The Mandalorian: Emily Swallow Thought Season 1 Was The End For The Armorer

As "The Mandalorian" has continued to progress and explore the war culture and complicated history of Mandalore, the Armorer has become an essential character within the overall arc of the series. Played wonderfully by actor Emily Swallow, the Armorer has emerged as a mentor and guide for Din Djarin and, now, Bo-Katan Kryze as they all work together to try and unite the scattered Mandalorian clans across the galaxy. She's steered by a greater sense of purpose that binds the Children of the Watch together and makes it seem like they're destined for greatness. Knowing the history of Mandalorian culture allows her to keep one foot in the past and one in the present, working as a kind of bridge between the ancient stories of the Old Republic and the budding possibilities of the New Republic era.

With how much of a crucial role the Armorer is playing in season 3 of "The Mandalorian," it's somewhat surprising to learn that there was quite a bit of mystery surrounding her involvement in the show beyond the first season. Every actor in "Star Wars" is kept in the dark to a certain extent to prevent any leaks or spoilers, and when Swallow first auditioned for the part, she had no idea what was in store for the character. "I sort of got the feeling that she was a little bit of an Obi-Wan to Mando, but I don't even think that idea crystallized until I sort of saw the whole season," Swallow told ScreenRant. "I don't think I got that sense from what I shot, because I wasn't in that many scenes in the first season, and I wasn't privy to the rest of the script." Thankfully for Swallow, that level of secrecy started to wane once she learned the Armorer would make her triumphant return. 

Get in where you fit in

Back when the Armorer was first introduced, she was a stoic, mystical leader trying to keep up the teachings of the Way while her people stayed in hiding on the planet Nevarro. After she crafted his new signet, the Mudhorn, out of beskar, she sent Din on his quest to return Grogu to his rightful parentage. On the surface, she functioned as more of a plot device that sets up Mando's mission. So, naturally, Emily Swallow assumed her part in the story would be coming to a close, telling ScreenRant:

"I didn't really know how the whole story panned out until I got to watch the season with everybody else when it was released. And then I had no idea, honestly, if I was going to come back because I wasn't in season 2. I didn't know how she would continue to fit into the story. When I got the script for the episode of 'The Book of Boba Fett,' things started to really fall into place in a more comprehensive way."

When the Armorer does make her unexpected return right in the middle of "The Book of Boba Fett," she serves a similar purpose for Din Djarin, who's now struggling to master and wield the Darksaber. It's here that the Armorer becomes more of an Arthurian character who teaches Din about the weapon and the ancient lore surrounding it. When Swallow knew she'd be returning, she made sure she understood where the Armorer fit in to the pre-existing canon. "I wanted to know, 'Okay, what of this is new information? What of it is stuff that she's revealing that had been suggested in the past, and what had been prophesied?' I wanted to make sure I was very specific about that," she explained. Now, the Armorer is becoming a very large piece of the sacred text of "Star Wars."

'Wait, I might have job security?'

The Armorer and the Darksaber are connected by the strict Mandalorian code of the Way and the prophesy that whoever possesses the ancient blade will restore Mandalore to its past greatness once again. So, it's no wonder that her character had to be a big part of the series going forward, a fact that stunned Emily Swallow when producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni broke the news to her (via ScreenRant):

"Then they started telling me that they were laying some of the groundwork for season 3 and things that would be coming up, which was shocking to me. Prior to this, I never found out if I was going to be part of the story until immediately before because of all the secrecy around it. So, I was like, 'Wait, I might have job security?'"

The more time that the Armorer shares with Din Djarin and Bo-Katan, the more her relationship with them mirrors the mentorship roles that have always been a part of "Star Wars," from Luke and Obi-Wan to Luke and Rey. The Way of the Mandalorian is much different that the path of the Jedi, but the Armorer is starting to take up that mantle now that she's becoming closer with both Din and Bo. "It's been really cool with 'The Book of Boba Fett' and the beginning of this season to see that she is more invested in Din," admitted Swallow. "There's a little bit of a softening there, if you can even say that with her."

The Armorer, of course, has just placed Bo-Katan and Din on their own mission to unite the Mandalorian clans, fulfilling what is likely to be her most important role for the rest of the season. But if Mandalore is restored, there's going to be a lot of beskar ore to mine, so don't expect the Armorer to be jumping ship anytime soon.