Emily Swallow, the actress who portrays the Armorer in The Mandalorian, discusses her character’s return to the Star Wars universe in The Book of Boba Fett. Swallow made her debut as the confident leader of Din Djarin’s (Pedro Pascal) Mandalorian tribe in the very first episode of the series, which released on Disney+’s U.S. launch date in November of 2019. The character has since gone on to appear in three other episodes of The Mandalorian season 1, and though she was absent from season 2, she has since made a reappearance in “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian” in The Book of Boba Fett.
The Armorer has had a very influential role in Din’s journey thus far in The Mandalorian. Acting like a mentor to him, the Armorer has been the one to teach him about the importance of “foundlings” in their culture and the importance of being honorable no matter what. These are two things Din has kept to heart as he’s cared for his own foundling, Grogu (Baby Yoda), and has upheld his word to those he’s given it to, no matter how conniving or seedy they may be. In the Mandalorian season 1 finale, the Armorer was the one who sent Din on his quest to find more of Grogu’s kind, which set up the entire major plot for season 2. She is one of the few characters to know (and use) Din’s name, which is evidence enough of how valuable she is to the show’s titular character.
Now, Swallow herself has had the chance to discuss what it was like to bring the character back in The Book of Boba Fett as well as her own take on who exactly the Armorer is in an interview for Star Wars’ official site. She began her discussion by singing praises of Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed “Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian,” including that working with Howard is “such a dream for an actor.” Swallow also spoke about the rewarding difficulty of acting in her full suit of armor, along with how that played out in her Boba Fett return with a long shoot spent hammering from different angles in a variety of tempos. She finished by talking about what the Armorer means to her and the larger role she plays in Din’s journey, which can be seen in her own words below:
One of the things that I personally love about her is that she is this warrior — she makes armor, she makes weapons, — but she is so deliberate about when she chooses to fight. She is the keeper of something sacred. She respects something that is so deeply spiritual, and it is remarkable to have the space for that within this story. It is something that often gets skipped over in our fast-paced world these days. She’s always trying to say, ‘Why don’t you look at this?’ Like I think great teachers do. Instead of saying, ‘This is what you need to think about this,’ she’s saying, ‘What do you think?’
It’s clear that these characteristics of the Armorer have greatly impacted Din and his journey thus far in The Mandalorian. It began to be in a positive way, when the Armorer’s dedication to the tribe encouraged Din to care for Grogu as one of his own and provided him with an honorable creed to stick to no matter how hard times got. In The Book of Boba Fett, it’s the Armorer who became willing to train Din with the Darksaber, providing him with wisdom and insight about the blade he hadn’t yet received. However, things took a turn when she discovered that Din had broken his creed by removing his helmet. Though he didn’t specify why he did it, it wouldn’t have mattered; like Swallow said, she is the “keeper of something sacred,” and she will defend that at all costs. The Armorer was left with no choice but to banish Din from the tribe until he can seek atonement on Mandalore, which will likely prove that the Armorer has sent Din on yet another quest that will help to set up his season 3 journey.
Though, there are still many things about the Armorer and her Mandalorian tribe that the audience doesn’t know yet. Some viewers have speculated that the spikes on her golden helmet are meant to reveal that she was once a “Mauldalorian,” or a Mandalorian who served under the rule of Darth Maul before the Siege of Mandalore. This would explain why Din’s tribe had broken off from other Mandalorians such as Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) and spent their time on the Mandalorian moon of Concordia. Though this idea has been supported by the voice actor for Maul himself, Sam Witwer, there’s no other confirmation as to whether or not this is true just yet. It’s very likely that The Mandalorian season 3 will explain more things such as these, which will give the Armorer even more of an important role in Din’s story.