‘The Mandalorian’: This Actor on the Disney+ Show Admits He’s Never Seen a Single ‘Star Wars’ Movie

Disney+ launched on November 12, and with it the first episode of The Mandalorian, the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series. So far the show has received fairly positive reviews and seems to have won over many fans of the sci-fi franchise

The show, which takes place five years after the events of The Return of the Jedi, has plenty to please people who love the movies, who will likely spend plenty of time discussing how the story and characters fit into the larger Star Wars universe. That makes sense, given that show creator Jon Favreau is also a fan of the movies. But there’s at least one person involved in the production who claims he knew nothing about Star Wars when he was cast

Werner Herzog has never seen a ‘Star Wars’ movie 

A scene from The Empire Strikes Back
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, and Peter Mayhew in a scene from The Empire Strikes Back | Lucasfilm/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

In The Mandalorian, legendary German director Werner Herzog (Fitzcarraldo, Grizzly Man) plays a character known only as The Client. So far, we don’t know a whole lot about him, but he wears an Imperial medallion and hires the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), a bounty hunter, to track down a mysterious and valuable asset for him.  

While some actors might have chosen to brush up on the franchise’s history before signing on for such a role, that wasn’t the case for Herzog, who says he was totally unfamiliar with the fictional world created by George Lucas.  

“I have never seen a Star Wars film, but it doesn’t matter,” the actor/director told the Hollywood Reporter earlier in 2019. He said he was offered the role and that the screenplay was intriguing enough for him to accept. 

He says Favreau briefed him on the character 

Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog | CHRISTOPHE SIMON/AFP via Getty Images

Going into The Mandalorian, Herzog apparently didn’t know Yoda from Boba Fett, but that wasn’t an issue, he explained in an interview with Variety published November 12.

“You see, it was a very lively exchange, man-to-man so to speak, between Jon Favreau and myself. I was not tossed into unknown territory. I was very well briefed,” he said. “I knew what was expected of me — I knew the interior landscape of the character and I knew the exterior landscape.”

Herzog went on to say that he wasn’t specifically avoiding Star Wars movies. He just doesn’t see many movies, period.  

“You shouldn’t feel upset that I haven’t seen the Star Wars films; I hardly see any films. I read. I see two, three, maybe four films per year,” he said. 

Herzog doesn’t have Netflix, but he does watch ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’

Given that Herzog doesn’t watch many movies, it’s not exactly surprising that he’s not binge-watching the latest shows from Netflix or Hulu. The director doesn’t subscribe to most streaming services, and he says he might not watch The Mandalorian, noting that he’d have to sign up for Disney+ to see it. 

“So far, I have only signed up for one streaming platform, and that’s Criterion. They have hundreds of films, and every one of them is great,” he said, referring to the Criterion Channel

But the Stroszek director doesn’t shun all pop culture. He says he sometimes watches WrestleMania and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. 

“I’m starting to discover it. I’m curious; that’s my guiding principle,” he said of KUWTK. 

“Do not underestimate the Kardashians,” he added.