Giancarlo Esposito Talks Baby Yoda and Wielding the Darksaber in The Mandalorian
Most recently, Entertainment Tonight‘s Ash Crossan got a chance to talk with Giancarlo Esposito after the release of the trailer for Far Cry 6, in which he will be playing a dictator called Anton Castillo. Esposito played the villainous Moff Gideon on the first season of The Mandalorian and will be coming back for season 2 wielding the Darksaber, we found out at the very last moment of season 1. When asked about finding out about this, he said:
I have to say, it’s such an honor. Very few have wielded that saber. It just was very wonderful to be in the organic version of this story. Jon Favreau asked me to do it and I was head over heals – he mentioned that he had written it for me. I went and started looking at old Moffs – what’s a Moff? You know, I went back and looked at Peter Cushing[, he] was a Moff… You know, what do they do? Who are they?
But then he added a very interesting statement:
[…] So to be in the position of having that kind of regal, graceful power, but have this saber which delineates a different part of me than any other character… To have this saber means I can use it and I can do my own dirty work. That I’m a fighter, that I’m a warrior, that’s part of me. It also creates the possibility that he is, you know, one of the ones. That he possibly has that. And that to me is interesting because is he really that fallen hero? Is he a descendant of Darth Vader? Who is he? What does he want? He knows a lot about everything, and you’ll have to wait to find out, because he is actually pretty good with that Darksaber.
I think it’s important at this point to differentiate how much he is actually teasing, and how much he is revealing about the questions he asks himself as he is portraying the character. For example, he is obviously teasing big action sequences involving Moff Gideon on season 2 (more on this later), but when it comes to the question “Is he a descendant of Darth Vader?” or “is he one of the ones?”, I think that’s just pure actor-preparing-for-the-role stuff, he is not teasing or hinting at anything. But who knows.
I also find interesting that I can’t really tell whether he is a big Star Wars geek or not. For example, when he is speaking about the Darksaber, he hints that he knows at least the basics of it, especially when he says that very few people have wielded it, and when he capitalizes on the importance of that character, in particular, possessing the saber. But then he starts asking the question “What’s a Moff?”, and I don’t know if he genuinely doesn’t know what a Moff is, or he is just looking for background information and past characters to study their actions and their lines of thought.
Obviously, none of this matters, because he is an amazing actor, and not only he delivered an amazing performance on the last two episodes (actually, just the last one, as he just shows up at the very end of episode 7), it also showed that he was having a lot of fun. And if you are asking, why does that matter? Well, because Star Wars is supposed to be fun, and I like to see people having fun while pretending to be on a galaxy far, far away.
After that, Ash Crossan asked Esposito about the ever-present Baby Yoda (who would have thought that Baby Yoda would come up in a conversation about The Mandalorian, right?). Here’s what he said:
Look, you know, being on the set with this baby… We’ve all as cast members, Werner, myself, Pedro, have all said some different things about this very very irresistible Yoda. I knew the first time I saw him he was gonna be the star of the show. I was like, I just reminded myself – do your part, play nicely in the sandbox, because it’s the cutest baby ever. I got to be honest with you, and righтfully so. […] So to be tied to this baby is great, just don’t let me catch you in season 2. […] I just want to spend all my time with him, so as close as I can get, I will get. And believe me, I’m good at getting close.
There it is. Putting that together with what he said earlier, Esposito is definitely teasing that Moff Gideon will get very close to Baby Yoda and he will show off his Darksaber-wielding abilities. Trying to read between the lines here, I’d even say that it’s possible that for a short period of time, Moff Gideon succeeds at capturing Baby Yoda. Maybe that’s the plot of the season – after Moff Gideon kidnaps The Child, the crew must take him back. Oh, and Temuera Morrison and Timothy Olyphant show up at some point. But also, maybe that’s the way season 2 ends. Or maybe I’m completely wrong, which is the most likely one.
To find out which scenario will play out on The Mandalorian season 2, we’ll still have to wait a few more months, as it’s scheduled to stream exclusively on Disney+ at some point in October (yes, even with the pandemic and all).
Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as movies from Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.