How One Mandalorian Star's Performance Was Inspired by Darth Vader

Darth Vader Star Wars

As the world waits for The Mandalorian Season 2, the cast is still fielding questions about the acclaimed Disney+ original. One in particular has been talking about his performance, and how the iconic Star Wars villain Darth Vader influenced his Season 1 character.

When Giancarlo Esposito was approached about playing the role of Moff Gideon, he saw a great opportunity to channel an actor that meant a lot to him. Esposito talked about Vader, and how actor James Earl Jones influenced his career.

[Thinking] about what that character is, you ask a lot of questions as I do, and then I thought immediately, 'Wow, James Earl Jones. Darth Vader.' How he affected me in my life. Who was inside that helmet, who was inside that costume. That could be a part of who Moff Gideon is, but guess what? I don't have to wear the helmet.

Like Darth Vader, Giancarlo Esposito was given an opportunity to be every bit as brutal as the Star Wars villain. Unlike Vader, however, Esposito wasn't restricted by a mask, which can take away some of the performance an actor can lend to a character.

When the comparison is made, it isn't hard to see the similarities between Moff Gideon and Darth Vader. Both command their troops with absolute confidence and have a zero tolerance policy for mistakes. Much like how Vader choked out many underlings in Empire meetings, Gideon literally shot a stormtrooper for interrupting him while he was preoccupied. Was Gideon inspired by Vader's leadership, or is this more of a product of how the Empire operated?

Giancarlo Esposito didn't speak to that in his interview with IMDB, but he did mention his thought process behind how he approached Moff Gideon. The Mandalorian star explained that while Gideon was villainous, it was his intention to portray him as a character who, despite his ideologies, could be capable of saving the galaxy. That's an interesting way to go about a character based on what the series has shown so far, so does this mean some surprising reveals are coming from Gideon in Season 2?

It's just one of the many things to think about ahead of The Mandalorian Season 2 which, hopefully, won't be delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Especially now that the news is out there that Rosario Dawson will appear in live-action as Ahsoka Tano, something fans have wanted to see for quite some time. To think, when Season 1 ended, the most exciting reveal was the darksaber and the possibility of learning Baby Yoda's name. With all the new news on the season on the horizon, it's looking like Season 2 may surprise in ways fans won't see coming.

The Mandalorian Season 1 is currently available to stream on Disney+. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for updates on the world of Star Wars, and for a look at what's happening in the world of movies and television.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.