow: "He brought together all these incredible craftsmen to make the props, to make the costumes. I mean, my costume took weeks and weeks and weeks to make, and to see them as they were assembling it was really just such an incredible process."
- Swallow 2019, 29:55–30:20 "What was really remarkable to me was seeing the attention to detail with every little thing. Like, with all of the props that my character handled, getting to talk to the people who made them and find out how much attention and care they put into it. So it's stuff that looks incredible on a large scale, but then when you do get to look at it up close, it's just completely unbelievable.
- Thompson, Avery (December 14, 2019). "'The Mandalorian's Emily Swallow Reveals The Role Of The Armorer Is A Full Circle Moment For Her". Hollywood Life. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 67:51–68:07 Swallow: "I don't know everything about the specifics of why they chose all of the details, but I do know there was this attempt to sort of communicating a bit of regality and that she is in a position of leadership over them."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 67:26–67:46 Breznican: "Can you talk to me about what her costume reveals about who she is?" Swallow: "I love that there are those little changes that are so impactful. I mean, I remember when Pedro saw my mask, he was like, 'Wait a minute, why does she get to look so much cooler?'"
- Lee, Jess (December 26, 2019). "The Mandalorian's Armorer star reveals what it's like wearing that armour". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 30:28–30:48 Swallow: "I really hope that have a bloopers reel at some point because I have to tell you, you get two people that are dressed as Mandalorians in a room together, it will inevitably run into each other and bonk helmets and trip over things, because we have like no peripheral vision."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 9:53–10:10 Swallow: "I tripped on things so many times. So it was really to my advantage that the Armorer does move very slowly because that kept me from quite as many collisions that I might have had." "Busch: "I was going to say, I imagine you guys are running into each other all the time." Swallow: "Oh yeah, totally."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 32:24–32:35 Swallow: "I'm really glad that the Armorer is a deliberate and fairly slow-moving Mandalorain, because that made it easier for me to avoid running into things."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 30:11–30:28 Giannakopoulos: "How was it actually having that armor on?" Swallow: "Well, I'm really glad that it looks as dignified and impressive as it does, because being inside of it feels ridiculous."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 9:11–9:24 Swallow: "I keep saying I hope, I really hope that at some point they release a bloopers reel, because when you put like two or more Mandalorians in a room together, chaos ensues. Because we have like no peripheral vision, you know."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 17:47–18:15 Swallow: "With the Mandalorian, I actually shot all of my work before the show was even announced, and that was so liberating because, you know, I knew that I was part of something that was part of a big project, but I hadn't heard anything about it in the news, there was no fan reaction because nobody knew it was being made. So that was great, that was a huge relief."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 28:41–29:01 "And it really, it actually wasn't until I got to set, like, a couple of days before shooting where I got to, like, sit down and talk with Jon and Dave Filoni about who this character was, I mean, in detail. And they gave me some really great jumping off points, because they talked about."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 5:40–6:28 Busch: "Did they provide you with a backstory when you first started with the character or was it just...?" Swallow: "They did not provide me with like a, oh well I mean, I had... It goes beyond that. First I had the scenes and no bigger scripts, and then I was allowed to read the scripts for my episode, and then I was allowed to read a few more scripts but most of what I got came from talking with Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, and they didn't go so far as to assume me like, 'OK, this is exactly like where the armorer came from and where she's going,' but they told me a lot about where the inspiration for the character came from, which was incredibly helpful to me."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 11:27–11:45 Swallow: "I just have to give so much credit to the environment that Jon created for everybody, because we felt like we had, even though there were a million things happening at once, we all were very well aware that it was a lot of money being put into this, and that we had the potential to make something really great. It never felt like we were under pressure."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 25:12–26:02 Swallow: "And it was just such a fun set to work on. I mean, I think it's such a testament to Jon and the rest of the team that even though there was a lot of anticipation about it and a lot of pressure because it was Disney's sort of flagship series for this new streaming thing, but it never felt that way. It never felt like, 'Uh-oh, we better not mess up.' It just felt like, 'You know what? We're going to make something really cool and we're going to put our hearts into it, and we're going to play.' It really did bring me back to being a kid and playing Princess Leia and creating that make-believe myself. I feel like being on set and the process of shooting was just so much fun and it was so playful."
- Swallow 2019, 28:19–29:19 "One of the coolest things to me about working on this, even with all of the mystery and all of the things I didn't know, from the first day I got to set there was just this feeling of child-like excitement amongst everybody because of how much we all love the Star Wars universe, and how excited we were to get to play in that world. And it felt like even with all of the money and all the expensive sets and special effects, and you're not allowed to say this or that, the thing that bound everyone together was just the feeling of really childlike glee that we were going to get to play in this world. And that was really cool, that it didn't feel like it was some big, serious, capital B, capital D big deal. We were just there to play and to create something really cool and that was awesome, and I definitely credit that to Jon that he was able to create that atmosphere and put everyone at ease so that they could do their best work."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 20:08–20:37 Swallow: "And that was a feeling that was so special too on set. It sort of felt like, I mean, we had incredible craftsmen working on the props and working on the costume and working on the sets, and everybody is kind off at the top of their field, and just had this giddy playfulness because we were all getting to play in the Star Wars universe, and that which was unlike anything I ever felt on a set before. It was really... I mean, I keep saying it was magical, but it was, it was magical."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 16:28–17:16 Swallow: "Jon, even though he didn't direct any of the episodes, he was there, at least for the episodes I worked on, he was there most of the time. He is just such an incredible leader. And I loved watching how he allowed the directors to have their own style and to bring their own thing to it and he never, like, he made sure we were all on the same page in terms of the story we were telling, but then he let the individual directors tell the story the way that they wanted to, and I think that's so smart because he chose such incredible directors who have established their own style. And I think it's fun to get to see that from episode to episode, some of the differences in the way they told the story."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 24:41–25:06 Swallow: "It's incredible working with him. He, in addition to being so smart and so creative, he's also so kind and gracious and humble, and he just brings everyone together and makes sure that everyone's on the same page, makes sure that we all know what the greater picture is of what we're creating, so from episode to episode, linking people back to what the overall story was."
- Swallow 2020, 13:10–13:56 "He's such an incredible team leader, and I think he's so great at establishing a spirit of collaboration and faithfulness, and making sure that everyone's on the same page and everyone's playing in the same world. One of the things I heard that I really saw come across was that he hired these directors who all have very different styles, and he encouraged them to direct their episodes using their own styles, but also they all talked and they all shared ideas and they all communicated about, 'What is this overall arc in this season?' And, 'What is the main thrust of this story that we want to be communicating?' And I think he's so great at listening to people and encouraging these ideas to come out.'"
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 21:33–22:07 Swallow: "Jon Favreau is just, I mean, he's incredibly smart and creative, but he's also the part that you don't know until you work with him that he's just such an incredible team leader, and he's so great at bringing together an ensemble of people and getting everyone on the same page and getting everyone focused on the same vision while also welcoming everyone in all of their creative uniqueness and all of their eccentricities and inviting people to not to feel like they need to fit into any mold."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 25:06–25:41 Swallow: "And also I think he's such a great leader because he encourages people's individual talents. I think he trusts that once everyone knows, 'OK, what's the feel of this whole season, and what's the tone we're trying to create,' he really trusted each director to direct in their own individual style and to use things that they're particularly good at. And I think he does that with actors too. I mean, like, he kind of finds what it is that makes you tick and helps you use that more and more to serve the character."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 28:26–28:41 Swallow: "Oh my gosh, I've never had such a secretive process of, like, getting scripts. Like I had to log in to this online portal and every time I wanted to read one of the scripts it would, like, register that I had logged in and how much time I was online and all of this stuff.
- ""The Mandalorian" Actress Talks About Playing the Armorer". News 13. January 16, 2020. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow 2019, 11:35–11:46 "I did not get to read entire scripts, I got to read my scenes, and he sort of talked to me about how my scenes fit into the greater thing."
- Swallow 2020, 21:44–22:07 "When I was shooting was right around the time that some pictures had been leaked of, I think, Stormtroopers or something, so we were on total lockdown. Between my dressing room and the set I had to wear, I called him our cloaks of invisibility. They were these black cloaks with hoods and we had to completely cover up our costumes any time we were walking around the lot."
- Swallow 2019, 31:38–32:07 "We were at the point on the lot where, if we were in costume, and we were walking outside, like if we had to walk outside to get between sets or something, we had to put on these black cloaks, that I started to call our cloaks of invisibility, because there were paparazzi that were on rooftops nearby trying to take pictures and stuff, and there were some pictures that leaked. So they were just trying as much as possible to keep it secret."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 21:26–21:33 Swallow: "While we were making it, even though I knew so little about anything that didn't involve my character."
- Swallow 2019, 11:46–11:59 "It's been trippy because, there are some actors involved that I had no idea they were involved until I saw a press release, because if I'm not in a scene with them then I don't even know they're in it."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 70:55–71:06 Breznican: Tell me about performing her. So, you're in the costume. Is your dialogue being recorded? Is there a microphone inside the helmet? Are you being recorded separately?" Swallow: "There's a microphone inside the helmet, yeah."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 22:40–23:22 Swallow: "On the front end it was a lot easier, but then after, like, eight or nine hours of wearing the helmet and the armor, it was not quite as freeing." Regan: "Is it heavy?" Swallow: "Not really heavy, but because we had to have a microphone inside the helmet, it needed to not move around, and so there was a lot of, like, padding inside that made it fit pretty closely to my head, so it was sort of, you know, just felt a little bit, like, constricting." Regan: "Yeah, yeah, I would imagine you can even get that claustrophobic feel in it." Swallow: "Yeah, yeah, a little bit. There were definitely times, when... A lot of the time I would just keep the helmet on between takes because it was such a to-do to get it on and off, that on long days I just needed to get out of it every once in a while."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 22:01–22:32 Regan: "You didn't have to wear any make-up, though, right?" Swallow: "Oh man, yeah. I mean, that was, like, it's ridiculous but that was one part that I got so excited about, because normally I have to get to set like two hours before I shoot to go through hair and makeup. For this, the most high maintenance part of it was I needed someone to help me into the armor, like, I couldn't do it myself. So I was called like half an hour before we had to shoot and it was brilliant that way."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 71:23–71:55 Swallow: "And so, um, we were all sort of learning on the fly, like what the language of these Mandalorian masks was, because we realized... I mean, of course you can't see our eyes, you can't see our mouths, you can't see the normal ways of communicating emotion. And we learned that very small movements had a huge impact. Which is great, but which is also a challenge because you can wind up communicating something that you don't even want to."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 12:08–12:31 Swallow: "The obvious thing that you can't emote with your eyes or your face or anything, but also that really tiny movements can have great value and that could be wonderful or that could be potentially very confusing, in a scene. If you had a little twitch that draws the eye, could wind up totally distracting form what you're trying to do in the scene."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 30:48–31:05 Swallow: "It's so interesting to work in a mask and work in armor like that because you realize that all these things that you're used to using to communicate, your eyes and your mouth and a tilt of the head and your hands, all of those things are covered up."
- Swallow 2020, 10:24–10:52 "Since you can't see our faces, you quickly realize that every move that you make tells some sort of story, so you have to decide, 'Is that the story I want to be telling or is that distracting for the story. It was a pretty cool challenge because I'd never gotten to do anything like that in television. So I enjoyed it. I liked not having access to my normal facial expressions, getting to raise an eyebrow or give a little wink or something. It's kind of cool."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 31:05–31:50 Swallow: "And so, especially with this first episode when we were first starting to shoot and we were first starting to see, like, 'OK, how do these Mandalorians, what story is told in their movement when you see it on camera?' And that was a really interesting thing to learn on the fly as we were shooting, and to gather information about, 'All right, if I try to, like, if I'm walking across the room and I try to glance down to see where I'm going, that actually looks huge because I've got this helmet on and I have to move my whole head. So there could be no, especially with the Armorer, there could be no extraneous movements. Every movement felt like it told a story.
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 82:03–82:26 Chow: "One of the things that helped achieve that was the fact that we did a lot of prep and we were in there for months before, so there was you know, it was very designed. We didn't just show up on the day for usre. So I think all that prep kind of paid off in helping make the set feel a lot like there was sort of a plan for evyerhting.
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 71:20–71:23 Swallow: "We were block shooting episodes one and three at the same time."
- Swallow 2020, 9:57–10:24 "Because I was in the first episode, and we were block shooting the first and third episodes at the same time, so Dave Filoni and Deborah Chow, who were directing those, we were really working together, all of us that were in masks, and working them to try to figure out the language of these characters and to find each movement would be communicated."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 11:45–12:02 Swallow: "We were shooting episodes one and episodes three, which Dave and Debra directed, we were shooting those at the same time. And both of those directors really gave us time and space to kind of learn the language of these masks and this armor."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 18:44–18:55 Swallow: "For the episodes that I was working on, we had two sound stages that had sets in them, so I got to see, I mean, I definitely got to see a lot of tunnels and sewers and stuff."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 33:07–33:37 Swallow: "In real life I am somebody who, like, I use my hands all the time, and I just couldn't do that with her, because what we found, and we were shooting episodes one and three at the same time, so we had Dave Filoni and Deborah Chow who was working together with all of us in these suits and these masks, to find out what the language of movement was and what translated and what might be distracting and, you know, what would take away from what you're trying to get people to understand.
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 72:39–72:55 Swallow: "I can't tell you how many times I like dropped my tongs or couldn't pick them up and all of the action sequences that look so great where I'm hammering metal or putting things into the fire, those took a long time to actually capture."
- Swallow & Giannakopoulos 2019, 32:35–33:00 Swallow: "Oh my gosh, there were so many different, the sequences where I'm making weapons, that is me hammering and putting things into the fire and stuff, and there were so many times that I would drop things or I couldn't quite, like there was something little I needed to pick up and I couldn't because I had these huge gloves on. So I'm super grateful that they made it look as good as it does, because it didn't always feel that way."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 72:55–73:00 Breznican: "Was there real fire or was that a visual effect?" Swallow: "No, that's a visual effect."
- Swallow, Breznican & Chow 2019, 74:30–75:57 Swallow: "I remember spending a lot of time with that beskar steel and stacking it different ways and trying to determine like, OK, having this massive quantity of this very prized material that had been stolen from our people, having it returned now, knowing that it may... I think that the Armorer senses that it may have been gained through less than noble means." Breznican: Even the way it's stamped is kind of like Nazi gold. Like it's marked with evil." Swallow: "Yeah, and they actually mentioned that. They talked about that a lot. And like trying to determine how that would be handled. How would she place it. How would she look at it. We spent a lot of time with those little details." Breznican: "Is it your sense that in making this armor, she's purifying it in a way?" Swallow: "I think so. Because I think that originally it did some from the Mandalorians. I mean as she says to one of the Mandalorian riff raff that raises a fuss and says basically that this is tainted steel, she says the Empire is no more, and it's been returned to its rightful owners. Kind of let bygones be bygones. This was ours originally and sure it's been tainted. I think more important that whatever evil has transpired is where it came from and where it came from was a noble place and we're going to return it to that noble place and give it that noble standing.
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 26:34–27:04 Swallow: "He's so down to earth. Actually, he and I go back several years because I know him through the New York theater scene, and then we were both on The Mentalist at the same time, because the season that I was on there, he was brought in to be a love interest for Robin's character. So that was really fun because we hadn't seen each other in a while when we got to do that, and then to get to do this which is so entirely different, it's just delightful when you get to come across people that you already know and like and then you get to say, 'Oh now we get to work together, this is awesome.'"
- Swallow 2020, 10:59–11:09 "We know each other from the New York theater scene, and then we got to work together on The Mentalist, totally randomly, so it was awesome to be able to work with him on this."
- Swallow 2019, 25:31–25:55 "Pedro and I, actually, I know him from the theater crowd in New York, but then we got to work together on The Mentalist, because he came in as a love interest for Robin's character while I was on the show. And that was so much fun because we knew each other from New York, and then we got to work together on that, and then finding out that I was going to get to work with him on The Mandalorian was really cool."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 27:49–28:11 Swallow: "That was a dream come true because I've just been a fan of his for so long, and I have to try not to fangirl too much. I definitely have my moments, like, I had a moment after we'd been working together for a couple days where I was like, 'OK, I just have to tell you, I think you're amazing and I've watched this and I've seen this many times, and I'm so happy to be working with you.' And then I, like, put a lid on it, because the Armorer doesn't really fangirl, I think."
- Ridgely, Charlie (January 23, 2020). "Star Wars: The Mandalorian's Emily Swallow Admits Baby Yoda Is Just as Cute in Person". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on January 24, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
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- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 21:01–21:12 Busch: "Did you ever get to see or meet the Yoda baby puppet, even just behind the scenes?" Sparrow: "Oh I did, yeah, and I fell in love with it like everybody else. And it does look so real. It's so deceptive."
- Swallow & Jordan 2020, 8:25–8:33 Swallow: "I was thrilled when they brought him in that little bag for the scene that I got to have with it. I just wanted to snuggle it."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 19:08–19:34 Swallow: "I remember there was a day early on on that sound stage, I remember seeing this really cool ship that we've all come to know now again this green screen, and George Lucas had come to set that day to surprise Jon for his birthday, and he's standing there holding court just, you know, telling some stories about when he was making the movies, and he's surrounded by people who are just completely caught up in what he's saying."
- Swallow 2020, 15:40–15:52 "He came, I think it was for Jon's birthday one day. And then I didn't even know he was there and I was walking from our sound stage across the other one and he's standing there holding court, telling stories to people."
- Swallow 2020, 14:04–14:24 "I was doing some looping for one of my episodes, so I was in the sound booth in New York and Dave Filoni was on the line and Jon was in and out because he was also doing, like, final edits on the Lion King. So, you know, jumping back and forth between these two huge projects, but totally there, totally with it."
- Swallow 2019, 13:05–13:25 "There was one day when I was doing some ADR for some of my scenes in The Mandalorian, and I was in New York in a voiceover studio, and I was on the phone with one of the directors in L.A., and then Jon was also on the line, but he had to keep jumping in and out because he was doing final sound mixes for the Lion King."
- Jirak, Jamie (December 30, 2019). "Star Wars: The Mandaloiran's Emily Swallow Shares Epic Fan Art of the Armorer". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on December 30, 2019. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow & Jordan 2020, 1:19–1:35 Jordan: "Your character in particular has just become such a fan favorite, but I will say there are so many people on the Internet that are begging, begging to see more of the Armorer in season two."
- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 10:20–10:41 Silliman: "You're so good with emotion through the mask." Swallow: "Oh, thank you." Silliman: "And also connecting to, just with your scenes with Pedro Pascal, even if just one of you was in a helmet like that, it would be hard, but you guys are connecting through two helmets. I mean, and it just looks so seamless and it looks so effortless, and of course it isn't."
- Atkin, Jesse (January 28, 2020). "10 Burning Questions We Still Have After Finishing The Mandalorian Season 1". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on January 29, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Pantoja, Kevin (January 2, 2020). "The Mandalorian: 10 Best New Star Wars Characters Introduced In The Show, Ranked". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- Atkin, Jessie (January 8, 2020). "The Mandalorian: 10 of the Best Outfits From Season 1". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on January 9, 2020. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 19:58–20:37 Swallow: "I also haven't really been on the receiving end of a lot of negative stuff, so, so far so good. Regan: "Are you ready for the eventual amount of cosplay your character's going to get?" Swallow: "I cannot wait. I mean, just the fan art that I've gotten to see online has gotten me so excited, and the things that people are already making. I mean, people send me messages on Instagram and on Twitter and they have pictures of these, like, models that they're making of the Armorer's gear." Regan: "Is it a little surreal?" Swallow: "It's totally surreal."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 22:25–22:52 Swallow: "I actually just did a fan convention, a Wizard World in Portland, Oregon this past weekend. I had done them for Supernatural before but it was the first time I had done one since The Mandalorian came out, and I feel like the luckiest person in the world because I've been greeted with so much joy and positivity, and people are so excited about it, and little girls love the Armorer and love what a badass warrior she is, and that just makes me really happy."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 36:10–36:26 Gordon: "I watch your Twitter and it's just exploding with people, and the outpouring of love and support for the Armorer, it's amazing." Swallow: "I have. I just so appreciate all the support that the character's gotten. It makes me feel so happy that people like her so much."
- Swallow & Jordan 2020, 5:54–6:00 Jordan: "There are so many people who are sending in, I know you posted some fan art as well." Swallow: "Yes, there's been some incredible fan art, yeah."
- Jirak, Jamie (January 9, 2020). "Star Wars: The Mandalorian's Emily Swallow Shares Powerful Fan Art of the Armorer". Comicbook.com. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 22:53–23:09 Swallow: "I feel like it's that much more shocking to me because I have experienced a really enthusiastic fanbase, I mean, the Supernatural fans are pheonomenal. So even with that, this was like another leap beyond that."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 20:59–21:21 Swallow: "There's also something sort of liberating about having all this fervor about a character where I am in a mask. I feel like it's freeing in a way because there's absolutely no attention to my physical appearance. Nobody cares how I look. They love the character so much, and it's really kind of freeing."
- Swallow & Gordon 2020, 28:29–29:04 Swallow: "It's also so liberating for me as an actress because this is now the role that I am the most known for, and it's kind of freeing and liberating that it has nothing to do with how I look, because I'm just so used to that being a factor in how I get cast, in having to make sure I always look my best. That just kind of comes with the territory, but it's just so much fun that now this character that everyone knows me for is one where you don't even know what I look like. It's great."
- Swallow & Regan 2020, 23:44–24:08 Swallow: I love getting to just witness it without people having to be self-conscious or anything, or knowing that I'm a part of it. I was asked in another interview recently, 'Do people recognize you as Amara or for other shows?' And you know, occasionally that happens, and it's kind of great to know, 'Nobody's ever going to guess that I'm the Armorer.' I don't get a lot of street recognition for that."
- Denholm 2020, p. 29
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- Swallow, Silliman & Busch 2019, 23:01–23:52 Swallow: "The first time I became aware of it was when we had the premiere in L.A. on the 13th, because we got to see all three episodes, so everyone had already seen the first episode by that point, because it had launched. But watching that third episode with the big audience that included the other actors and a lot of our crew, and then a couple of like Mandalorian fan clubs, when that line came up you could kind of feel this electricity in the audience. And then later in the episode in that brilliant, amazing, euphoric moment when all the Mandalorians come and save him, and the one that stops to talk to him says, 'This is the way,' almost everybody in the audience repeated it back to the screen in that moment. I was like, 'OK, I think we have something here."
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