From the very first episode of The Mandalorian, you wanted to know about the Armorer. She was fierce. She was mysterious. And she was wise beyond her years. As we’ve learned more about her in subsequent seasons, that mystique has only grown. Is she honest? Does she have ulterior motives? What’s her deal?
Fans ask those questions but, interestingly, the actress behind the mask does not. In a new interview, Emily Swallow admitted that while fans have wondered about the character’s loyalty, even in person, she doesn’t quite understand why. “I was surprised at how personally I took it,” Swallow told the Direct. “And not because it hurt my feelings as Emily, but more because this character is somebody of such integrity and it seems to me that she cares so completely about her people more than she does about herself, and I felt like for them to cause a character like that to turn would be sort of a gut punch to the audience. Sure, it would be exciting and thrilling, but to me it felt like it would just be so disappointing.”
In the week before the season three finale, Swallow was so surprised at how many people asked about the Armorer’s allegiance, she was actually wondering if creators Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni pulled a fast one on her.
“It was so fascinating to me on many levels,” she said. “I mean, first of all it made me question whether I knew what was actually going to happen in the finale, because people were so certain and we’d shot it a year before, and so I came home to my husband and I said, ‘I’ve got to look at my script for that last episode again. I don’t remember there being anything that would suggest that I turned, but did they have me shoot fake scenes?’ Like, I didn’t know. You hear about that happening.”
What’s fascinating to us on many levels is how clearly we, as an audience, read that questionability into the Armorer. As Swallow implied, this happened most acutely after episode seven of season three, “The Spies,” which seemed to imply someone in the Mandalorian group was an actual spy. In reality though, the title was confusing and the term was being used in another context. Still, that she had no idea the audience might consider she was a spy suggests no one ever discussed it with her. Was it achieved via the editing? Something else? We don’t know. Speaking to io9 earlier this year, Favreau and Filoni seemed very aware fans would, and should, question those allegiances. So maybe there was a disconnect between what happened on set and what we saw on Disney+.
Ultimately though, Swallow sees these theories as a reflection on society as a whole. “It’s just very telling to me of what we have come to expect of our heroes, or the caution that we have in the way that we feel like,” she said. “‘Well, they’re gonna let us down inevitably. She’s probably not a good guy. No big deal.’”
It sure seems like Swallow thinks the Armorer is a good guy. We’re wondering if that changes once she sees scripts for season four.
The Mandalorian is now streaming on Disney+. Season four is likely to arrive in 2025.
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