The Mandalorian star Emily Swallow, who plays the Armorer, discusses the character’s mysterious backstory. The Star Wars series first landed on Disney+ in 2019 and was a smash hit. The science-fiction fantasy series follows the mysterious Mandalorian bounty hunter known as Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) who chooses to protect a young bounty he was supposed to deliver to a faction of the splintered Galactic Empire.
Following the Great Purge of Mandalore, where the Empire laid waste to the planet killing countless civilians, many Mandalorian warriors were forced into hiding and took work as mercenaries and bounty hunters. Din Djarin found a small coven of warriors on the planet Nevarro led by a mysterious Armorer. She keeps the group hidden in the sewers beneath the small city and forges armor for the Mandalorians who seek her assistance. The Armorer also seemingly holds more knowledge than most about Mandalore’s past as well as the Jedi who have been systematically wiped from the galaxy.
In an exclusive interview with Screen Rant, Swallow discussed the Armorer’s mysterious and unknown character background. When asked about whether she knew her character’s personal history, the actor responded that she didn’t and actually preferred it that way.
Read what Swallow said about the Armorer and the character’s backstory below.
“Jon [Faverau] and Dave [Filoni] tell me remarkably little, which I appreciate. They leave it up to me. I usually do come up with a pretty detailed backstory for characters, but I haven’t with her.
“I think part of that is, it changes a lot for her. I find that it changes depending on the needs of the moment she’s having because she is such an archetypal figure. She represents so many ideas. She represents this larger influence in Din Djarin’s life. I find that it’s helpful not to attach super-specific, personal things to her.”
“I do that for more personal moments. I do that for more personal interactions that she has with him. I do sort of attach things that I can connect to that I think would help for individual scenes. But I find that it’s constantly shifting, depending on what new information they give me for what’s going to happen in an episode. I say, ‘Oh, well, actually, maybe it’s more helpful if this is where she’s coming from.’ Or maybe, ‘Oh, maybe this happened in her past.’ So I still haven’t pinned her down, and I like that about her.”
Swallow claims that Favreau and Filoni, the creators of The Mandalorian, have reportedly not told her very much about who the character was prior to the series. Many writers and directors give their characters elaborate backgrounds before putting pen to page. They then give this information to the actors to inform their performances. However the mysterious nature of the Armorer leads Swallow to act in the moment and react to the events of scenes. As a result, the character is still evolving in the actor’s eyes as she only takes what she has done and uses that to realize the character for the show.
As Swallow explained, the Armorer is an archetypal character that serves a mentor figure and quest giver to Din Djarin. These types of characters have been a part of stories for thousands of years, especially within the Hero’s Journey story structure. A mysterious aura around the character can sometimes add a layer of depth as there is room left for speculation. However, it is clearly possible that Favreau and Filoni still do not have a complete plan for the character as evidenced by their initial intention to kill the Armorer off at the end of The Mandalorian season 1. Perhaps more of the Armorer’s backstory will be revealed when The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ for season 3 in February, 2023.