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First Details on Ming-Na Wen’s The Mandalorian Character Revealed

November 5, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Ming-Na Wen The Mandalorian

The first details on Agents of SHIELD star Ming-Na Wen’s role in The Mandalorian have been revealed. Vanity Fair has a first look at Wen’s role in the Star Wars series, which premieres on November 12th when Disney+ launches. The actor plays Fennec Shand, an assassin who will appear midway through the show’s first season.

Some highlights from the interview, which reveal more about Fennec, are below:

On Fennec’s personality: “We got our inspiration really from the name. The idea of a fennec fox came to mind. She’s tricky, and yet she’s able to maneuver and survive, and be stealthy—so very graceful and agile. I just love that whole image with the name.”

On whether she’s a hero or villain: “Thinking that she’s a mercenary, it can go either way. I think it remains to be seen. … She is definitely someone who’s loyal to herself.”

On the character’s backstory as the audience sees it: “It will evolve, it will change. I mean, I think that’s what’s so wonderful about creating a new character. I think she has a good sense of humor about it all as well, which is also fun. You can’t really pinpoint which direction she’s going to go.”

On the importance of Star Wars to her: “It’s definitely a film that has had such an impact in so many people’s lives, including my own. As an Asian kid in Pittsburgh, and especially in Mount Lebanon, sometimes you feel very alone and very isolated. And I think for me, with Star Wars, I connected so much with Luke having these dreams and wanting something bigger and better than being a little farmer in Tatooine. Just that image of him looking at the binary suns and wishing for more, it always stays with me.”

On working with Dave Filoni, who directed her first episode: “We both grew up in the same town, and there was just a real connection because of our love of Star Wars. He was so open to talking about things, and working out the logic of each scene. That’s what I love,” she said. “We were working on some line changes, and he was up for all of that. So it was a very fluid, fun, organic kind of process.”

On having input on the character’s look: “At first, the idea was maybe just have her hair be loose, unkempt kind of thing. And I thought, Well, she’s going to be wearing a helmet and she’s this stealth assassin. How great would it be if her hair has a bit of the fennec fox architecture to it? So the hairstylist came up with this great braiding system, that just gives an idea of these triangular points. Like her ears.”

On Fennec’s weapons of choice: “She has quite a few weapons because she’s a very skilled fighter. Just her body is a weapon in and of itself. And she does carry…a big, big gun. A big boy.”