Giancarlo Esposito Reflects on the Star Wars Influences That Made Moff Gideon

A sketch from the Star Wars YouTube channel.
A sketch from the Star Wars YouTube channel.
Screenshot: YouTube/Disney

Giancarlo Esposito got to play one of the more coveted roles in movie history: a Star Wars villain.


In a recent video on the Star Wars YouTube channel, Giancarlo Esposito looks back at his two-season history (so far) with The Mandalorian and its most prominent villain to date: Moff Gideon. A menacing villain in a long line of menacing Imperial functionaries, Esposito’s Gideon is both distinct and a type, which gave Esposito, in this video, a chance to wax poetic about what Star Wars means to him and how to play a character like Gideon.

Esposito talks about Star Wars like someone who really loves it, and he considers the poetry of characters like Darth Vader and what the fantasy of the universe means to its viewers. He’s clearly an actor who puts an intense amount of thought and care into every role he plays, which might explain why he’s so magnetic on screen.

Gideon’s future is uncertain, but he’s made a hell of an impression, and Esposito obviously adores working on Star Wars. I say we let him just do it forever.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.


Saw someone post somewhere the suggestion that Giancarlo Esposito always plays the same character in whatever he’s in, and I couldn’t disagree more. Check him out in DO THE RIGHT THING and THE USUAL SUSPECTS and Homicide: Life on the Street... that said, the ghost of Gus Fring lingers over many of his post-Breaking Bad roles. Stone-faced adversary.

But Moff Gideon is no Gus Fring.  Gus Fring would have been a more formidable adversary.