The day before The Mandalorian World Premiere, Fangirls Going Rogue participated in a Star Wars podcast roundtable with Katee Sackhoff, who stars as Bo-Katan Kryze. Among fans, there has been much discussion about the character’s age. Katee Sackhoff is 42 years old currently, but the assumption has been Bo-Katan is closer to her sister Satine’s age. Because of Satine’s romance with Obi-Wan Kenobi, that would put Bo-Katan closer to her sixties in the series. (Duchess of Darksaber Light on Twitter goes into great detail on the clues.) While Grogu and Bo-Katan are worlds apart developmentally, as a storyteller interesting parallels exist placing those two characters around the same age – early fifties – which is where Katee hints in her response below. The more we see from the character, the clearer the answer to this question will become. With Katee Sackhoff elevated to a series star this season, hopefully all will be revealed!
This roundtable was edited for clarity.
Sarah from Fangirls Going Rogue: You’re known for playing two iconic characters in Bo-Katan in The Mandalorian and also Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica. They both kind of set their own rules. So is there something about this type of character that you’re drawn to specifically?
Katee Sackhoff: Listen, I am such a rule follower in my own life, so it’s very nice to live vicariously through these women. But no, I love complicated women. I find them to be the most relatable. Life isn’t black and white. I find them to be the most interesting to sort of live in for a while, for sure.
Charlotte from Skytalkers: In this season, how would you describe Din and Bo’s relationship?
KS: He’s a bit of a distraction and a nuisance to her. I think that he inserted himself in a plan that she thought was going to go one way, and didn’t really work out the way that she wanted it to. I think that Bo-Katan truly believes that the only way to rule her people is by possessing the darksaber. And I think that if I were her — and we’ve all seen her sitting on that throne stewing — I’d be figuring out how to get it back. I think that probably permeates most of her thinking at this point.
Richard from Skywalking Through Neverland: Can you talk about Bo-Katan armor? How the Mandalorians like to personalize their armor. Did you personalize Bo-Katan armor in any way?
KS: You’re right, armor is incredibly personalized in the Mandalorians. I think that’s one of the things, just a fan of Star Wars and like Katee on set, walking around and looking at all of the different armor this year was absolutely so much fun. Our costume department is just unmatched. They’re so good at what they do. And you see how I’m avoiding the question that you asked me, right? I think this is, you know, we’ll see.
Kerwin from Father Son Galaxy: You portrayed the character Bo-Katan in both the animated and live action series. How did you approach playing this character in these different formats, and what were some of the challenges and opportunities of bringing Bo-Katan to life in a live action setting?
KS: Such a good question. Okay, so voice acting for Bo-Katan is a completely different medium. When I’m in the voice recording booth, I can do whatever I want with my body. I’m not restricted. There is a level of freedom that comes from just focusing on what your voice is doing and not having to think about what your hands are doing at the same time.
So then once I started playing Bo-Katan in live action, all of a sudden I had to figure out how she moved, how she walked, how she carried herself. What did her hands do? And what I realized from watching the animation and then putting on her armor, and having played the voice for so long, what I realized is that Bo is incredibly stoic and she is purposeful with her movements.
When she moves and when she speaks, it’s very intentional. And so I had to calm myself when I played her, and make sure that I didn’t move as much as I do in the booth. So when I put the helmet on and play Bo-Katan, it is the closest thing. I love it because all of a sudden my face can do whatever it wants to and I don’t have to worry about that I look like Katee, who’s excited that she’s in Star Wars.
Bryan Young from Full of Sith: I want to ask, you’ve talked a lot, even just in this interview, about being a big Star Wars fan. I kind of wanted to go back and see if you could walk us through the experience in season two of getting to be on set with Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
KS: I wish I was on set with Mark Hamill! So Dave Filoni — as of good friends as we are, and as much as I trust him, and as much as I say that he is the kindest, most sincere, most authentic, most amazing man in the entire world — lied to my face and told me it was Plo Koon. And I believed him, because it was just an actor with dots on his face. And I believed him. I was like, Dave Filoni would never lie to me. Come on. We’ve been friends for over ten years now. I trust this man with everything, especially Star Wars. Lied to my face.
So I was thinking it was Plo Koon until I literally saw the episode with you all. And I saw the green lightsaber, and I saw the cloak, and I went, “Stop it! Stop it!” And I saw the X-wing. I saw all of the things that you guys saw, and texting Dave all at the same time. And all I text him was: Plo Koon?!?!?! And then an angry face.
He lied to me.
Dan Zehr from Coffee With Kenobi: Speaking of Dave Filoni, what have you learned about, as an actor and a storyteller, from spending time with both Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau throughout this whole process?
KS: Talk about commitment to your work with Dave. I mean, he literally lives this. He knows this world better than anybody, probably better than George at this point. It’s what he does with an absolute passion that drives him. And I love talking to him about it, all the time. It’s just a joy.
And from Jon. I mean, Jon is a master. I’ve wanted to work with Jon since I got into this business. He was on my list of people I wanted to work with. He’s just such a good storyteller. And he really has the ability to lead you on a journey and see the big picture, but focus on the small details. He’s just so good at what he does.
Sarah from Fangirls Going Rogue: Do you think that Bo-Katan sister Satine’s life choices and her tragic death really weigh on Bo-Katan and maybe inform your performance in any way?
KS: Absolutely. One of the things that people don’t realize is how young she was in Clone Wars, because we never really talked about it. She was young and she was impressionable. And she believed because she was literally raised to be the warrior in the family. Her sister was in government.
She was the warrior, that was her place. And to take that away from the Mandalorian people? She did what she thought was right and she aligned herself with people that she trusted. And by the time she realized the error of her ways, it was too late and it cost her sister her life. I think that that affects everything that she does. Every move she makes, everything she’s doing now is to try and make up for that one moment.
Caitlin from Skytalkers: Do you see Bo-Katan as a character who is after redemption?
KS: Mmm. I think that Bo has too big of an ego to realize that that should be what she’s doing. Maybe having lost everything, and where we find her in the beginning of the season, could put her on that journey potentially.
Richard from Skywalking Through Neverland: You’ve been to so many conventions, meeting so many fans. What memories do you have of meeting someone who either brought a tear to your eye or made you laugh really hard?
KS: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. There’s so many. I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and one of the things that I always found to be incredibly important is going to conventions. It is part of the sci fi world. It is part of the fan base. And I think that to deny that is a disservice to the genre.
I love going and talking to the fans, and listening to what they liked about the thing that I did, or talking about some other project that we both think is really fun. It’s something that’s really important to me. And there’s been moments that I’ve laughed hysterically.
I was just at a convention and I told the story of basically how I peed on myself in costume. It was fantastic. You know, my suit is a one piece, and I have to go to the restroom like a normal person. We couldn’t get the whole thing off fast enough. And so they created a zipper for me to try out. And it didn’t work. So we scrapped that idea, and then just got more proficient at taking the suit off.
So I try to make conventions fun and I try to give away a little tidbits of, you know, information that people won’t get anywhere else because it’s hysterical.
Keith from Father Son Galaxy: Bo-Katan is a character with a rich and complex backstory. What drew you to this character, and how did you prepare for the role?
KS: Originally when I got offered the role of Bo, it was it was a very, very quick conversation with Dave and my team. And it was just like, Do you want to play a female Mandalorian warrior in an animated series? And I was like, Of course I do. And jumped at the opportunity. I really didn’t give it a second thought because I was brought up on Star Wars. To be in Star Wars was like the pinnacle thing that you go after.
So it was almost working backwards in the sense that, once I had the opportunity to play her in live action, that’s when that work started coming in. And I started questioning all the things that she’d been through and what that looked like. I started doing the work of an on screen actor, which is different than, in my opinion, than the work of a voice actor. You learn the story just as well. But at the end of the day, it’s my voice conveying someone else’s words and story. It was what Dave wanted it to sound like. And then once we went into [live action] I took a little bit more ownership over the character, I started really working and trying to understand who she was, and where she came from, and the decisions that she’d made in her life that sort of put her on the trajectory of where we found her in Mandalorian.
Bryan Young from Full of Sith: I imagine it hits you differently as a Star Wars fan, seeing your voice come out of an animated character — that I’m in Star Wars giddiness — versus seeing yourself in person in Star Wars. Which did hit harder for you? Or what was that experience like, processing the fact that you got to be in Star Wars?
KS: Oh, absolutely. I think that the idea of playing a Star Wars character in any medium was not lost on me from the very beginning. I took the role because I never dreamed that Bo would be in live action. But seeing yourself in Star Wars next to a Jedi … it’s just crazy.
The little girl in me who watched the original trilogy with my dad when I was like six years old, would have just died. You know what I mean? She would have just — it’s just such a cool thing. I don’t know, it’d be hard pressed for anything to compare.
Dan Zehr from Coffee With Kenobi: You talked a little bit earlier about your differences between yourself as a person and Bo-Katan and then Starbuck. I also am a huge Battlestar Galactica fan, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you some key similarities and differences for you between Bo-Katan and Starbuck. And also I loved you as Sarah Corvus in the Bionic Woman, too.
KS: Oh, thank you. I loved that show. Too short-lived. There is a youthful angst to Starbuck that is exhausting. She is really trying to figure out who she is, and where she fits in the world, and what her purpose is. And she’s fighting back against authority. Probably a little like Bo-Katan when we first meet her in Clone Wars. But I think that because of the tragic ending of Starbuck, we never got to see her grow into a woman, really.
And I think that Bo has all of these life experiences, and all of these tragedies and all of these burdens, and the weight of the self-imposed desire to lead. I think all of that has created this character that is incredibly complicated and heavy and tragic.
And then Sarah Corvus is just nuts. Sarah’s just nuts. She is just crazy. And that was fun. I loved playing her. I absolutely loved playing her. That was my first sort of foray into superhero status a little bit, in the sense that she had she had superhuman strength, which was really fun to play.
The Fangirls Going Rogue podcast Bo-Katan Bonanza episode that breaks down “The Mines of Mandalore” and includes Katee’s interview and our thoughts can be found HERE.
- Fangirls Going Rogue: The Bad Batch Returns - March 1, 2024
- Hyperspace Theories: Starting 2024 with the Future of Star Wars - January 29, 2024
- Hyperspace Theories: Allegories of Mortis - December 22, 2023