Star Wars: The Mandalorian Enlisted Deaf Performer to Create Tusken Raider Sign Language

Season 2 of The Mandalorian finally kicked off last Friday, and fans are still finding details to love about the season premiere. The episode, titled "The Marshall", tied together a lot of disparate parts from across the larger Star Wars canon, from characters that originated in books to obscure parts of the Knights of the Old Republic video game. In addition, the episode further expanded the lore surrounding the Tusken Raiders -- including prominently featuring their use of sign language. An interview from The Daily Moth, which was published earlier this year, sheds more light on how that sign language was created for the show -- with the help of a Deaf performer named Troy Kotsur, who played a Tusken Raider Scout in Season 1 of The Mandalorian. According to the interview, Kotsur was approached to consult on the show's sign language, after a hearing person on the show's crew advocated for it.

"I did research on the culture and environment of Tusken Raiders. I researched on the desert called 'sand people'," Kotsur explained. "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."

"I hope that you keep telling Disney + that you want to see more sign language," Kotsur continued. "I hope that the producers keep an open mind because this is just the beginning."

It's safe to say that Kotsur's attention to detail paid off, as members of the Deaf community have embraced The Mandalorian's approach to its sign language. The inclusion also further expands on the lore of the Tusken Raiders themselves, who some fans have thought were a little underdeveloped in their original Star Wars appearances.

What do you think of the story behind The Mandalorian's approach to the Tusken Raiders' sign language? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


New episodes of Season 2 of The Mandalorian debut every Friday exclusively on Disney+. If you haven't checked out Disney+ yet and you want to give it a go, you can do that here.

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