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Werner Herzog has never seen a Star Wars, but he does watch the Kardashians, Wrestlemania

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain (Getty Images)

Today marks The Mandalorian’s long awaited debut (oh, and also that new streaming platform that’s hosting it), so chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve already seen the first episode, or are currently waiting for Disney+ to stop crashing long enough to watch it. Either way, undoubtedly one of the biggest draws for the Star Wars universe’s first live-action show isn’t necessarily getting a story that doesn’t involve the Skywalker clan, or seeing something that truly takes advantage of the near-limitless universe available to explore, but the chance at seeing Werner Herzog say made-up words like “Jedi,” “bantha,” or “porg” with his indelibly raspy solemnity.

In an interview with Variety, the German auteur spoke about his experience working on the show alongside Jon Favreau with his usual blend of candor, existentialism, and usage of transition phrases like “I shall...” and “As I always say...” Key takeaways from today’s helping of Herzog? The guy has never seen one of those Star War thingies, and don’t get him started on explaining why it’s a moral and artistic imperative to watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians and WrestleMania.

Do not underestimate the Kardashians. As vulgar as they may be, it doesn’t matter that much, but you have to find some sort of orientation. As I always say, the poet must not close his eyes, must not avert them,” Herzog told the interviewer, because of course he did.

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And while the director of Aguirre, the Wrath of God director probably couldn’t tell you the difference between a Sith and a Sarlacc pit, he makes a pretty good case as to why that shouldn’t miff any skeptical fans going into the show.

“I was not tossed into unknown territory. I was very well briefed. I knew what was expected of me—I knew the interior landscape of the character and I knew the exterior landscape,” recounted Herzog, describing his “man-to-man” conversation with director Jon Favreau before signing on to the show. Never mind that he, uh, also hasn’t seen anything Favreau’s done, either.

“I do not know what other films he has made,” Herzog said, who apparently loathes using any form of contraction, no matter how droid-like that makes him sound. Really, at this point, none of this should exactly surprise anybody. This is, after all, a man who never looks at himself in the mirror and catches fish with his bare hands.

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Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul's work is recently featured by Rolling Stone, GQ, The Forward, and The Believer, as well as McSweeney's Internet Tendency and TNY's Daily Shouts.