Temirlan Blaev Interview – Temiri Blagg

Temiri Blagg, a Force-sensitive male, was a child who lived a forlorn existence working as a stable hand in the Canto Casino during the First Order–Resistance war. He was part of a team of urchins—children abandoned on the planet Cantonica as a result of gambling losses—who oversaw the racing fathiers of Canto Bight under the management of Bargwill Tomder. In 34 ABY, he briefly encountered the Resistance operatives Rose Tico and Finn, who were attempting to evade the officers of the Canto Bight Police Department. Finn and Tico ultimately escaped Canto Bight with the help of Blagg and his fellow urchins, who released the fathiers from the stables, resulting in the animals stampeding through the city and escaping into the desert.

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Following the Battle of Crait, Blagg and the other stable hands listened as another urchin, Oniho Zaya, regaled them with tales of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker and how he stood alone against the First Order on Crait. He resumed his duties shortly afterward, sweeping the floor of the stables. By then he concealed a Resistance ring, a Galactic Civil War-era antique formerly owned by Tico. While staring at the stars, Blagg, who dreamed of a better life away from Canto Bight, lifted his broom with the power of the Force.

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How did you get the role of Temiri Blagg? 

My mum saw a casting call and offered me the chance to go. I had never done this before and it was interesting for me to try. We knew it was a casting call for a major film, but I didn’t know it was a casting for Star Wars! When we arrived at the casting there was a queue of boys with their parents. It was a one to one audition. I was given a script to read and act, it was a very emotional scene from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and I think I did very well, as I got the role. We knew I got the role after few months after the audition. It was a very happy day for me.

Can you describe your experience working on Star Wars?

Being in The Last Jedi was absolutely amazing. It was a great experience for me and I could not believe I got the role! I will remember that time for the rest of my life. Everything was just great: people, decorations, costumes, aliens. The space horse Fathier was just amazing, it had big sad eyes and looked so real! The monster from my scene also looked very real and scary. I enjoyed every minute on set.

What was it like working on the Canto Bight set alongside John Boyega (Finn) & Kelly Marie Tran (Rose)?

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I met several great people, I met Daisy Ridley, Kelly Marie Tran and John Boyega. I really enjoyed working with them as they all were really nice to me. Kelly was always fun, she smiles and laughs a lot. John helped me with my scene. He and Kelly supported me a lot.

It was my first acting experience and I was pretty nervous. John helped me to concentrate and shared some acting tips with me. It was almost unbelievable to meet all my favourite characters from the movie. I was playing with Rey and Finn action figurines and I could not believe my eyes when I met them in the flesh. I know that the actor’s name is John Boyega, but I was so excited when I saw him and I said “Hello Finn!” John, Daisy and Kelly also signed a book for me.

How does it feel knowing that your character is able to use the force? 

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It feels just amazing! Not many characters are force sensitive and being one of them is out of this world! I really hope that Temiri will develop his skills in the future and will use the force to fight against evil.

What were some of your favourite moments on set? 

I enjoyed the whole process and working with Rian Johnson very much. He is a great film Director, and I will always be grateful that he gave me a chance and chose me for this role. He is very hardworking and always stays positive. He supported me and the other actors a lot. He was very passionate about the film, I remember my last day on set, I was very concentrated and could not relax, when Rian said: “Cut!” I still kept standing around holding my broom and was very serious. Everyone gave me a big applause and Rian said: Temi, smile, you are in Star Wars! After that I could finally relax and smile.

My favourite moment I think was when I first saw the monster from my scene. It looked really scary so I didn’t even need to pretend that I was scared as it was very natural.

Who are some of your favourite characters from the franchise and why?

I like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Finn. They are both brave, fearless and always ready to help their friends.

What does Star Wars mean to you?

Star Wars means a lot to me. I have always loved the saga, but after I played Temiri Blagg, it became more than a film, it is a family. I remember and really like what Carrie Fisher said about Star Wars in the behind the scenes reel: “It’s about family and that is what is so powerful about it.”

What are some of your favourite scenes from the Star Wars movies and why?

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I like all the battles with light sabers. I like all scenes with Darth Maul as well as the throne room scene from The Last Jedi. Those scenes are so full of power and force that you want to watch them again and again!

 

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