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Leilani Shiu Interview - The Mandalorian - Captain Jawa
Leilani Shiu is an actress, known for her work as Jawa in The Mandalorian.
- Thank you Leilani Shiu for your time for the Star Wars The Mandalorian Fans.
- Leilani, Were you a Star Wars fan before you got cast as Jawa ?
Yes, I have been a fan since my childhood. Growing up with a younger brother, he was a huge Star Wars fan. What really got me to love Star Wars was the opening of "Return of the Jedi" when I was in grade school. I had the tous and all!! I fell in love with the Jawas, Ewoks, R2D2, R5, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, the Stormtroppers, CP3O, and all the droids. As a member of The Little People of America organization, I am friends with some of the actors who played in the Star Wars movies.
- How did you get your role in Chapter 9: The Marshal ?
I was a Jawa in Season 1, so I was casted by Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Directors.
- Could you share some funny, remarkable, weird stories regarding the filming of your scenes?
In Season 1, I filmed several scenes with the Stormtroppers. So you can imagine little me playing and having fun with them. It's like playing with my life size toys!! I was nicknamed "Captain""Captain Jawa" for a couple of scenes. My daughter (who also was a jawa with me) and I had the scene with Mando and Grogu. It was the scene where Mando is riding in our ship and I am driving all of us. Mando was all scrunch up inside the ship with us. We had some good times on our set. Mando and the littles had a blast together. The other littles like me (the Jawas) are great too.
- Your work together with your sister Ariel Shiu as Jawa in The Mandalorian, that's right?
LOL. She is my daughter! Ariel is a little person like me. I was hired first in Season 1, and when I let the set know I had a daughter that looked like me, they hired her too. It's awesome being a jawa with her. We are now the mom/ daughter duo!
Your daughter? Ups my fault but you look young as Ariel.
- Was the Spot ,so far, the only one in the series or did you work in more episodes? Maybe as Jawa or other Characters?
In Season 1, I played a Jawa all throughout the season. If you see a Jawa most likely you see me. I was also in the cantina as a patron with the IG-11 scene. In Season2, Chapter 9, I was casted in The Marshal and later in Season 2-Chapter 12, Ariel and I played a villager. You can see us walking as little villagers.
- Please finish the following sentence: “Looking back at working on Star Wars: The Mandalorian …”
Looking back at working on Star Wars: The Mandalorian..to me it was a dream come true. Since I started on the show in the beginning , Day 1, our cast and crew have become a huge l family. The friendships I have made, I am eternally grateful. I have been blessed to work with the amazing all star producers, directors, special effects crew, film crew, and cast. I am very grateful they continue to use me and have casted me. I still can't believe to this day , I am a toy!
- With a role in Star Wars comes a Big Fan Community, what are your first star wars fan experiences?
For a year I could not say anything, or could not tell anyone. When Season 1 launched, the fans were so awesome. Since I am in the music industry, when my radio djs finally found out, they were so embracing and overjoyed. The ‘Star Wars' fans are all global. It’s a amazing. They have been totally supportive. I had my first autograph signing before the pandemic, and it was so awesome to meet some in person. I was like wow, you want my autograph. I love being a Funko Pop and action figure! I thank all my fans who have continued to follow me, commenting whenever I post on my social medias or when they see me in person.
- Will we see you back in The Mandalorian in season two? (if you are allowed to talk about it)
Season 2? Yes. LOL. But In the future, I can't say except keep watching!
Sorry i mean Season 3 :-D
- Leilani , Is there something special you would love to do in the future? A special role or actor to work with?
I would love to continue being "officially casted" in whatever my future holds. I would love to be casted in the future 'Star Wars' movies. The Mandalorian is a television series, I hope to do movies too. As a 'Little Person", I would like to continue working as a role model for children who are little like me. I want them to know they can do anything just like I did. Don't let our height stop your dream! Billy Barty was my role model as a little person actress and I would like to follow his footsteps with children.
- Thank you for your time Leilani! Let’s end this interview with some words for the fans?
Thank you for all the love and support. Thank you for making me part of the “WookiePedia” and Keep watching! I can't wait to hopefully meet you all someday.
- Thank you and I hope to see you some day at a German Star Wars Convention.
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