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Why Captain Carson Teva from The Mandalorian looks so familiar

For much of Star Wars visual media, the focus has been predominantly on people whose last name is Skywalker. Even with shows like The Clone Wars animated series, which introduced fans to a young Padawan by the name of Ahsoka Tano, Anakin's exploits were always front and center. With The Mandalorian, creators have a chance to explore a side of the Star Wars universe that's often gone ignored over the years. 

The fate of the galaxy isn't in the balance. Instead, the plot follows a Mandalorian by the name of Din Djarin who's tasked with delivering a child back to its people. As the pair travel to far-off planets, audiences are introduced to characters and creatures we've never heard of before. For two episodes (so far) in season 2, audiences have had a chance to spend time with Captain Carson Teva, as played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee. Like most actors would be, Lee's ecstatic to be part of this universe. As he said in an interview with CBC News, "A Korean-Canadian in the Star Wars universe gives hope to a lot of people that dreams do come true. That this is attainable. That's Star Wars in a nutshell for me."

Lee had a long journey before landing one of his biggest roles to date on The Mandalorian. If you're interested in checking out the rest of his filmography, then you have a lot of catching up to do. 

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee acted for over a decade before landing his first major TV role

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee's acting career stretches back over three decades, beginning in 1989. Back in the day, he was credited as simply "Paul Lee" and made numerous one-off appearances on a variety of television programs, such as Total Recall 2070Soul Food, and Doc. Millennials may recognize the actor as Bruno Hong Fat in the 1996 film Harriet the Spy.

Lee saw his career break out in a big way when he was cast in the Canadian soap opera Train 48. Lee starred in 256 episodes of the series, which ran from 2003 to 2005 and followed the lives of 12 commuters and their interactions on their train to work. Lee played Randy Ko, a mild-mannered engineer as well as a science-fiction enthusiast. We learn that he was dumped by his fiancée, but he soon enters another relationship with Liz, another one of the commuters. However, their relationship also ultimately fails when she decides to conceive a child via artificial insemination.

The show may have ended, but it was just the start of an extremely prolific career. 

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee played a memorable character on Degrassi: The Next Generation

Train 48 wouldn't be the last time you could see Paul Sun-Hyung Lee on Canadian television. He also made appearances on series like 1-800-MISSING and Billable Hours. However, if you were a teenager around 2010, then chances are good you recognize him best for his role as Juan Tong on Degrassi: The Next Generation

While based out of Canada, the series saw immense success across the border in the United States. Teenagers on the program had to deal with a host of taboo issues, such as bullying, teen pregnancy, and body image issues. Fortunately, Lee managed to stay away from those kinds of problems. As Juan Tong, he was the owner of Little Miss Steaks, which employed some of the kids at Degrassi High. He appeared in six episodes spanning across seasons 10 and 11.

After that, Lee starred in TV series like Almost Heroes and Shoot the Messenger. He also had a small role in the 2014 RoboCop reboot, but it was all leading up to a prominent role with which Netflix subscribers are all too familiar. 

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee is Appa on Kim's Convenience

Kim's Convenience may have debuted on Canadian television, but it's become a hit with audiences all over the globe ever since it hit Netflix. Lee plays Kim Sang-il, patriarch of the family running a convenience store in a Toronto neighborhood. He's traditional when it comes to his Korean roots, which means he can be stubborn at times but ultimately just wants what's best for his family. He has an estranged relationship with his son, Jung (Shang-Chi star Simu Liu), but they gradually work on making it better throughout the series.

All four seasons are now available to watch on Netflix, and fans can look forward to plenty more Kim's Convenience in the years to come. CBC announced earlier in 2020 that the show was picked up for two more seasons. No release date has been announced for the new episodes, which may well be held up by COVID-19 restrictions (via TV Series Finale), but sooner or later, you'll be able to see Appa back at it again.

As Captain Carson Teva, Lee's reaching his biggest audience yet. Hopefully, it won't be the last time he ventures into major blockbuster properties, because he brings a natural gravitas to this larger-than-life universe. 

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