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The Mandalorian season 2 actor created a special sign language for the Tusken Raiders

Tusken Sign Language in The Mandalorian season 2
(Image credit: Disney Plus)

The Mandalorian season 2 is only one episode in, but there's already so much to talk about, including a brand-new language invented for the show – Tusken Sign Language. 

In the season 2 premiere, Din Djarin encounters Tusken Raiders while searching for a Krayt dragon on Tattooine. He communicates with the Sand People using a series of grunts and hand gestures, and it turns out those gestures are their very own language created especially for the show. 

According to The Daily Moth (opens in new tab), the Tusken Sign Language was developed by a deaf actor named Troy Kotsur. The story follows that a hearing person on The Mandalorian team read the script for episode 1 and mentioned that a deaf person should get the role of the Tusken Raider.

"I did research on the culture and environment of Tusken Raiders," says Kotsur. "My goal was to avoid [American Sign Language]. I made sure it became Tusken Sign Language based on their culture and environment."

Fans, especially members of the deaf community, were incredibly excited to see a signed alien language on the Disney Plus series – so much so that a teaching assistant who works with a deaf child started a Facebook group to further develop the language. The group is called Tusken Raider Sign Language, and you can find it right here (opens in new tab). The goal? To create a signed sci-fi language as complete as Aurebesh (the written Star Wars language) and Klingon (a spoken Star Trek language). 

It's great to see that The Mandalorian creators reached out to the deaf community for the episode, as it's clearly been a source of inspiration and pride. Meanwhile the Disney Plus series continues weekly: here's the full The Mandalorian season 2 release schedule. 

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.