"You cannot be in this business without being well aware of what you look like and how people receive that. It is so liberating to me to play this character who is so beloved and so respected and so inspiring, and for it to have nothing to do with what she looks like. I love that. And it means that I save like an hour and a half when I get to set. I don't have to go to hair and makeup, and that's awesome. It's just really a dream."
―Emily Swallow discussing playing the Armorer[2]

Emily Swallow (born December 18, 1979) is an American actress who portrays the Armorer in the Disney+ live-action TV series The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett.[3] She is known for her work in Supernatural[4] as Amara/The Darkness and as Kim Fischer on the Mentalist.

Her voice-over roles include Lisa of Lupu in the first and fourth seasons of the Netflix animated series Castlevania, also starring Richard Armitage, Malcolm McDowell, and Titus Welliver.


Emily Swallow's first Star Wars memory was playing Ewok Adventures in her backyard, and she was a fan of Princess Leia Organa. Swallow knew that she was auditioning for something that possibly had to do with Star Wars, and the process was so secretive that she did not know what she was getting into. The character's description only said "that she was the leader of a group of people in hiding and she was masked." Swallow felt prepared due to her background in theater and mask work during her graduate school program at New York University. For an audition scene similar to a moment in "Chapter 3: The Sin" in which the Armorer breaks up a fight among her covert, she said "This is the Way" with no context.[2] On December 12, 2018, StarWars.com announced that Swallow had been cast in The Mandalorian television series.[5]

Swallow loved that little was known about the Armorer's personal life, which was unlike other characters she played.[6] She also loved that the Armorer is a warrior who is very deliberate about when she chooses to fight and respects something that is deeply spiritual. Swallow also thought her character was a great teacher to Din Djarin. She was at first cautiously optimistic about how involved and important her character is in the series.[2] Executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni did not tell Swallow much about the Armorer, but they gave her much freedom in her decisions for the characters. Swallow intentionally tried to not connect too much to the Armorer's backstory because it helped to play the character. She was not privy to the script of scenes she was not in. Swallow regularly had conversations with Favreau and Filoni about the relationship between the Armorer and Djarin.[6]

The Armorer was covered in armor, which meant that Swallow did not have to go to hair and make-up, which saved about 90 minutes. Due to not showing her face as the Armorer, Swallow had to pay closer attention to her body language, especially after she landed the part and was on set. She said the first few episodes were very fun because she worked with a team to find what the language of movement was and what translated well. While wearing a helmet, Swallow's vision was disoriented, which was increased by the dim lighting in the forge, and she had no peripheral vision. Swallow often tripped on things and ran into other actors playing Mandalorians. She said that tiling her head to look down was very distracting, making it difficult to play a confident and measured character. The crew would make sure that Swallow's path was always clear when she moved. On long shooting days, the costume would become cumbersome for Swallow.[2]

During shooting, she recorded all of the dialogue using a microphone in the helmet. After filming, Swallow and the crew collaborated on automated dialogue replacement and discussed if lines needed to be changed. Not much ADR needed to be done because the dialogue was already recorded.[6] Swallow credits Favreau, the directors, and the editors for making her performance look effortlessly confident. She has said that it feels liberating to play a character who is beloved and respected not because of what she looks like. When Swallow attended the red carpet premiere in November, 2019, she felt like she part of something magical that captured the heart of the original trilogy. After the premiere, she attended conventions and met fans who were inspired by the Armorer, which she said was a huge honor and a huge joy.[2]

The Armorer did not appear in The Mandalorian's second season, so Swallow was not sure if she would come back to Star Wars.[6] She reprised her role as the Armorer in "Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian" of The Book of Boba Fett television series.[2] In a Zoom call, Swallow spoke with Favreau and Filoni to make sure she knew which information the Armorer revealed was new to the fans. They then informed her that they were laying parts of the groundwork for Season 3 and parts that would come up. They then explained how the Armorer would figure into the next season's story, allowing Swallow to get more of a sense of her connection with Din Djarin.[6] For preparation, Swallow learned the Darksaber's lore by watching Star Wars animation. She said that working with director Bryce Dallas Howard felt like a dream because Howard was a good leader and got every shot she wanted but also asked Swallow if there anything she wanted to try. Scenes on the Glavis Ringworld were filmed in the Volume set, which used StageCraft technology. Swallow found the set breathtaking and realized how lonely the Mandalorians would be from living in constant hiding. While filming a long and grueling hammering sequence, Howard instructed Swallow on how to hammer via a microphone booming from the ether. When Swallow watched Chapter 5 right after its release, she was amazed by the completed look and could not tell she was watching a shot that was not filmed on location.[2]

Swallow reprised her role as the Armorer in the third season of The Mandalorian.[7] She learned specific details about the history of the Mandalorians and how her character fits into it. She asked[8] executive producers[9] Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni when the Children of the Watch broke off from Death Watch, but she did not reveal what the answer was.[8] Swallow also wanted to know what the Armorer personally lost during her backstory.[6] She believed that the Armorer had a "sixth sense" and knew Din Djarin would play an important role for Mandalorians. She thought that the Armorer was changed by Djarin because he challenged her in new ways and she never had such a personal relationship with someone like him.[8] Swallow tried to keep the Armorer shrouded in mystery. According to Swallow, the episodes in the third season were shot out of order.[6] For the episode "Chapter 17: The Apostate,"[7] Swallow and the other Mandalorian actors pretended to fight a big monster that was not there. She said the experience was very strange and the filming location was "remarkably unremarkable." Swallow thought the special effects for the creature were incredible and made it look unbelievable. She had a stunt double, though she always did the stunts she was capable and she was always on set for filming. She did not do any of the very technical moves that she is not trained or insured for. Her stunt double wore the armor when the creature swiped at the Armorer, flipping her.[8]



Year Title Series Contribution(s)
2019 "Chapter 1: The Mandalorian" The Mandalorian The Armorer[9]
"Chapter 3: The Sin" The Armorer[10]
"Chapter 8: Redemption" The Armorer[11]
2022 "Chapter 5: Return of the Mandalorian" The Book of Boba Fett The Armorer[3]
2023 "Chapter 17: The Apostate" The Mandalorian The Armorer[7]
"Chapter 19: The Convert" The Armorer[12]
"Chapter 20: The Foundling" The Armorer[13]
"Chapter 21: The Pirate" The Armorer[14]
"Chapter 23: The Spies" The Armorer[15]
"Chapter 24: The Return" The Armorer[16]


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