'The Mandalorian' Season 2: Here's how deaf actor Troy Kotsur created show's unique Tusken Raider sign language
The producers of the show approached Troy Kotsur for his expertise in designing an all-new Tusken sign language
Spoilers for 'The Mandalorian' Season 2 Episode 1 - 'The Marshall'
One of the things that makes 'The Mandalorian' such an incredible show is its attention to detail - whether it's in tying the show to the franchise's expansive lore, costume designs, sets and backgrounds and even languages. 'The Mandalorian' shows fans a much more reasonable side to the Tusken Raiders - otherwise known as the Sand People - than has ever been seen before, and part of that is because the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) has actually taken the time to learn their unique sign language - one that was developed by deaf actor Troy Kotsur who was consulted to help flesh out this aspect of the Tusken Raider's life.
Kotsur is an actor, director and consultant from California, who has worked on shows such as 'Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye' and 'The Number 23'. He is also a massive 'Star Wars' fan, from the age of eight, getting to enjoy a movie with visuals unlike anything he had ever seen before. He enjoyed the film so much that he watched it no less than 28 times when it first came out - and getting to work on the show itself was a dream come true. You can see Kotsur as one of the Tusken Raiders in Season 1, Episode 5, using the language he helped develop. According to an interview he did with the Daily Moth, Troy says that he wanted to make sure that the Tusken Raiders didn't just speak American Sign Language. He did his research on their culture, and their way of life, to develop their own signature form of sign language. "I made sure it became Tusken Sign Language based on their culture and environment," he said.
While the Tusken Raiders don't communicate exclusively in sign language - they also exchange long grunts and howls, which the Mandalorian appears to be rather fluent in as well - sign language seems to be their favored method of communicating with those outside of their tribe. Their sign language was a big part of the story, helping the Mandalorian broker a peace treaty between them and Cobb Vanth (Timothy Olyphant) in order to secure their help in taking down the Krayt Dragon. Kostur mentions that he hopes that this is only the start of more inclusiveness for the deaf community in Disney projects going forward. "I hope that the producers keep an open mind because this is just the beginning," he said.
The next episode of 'The Mandalorian' airs on Friday, November 6, on Disney+.