EW asked four The Mandalorian cast members to reveal their favorite Star Wars movie — and why. As you might expect, 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back was the most popular answer among the actors in the upcoming live-action Disney+ drama series, but not everybody chose the usual fan favorite.
Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian): “I don’t have a choice because I was born in ’75. I remember Star Wars, but The Empire Strikes Back made me. That was where I understood what cool was in the form of Harrison Ford playing Han Solo. I saw sister break down in remove-her-from-the-theater kind of tears when they froze him. Just the kind of Shakespearian finale of the whole thing, or Greek tragedy of it. So that definitely shaped my imagination more than any of the other ones.”
Gina Carano (Cara Dune): “Return of the Jedi. One of my favorite relationships is Princess Leia and Han Solo because they’re so at each other and come together. I’m a fighter, but I’m a sucker for love and romance.”
Giancarlo Esposito (Mof Gideon): “I really like [A New Hope]. That’s the one that got me. That’s the one that stirred me up the most … [The Mandalorian] does have that feeling, of anything could happen.”
Taika Waititi (IG-11): “Everybody probably says this but Empire Strikes Back. The stakes are so high and there’s love and there’s heartbreak and there’s loss. And at the end, the bad guy basically wins. It blew me away and changed my whole outlook on what a sci-fi or fantasy film could be. Up until that time, pretty much everything was camp and ridiculous. I did not want Han Solo to be frozen. Also, I was so young I thought he was dead. I thought they killed him and turned him into a sculpture. I didn’t understand the word ‘hibernation.’ It was so shocking to me.”
The Mandalorian from showrunner Jon Favreau (Iron Man) follows a lone bounty hunter (Pascal) in the outer reaches of the galaxy during a period of chaos following the downfall of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi. Read our cover story on new series, which debuts Nov. 12.