Nick Nolte's ability to play intimidating roles has only expanded with age, so it was extremely interesting to learn of his somewhat recent casting for the upcoming Star Wars live-action series The Mandalorian. Equally interesting is a new report claiming Nolte's character is not at all what most fans would expect. If this news turns out to be true, the Oscar-nominated actor may be portraying an ugnaught, one of those pig-like humanoids first introduced in The Empire Strikes Back.
Not the most predictable casting decision by any stretch, considering Nick Nolte doesn't share a whole lot in common with the ugnaught species. According to MakingStarWars.com, though, the actor's physical appearance will be a non-factor, as he's reportedly just lending his voice to the role. Perhaps unsurprisingly, even this voiceover process sounds more bizarre than anything we expected.
Though ugnaught characters were most recently seen in CGI animated shows like Star Wars Rebels and the currently ongoing Star Wars Resistance, The Mandalorian won't be using a fully animated character to bring Nick Nolte's voice to life. Instead, the show will allegedly be utilizing a new piece of animatronic technology.
According to the report, the Stan Winston effects team crafted a practical animatronic mask that works on voice command. A female of limited stature is said to be doing the actual physical performance while wearing the mask, which is supposedly extremely impressive in the way it's able to perfectly mimic inflections and mouth movements.
The head-scratching details aren't finished, either. One might have assumed that, as one of the first few cast members reported for The Mandalorian, that Nick Nolte would feature heavily through the series, delivering a layered and nuanced performance. However, it's reported that the actor actually completed his vocal performances during a multi-hour session in a single afternoon.
If that's the case, viewers may not see much from the Mandalorian character Nick Nolte is purported to be playing. Perhaps his ugnaught would be a creature who minces words with surgical precision, only saying exactly what is necessary during any given moment. On the flip side, maybe the character will have limited communication capabilities, in the vein of Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot. Or maybe he'll just be in The Mandalorian for a single episode. The mind boggles.
Hailing from the planet Gentes, ugnaughts became more connected with Cloud City after being introduced in The Empire Strikes Back. They're mostly used as a worker species, with many having been sold into slavery through the galaxies. After Empire, fans got to see the ugnaughts return for Return of the Jedi and The Clone Wars, as well as the aforementioned more recent animated series. They've also appeared in Star Wars novels over the years.
In comparison to this report, just about any other explanation for Nick Nolte's Mandalorian role might sound like a reasonable one, and we can't wait to learn if it's legit or not. Of course, we also want to know all about the characters being played by everyone else in the cast, which includes Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Giancarlo Esposito, Carl Weathers, Emily Swallow, Omid Abtahi and Werner Herzog.
While plot details are fairly scarce at the moment, we'll definitely know a lot more about Star Wars' The Mandalorian when it hits the Disney+ streaming service in 2019. Stay tuned for more news, and keep up with all the great fall TV left to hit primetime, as well as all the new and returning shows hitting the midseason TV schedule.