Star Wars Actor Debunks a Pervasive Mandalorian Fan Theory

Is the Armorer really who she says she is? Yeah, probably.

Originally Published: 
Emily Swallow as The Armorer in The Book of Boba Fett
The Mandalorian

Maintaining an air of mystery can be a double-edged sword for any popular character. There’s something to be said for the unspoken cool factor it affords, but when it comes to gaining the trust of a captive audience, mystery can harm as much as it helps.

The Star Wars saga is chock full of characters in that gray area. That mystique can make you root for morally nuanced characters like Lando Calrissian and Han Solo, but as modern Star Wars projects double down on a binary view of good and evil, it’s become trickier for heroes with nebulous intentions to get by.

The Mandalorian’s Armorer (Emily Swallow) is one such character. She’s proven herself a valuable ally at every turn, but it’s hard to completely trust her when her intentions are vague and her every scene is underscored by sinister music cues. As The Mandalorian entered its third season and the battle between Mando and the Imperial Remnant kicked into high gear, fans wondered whether the Armorer was actually on our heroes’ side. Rumors swirled about her allegiances, and some fans even speculated that she was aligned with erstwhile Mandalorian leaders like Darth Maul.

As suspicion mounted against the Armorer in Season 3, it seemed like a devastating twist was all but inevitable. For Emily Swallow, who’s played the Armorer since The Mandalorian Season 1, that speculation felt like a gross misunderstanding of her character.

The Armorer has been one of Mando’s most consistent allies, but there’s something off about the character.


“I was surprised at how personally I took it,” Swallow recently told The Direct. “And not because it hurt my feelings as Emily, but more because this character is somebody of such integrity.”

Speculation grew strongest after “The Spies,” an episode that sparked theories about a potential imposter in the Mandalorian ranks. “I was at a convention the weekend after that episode aired and almost everybody that came up to my table, they were kind of looking at me out of the side of their eyes,” Swallow continued. “They were like, ‘Can we trust you?’”

The actress admitted a last-minute turn could have been “exciting and thrilling” from a storytelling perspective, but “disappointing” for her personally. “I felt like for them to cause a character like that to turn would be sort of a gut punch to the audience,” Swallow said. But fans remained convinced the Armorer would betray her fellow Mandalorians in the Season 3 finale, causing Swallow herself to wonder if her character could be trusted:

“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.”

The Armorer and Bo-Katan finally resolved their differences, but their alliance remains uneasy.


There seems to be no doubt of the Armorer’s loyalty in the Mandalorian scripts, so there’s a chance Swallow’s scenes were later given a more nebulous tone in post-production. So many of the Armorer’s appearances in Season 3 have an eerie feel, from her reunion with Grogu in Episode 1 to her conversation with Bo-Katan Kryze (Katee Sackhoff) in Episode 5, where the Armorer allows her to break her most hallowed rule and remove her helmet.

It would be interesting to see those scenes recut from a more objective perspective; would anyone suspect the Armorer of betrayal if she wasn’t being followed by a sinister band of off-screen musicians? We’ll probably never know, but Swallow’s comments have settled The Mandalorian’s confusing development. The Armorer may have some weird vibes, but she’s on our side.

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