Sunday night, actor Troy Kotsur became the first deaf actor to win the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Oscars for his role in CODA. But while Kotsur has been garnering attention and acclaim for his work in the film which itself brought home the Best Picture trophy at last night's ceremony, Kotsur has also made a major mark on the beloved Star Wars franchise through his work. Kotsur previously not only appeared in Disney+'s Star Wars: The Mandalorian as a Tusken Raider Scout in the show's first season, but he also helped create the sign language used by the Tusken Raiders as well.
Speaking with The Daily Moth previously, Kotsur explained how he was approached to help create the Tusken Sign Language as well as his process, which included researching their culture and environment in order to create a language that avoided ASL.
"I did research on the culture and environment of Tusken Raiders," Kotsur said. "I researched on the desert called 'sand people.' That is what Luke Skywalker calls them, 'sand people.' Anyway, my goal was to avoid ASL. I made sure it became Tusken Sign Language based on their culture and environment."
He continued, "I hope that you keep telling Disney+ that you want to see more sign language. I hope that the producers keep an open mind because this is just the beginning."
The Star Wars universe is one that has played a major role in Kotsur's life as well. The actor told CBS Saturday Morning that it was Star Wars: A New Hope that changed his life when he was 8 years old.
"So, imagine sitting in the theater not being able to hear anything. But the visuals of this of this film were amazing. I saw the lights shooting back and forth from their guns. The battleships," Kotsur said. "I went back to the theater and saw it 28 times, and that was the first film that inspired me. I was fascinated by the fantasy and all of the characters and that really sparked my interest into film and led me here to this day."
"Oh, I was thrilled," Kotsur said of being part of The Mandalorian. Since the age of eight, my dream was to be involved. They had so many aliens and they spoke all these different languages, so where was sign language? And so, as a Tusken raider, it was perfect to create that sign language for the desert."
Did you realize that Kotsur helped to develop Tusken Raider Sign Language used in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.0comments