Actress Katee Sackhoff, who plays Bo-Katan Kryze in The Mandalorian, recently attempted to explain why her character got Jake Skywalkered in the most recent season of the Star Wars series.
For those unfamiliar with the term Jake Skywalker, it was coined by Mark Hamill while attempting to explain the character that Rian Johnson wanted him to play in The Last Jedi.
Hamill said, ““I said to Rian. I said, ‘Jedis don’t give up. I mean even if he had a problem he would maybe take a year to try and regroup. But if he made a mistake he would try and write that wrong.’ So right there we had a fundamental difference. But it’s not my story anymore. It’s somebody else’s story and Rian needed me to be a certain way to make the ending effective. ”
He would later reveal, “That’s the whole crux of my problem. Luke would never say that, I’m sorry. Well, in this version, see. I’m talking about the George Lucas Star Wars. This is the next generation of Star Wars. So I almost had to think of Luke as another character. Maybe he’s Jake Skywalker. He’s not my Luke Skywalker, but I had to do what Rian wanted me to do because it serves the story well.”
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Bo-Katan Kryze got this treatment in the first episode of The Mandalorian Season 3 when the show decided to depict her as a character who had completely given up on her goal to retake Mandalore after she failed to obtain the Darksaber from Moff Gideon.
In the first episode she tells Din Djarin, “There is nothing left to join. … When I returned without the Darksaber, my forces melted away.” She goes on to inform that the fleet she stole is now “making their way through the galaxy as mercenaries.”
She then tells Djarin to lead the Mandalorians back to Mandalore given he still has the Darksaber. She instructs him, “Wave that thing around, and they’ll do whatever you say.”
When Djarin says she’s given up, she retorts, “Your cult gave up on Mandalore long before the Purge. Where were you then? The Children of the Watch and all the factions that came fractured and shattered our people. Go home. There’s nothing left.”
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This is in direct contrast to how Bo-Katan was depicted in the previous season where she was anything but defeated. In Season 2 Episode 3 “The Heiress” Kryze informed Djarin, “Trask is a black market port. They’re staging weapons that have been bought and sold with the plunders of our planet. We’re seizing those weapons and using them to retake our home world.”
“Once we’ve done that, we’ll seat a new Mandalore on the throne,” she added.
Even in the Season 2 finale she’s still not defeated. She informs Djarin, “Not all Mandalorians are bounty hunters. Some of us serve a higher purpose.”
After a brief fight involving Boba Fett and Koska Reeves, Bo-Katan informs Djarin, “If you should manage to finish your quest, I would have you reconsider joining our efforts. Mandalorians have been in exile from our home world for far too long.” She then informs him she wants to kill Gideon and reclaim the Darksaber.
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As with Luke Skywalker, the writing team behind The Mandalorian chose to have her defeated in the first episode despite the most recent characterization of her being contrary to that.
Her being defeated and given up was clearly done to serve this new story they wanted to tell of her walking both worlds and reuniting the Mandalorians to reclaim Mandalore.
In an interview with Kristian Harloff, Sackhoff explained just how they wanted Bo-Katan to be characterized in the first episode, “We wanted her to look disrespectful. We wanted her to look bored. We wanted her to look completely disinterested and defeated. Because that’s what it is. This is rock bottom for this person. And the last person she wants to see is Din.”
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The only reason she’s at rock bottom is because they made her that way in between The Mandalorian Season 2 finale and The Mandalorian Season 3 premiere. If you recall, in the Season 2 finale she’s still being aided by Koska Reeves, one of her Nite-Owl followers and she doesn’t make any indication she plans to abandon her after Din Djarin wins the Darksaber.
In fact, Reeves, Axe Woves, and seemingly the other Nite-Owls were indeed following her without the Darksaber to begin with. And one has to assume, like Bo-Katan’s character, at least some of them rebelled against Maul when he won the Darksaber from Pre Vizsla. So they knew the Darksaber didn’t de facto make one the ruler of Mandalore, and their actions in Season 2 proved that as they were working to reclaim the planet without the Darksaber.
Nevertheless ,Sackhoff also made it perfectly clear earlier in the interview that she and the creative team behind the show including Jon Favreau, Rick Famuyiwa, and Dave Filoni wanted to give Bo-Katan a redemption arc, one she clearly didn’t need in the first place.
Sackhoff explained, “This entire season I took her backstory with me. That was the biggest thing that I wanted to focus on was I wanted to focus on this is her redemption arc. She has to be relatable. She has to win people over and if she doesn’t the whole season won’t work. So I was aware of that.”
“And I think that the way that somebody can be forgiven and find atonement is to be genuinely regretful and remorseful of the things that they’ve done and the events of their past,” she continued. “To hear Bo say that she did surrender. This is a person whose ego has driven her for so long and to see that she surrendered because it was the only option she had and the sort of like the destruction that continued after that is heartbreaking. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”
“And I thought in my mind the only reason he didn’t kill her was because he wanted her to live with that and that’s why she hates him so much,” Sackhoff said.
What do you make of Sackhoff’s attempt to justify her character getting Jake Skywalkered?
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