Why Star Wars Superfan Ming-Na Wen Was Hesitant to Join The Mandalorian

Joining the Star Wars universe in its first-ever live-action television series is a dream come true for superfan Ming-Na Wen, but the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star was admittedly a “bit hesitant” about taking part in The Mandalorian.

“Ever since I was a little girl, when I saw Star Wars, it changed my life. I can’t even imagine the impact that it must continue to have in all the future generations since then,” Wen said during FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention over the weekend. “But I used to like pray to God, Buddha and the Force. I’m not kidding. And to this day, when I get on a plane, I still pray to God, Buddha and the Force we land safely [laughs].”

But Wen, recently inducted as a Disney Legend alongside The Mandalorian creator Jon Favreau at Disney’s bi-annual D23 Expo in August, said she was “nervous” when given the opportunity to join the esteemed franchise.

“So when this role came around, I was a bit hesitant. Because I’ve been praying my entire life to be in the Star Wars films,” she said before gushing over the “amazing, wonderful” Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni of The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels fame.

“And I was nervous, but thank goodness I said ‘yes.’ I would have been a real idiot not to have,” Wen said with a laugh. “It’s a fantastic character. I can’t talk about her, but I can’t wait for you to see it. It’s coming out in November, and I can’t wait to see the whole series.”

Asked later to name her most challenging role, Wen pointed to her character in The Mandalorian.

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“Every role that comes along, there’s always a challenge to it, but I would have to say Mandalorian. Because, having had this dream of wanting to be in the Star Wars world, and then finally getting the part, I wanted her to be — yeah, I’m playing a woman, I gave that away! I can’t believe I gave that away,” Wen said, laughing. “I’m gonna be arrested and put in some Disney dungeon. They’re gonna take away my Legends title [laughs]. So I think that one, I put so much thought and process into creating her. Everything from the way her hair would be, so that was a really important one for me. I hope you guys like her.”

Wen is joined by Pedro Pascal, Giancarol Esposito, Carl Weathers, Gina Carano, Taika Waititi, Bill Burr, Nick Nolte and Werner Herzog. The Mandalorian launches alongside the Disney+ streaming service November 12.