Pedro Pascal Watched Clint Eastwood Movies to Prepare to Play ‘The Mandalorian’ in New ‘Star Wars’ Series

Dave Filoni and Pedro Pascal onstage during "The Mandalorian" panel at the Star Wars Celebration on April 14, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Daniel Boczarski/WireImage for Disney

Pedro Pascal’s lips are sealed. So sealed, in fact, that he only spoke at length, twice, about his lead role in The Mandalorian – Lucasfilm’s first live-action Star Wars series created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King) and executive produced by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) – during an hour-long panel last Sunday at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. In fact, co-stars Carl Weathers (who plays Greef Carga, the head of the Bounty Hunter Guild that hires Pascal’s character for a special mission) and Gina Carano (Cara Dune, an ex-rebel shock trooper) and Filoni and Favreau did much of the talking.

When asked by Filoni how it felt to embody the Mandalorian, Pascal replied pointing at an image of him in full bounty hunter gear, blaster raised, followed by the official poster image on the screen above him: “Well, just look at the image. That’s what it’s like. Fantasy fulfillment.” Then, after acknowledging the risks of spoiling the series for the gathered audience, he added, with Filoni’s occasional prodding, “The Mandalorian is a mysterious lone gunman in the outer reaches of the galaxy. Some might say that he has questionable moral character which is in line with some of our best Westerns, some good samurai [films]…and he’s a badass.”

Pascal stayed so much on point that he acknowledged having sought inspiration in Clint Eastwood’s characters and in following Favreau’s advice to watch both Kurosawa and Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns. “Jon asked me to come and meet with him about ‘something Star Wars.’ Literally: ‘something Star Wars’,” recalled Pascal. “They invited me into the room and Dave was there and it was wall-to-wall story illustrations of this series… I was born in 1975 and I am product of the Star Wars imagination, I was shaped by these movies and I am seeing all of this. And I am like, ‘What do you want me to do? Who am I gonna be? Who do you want me to audition for? The bug or the robot?’ And he’s like, ‘You are the Mandalorian.’”

Pedro Pascal in ‘The Mandalorian.’ Photo by François Duhamel. Courtesy of Luscasfilm/Disney
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Shortly after the arena-set Mandalorian panel, a much more relaxed Pascal hit the stage with his castmates for The Star Wars Show Live!, a special edition of the weekly podcast shot at Lucasfilm’s headquarters. Maybe it was all those Chilean flags that made him feel at home, especially one featuring the Rebel Alliance’s insignia. “Seeing Chilean flags is so coooool,” he screamed before answering co-host Anthony Carboni’s first question about what makes this new series so special. “What makes it special, you are seeing it right here,” he said pointing at Weathers and Carano.

Pascal playfully called out fellow Star Wars actor Oscar Isaac on a claim that he convinced him to take on the role in an interview for Wired: “He’s trying to take credit for convincing me to do it. I said, ‘I’m doing this’ and he said, ‘Welcome [to the Star Wars family].’”

Now, don’t get your hopes too high with that reply. Considering that the events in The Mandalorian take place several years after Return of the Jedi, I highly doubt Mandalorian and Poe Dameron will ever cross paths.

The Mandalorian premieres on Disney+, the studio’s new streaming service, on November 12.