Louisville man appears in new season of ‘The Mandalorian’

Many fans are excited for the new season of "The Mandalorian," especially one man who is from Louisville, because he appears in the show.
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 1:37 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The premiere for season 3 of “The Mandalorian” is out now.

Many fans are excited, especially one man who is from Louisville, because he appears in the show.

Tom O’Connell can’t say who he’s playing.

“I can say look for me in the credits,” O’Connell said. “I don’t want to give away any plot points or storyline at this point because I think it’s going to be, again as a fan, it’s going to be a very exciting season.”

The Trinity grad said he didn’t always want to be a stuntman. He got a computer engineering degree from the University of Alabama.

“I had all the aspirations of becoming an astronaut or an engineer working at NASA,” O’Connell said.

However, when friends wrote the screenplay for the film “The Baytown Outlaws,” they needed help.

“They were like ‘Hey, we need a stunt double for this bigger guy and you kind of fit the build, and have you ever thought of doing stunt work?’” O’Connell said.

That led the 6′4″ stuntman to taking lots of hits and shots. His engineering background got him a job rigging stunts on “Avatar: The Way of Water″ and “Avatar 3.”

Then he got the role of a lifetime, playing Darth Vader in fight scenes in the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”

“To be such an iconic character, it was a huge amount of responsibility and pressure coupled with overwhelming gratitude and joy,” O’Connell said.

He said for two weeks, he worked on sword fighting with the crew of the series.

“They brought out this sealed locked case,” O’Connell said. “Once they sort of opened it up and unveiled it they were like, ‘OK, we know you can move and do weapons stuff here. But can you do it in a mask and a helmet?’”

In that case was the Darth Vader costume.

“I always say my soul sort of left my body at that moment... this is what?” O’Connell said with a laugh.

He said Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Ewan McGregor was extremely athletic and knew his moves.

“He had it down so well, so fast, that I was like, ‘You better remember your own steps,’ because if you hit him, you’re going to be in big trouble,” O’Connell said.

His family in Louisville will be glued to the screen.

“It takes a lot of parental patience for your child to basically walk away... and say, ‘Hey, I know I have this comfortable engineering job, but I’m going to walk away and chase this dream,” O’Connell said.

“The Mandalorian” is now streaming on Disney+.