Thursday, November 8, 2012

Casting Star Wars Episode VII: Characters and Actors


Much of the talk about the new Star Wars Sequel Trilogy has focused on the return of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fischer to the roles of Luke, Han and Leia.

But there are so many more characters. With that in mind, which characters could appear in Episode VII if it is set 30-40 years after Return of the Jedi?

Return of the Jedi was released in 1983 with an in-universe date of 4 ABY (After Battle of Yavin). With a 2015 release date Episode VII will be released 32 years after Return of the Jedi.  Below I will include the characters age as of 34 ABY and the actor's current age. I for one hate the idea of re-casting the leading characters in the film, so I hope if we do get the "big three" in the Sequel Trilogy that it is the original cast reprising their roles.

Readers should note that I am assuming that film characters that have subsequently died in the Expanded Universe are still alive in George Lucas' G-Canon. I have also noted an "*" when there is an age issue or multiple actor issue.

Luke: (In-Universe Age 54 / Actor's Age 61 )

Mark Hamill is Luke Skywalker and age-wise he actually would fit well in playing a mature Luke who is transitioning into a role closer to what Obi-Wan did in the Original Trilogy. It does seem obvious that Hamill like many of the actors may need a bit of a Star Wars boot camp to get closer to their Rebel fighting weight.


Leia: (In-Universe Age 54 / Actor's Age 56 )

The same holds for Carrie Fisher age-wise, but she may have a head start on Hamill in getting ready for Episode VII as this past year her weight loss success has been well publicized.


Han: (In-Universe Age 64 / Actor's Age 70 )

Harrison Ford, the oldest yet most active actor among the OT cast is fit and trim but is rapidly getting up their in age. It is a good thing that in-universe Han is also the oldest of the trio.


Chewie: (In-Universe Age 235 / Actor's Age 68 )

Peter Mayhew given his age and enormous stature would be a shock to me to reprise his role. It is just too much to ask of a 7-footer at his age, to many miles on those joints.  This will be one of the more difficult roles to re-cast.


C-3PO: (In-Universe Age 147 / Actor's Age 66 )

Anthony Daniels in spite of his age doesn't seem to be slowing down and seems to be in great shape. I think he can hang in their for one more go around as Goldenrod.


R2-D2: (In-Universe Age 68 / Actor's Age 78 )

I don't think it is realistic to expect Kenny Baker to reprise his role inside the dome of R2.  Another actor may be needed, a robotic R2, or a completely digital R2 would be needed to bring everyone's favorite droid back to the big screen.


Lando Calrissian: (In-Universe Age 66 / Actor's Age 75)

Billy Dee Williams may be one of the oldest of the OT cast, but can anyone else play Lando except Billy Dee? I think not.

Wedge Antilles: (In-Universe Age 56 / Actor's Age 65 )

If we don't get Wedge in the Sequel Trilogy I will be sad. Lucky for us Denis Lawson looks like he is still up to the job of playing the best non-Force using fighter jockey in the galaxy.


Boba Fett: (In-Universe Age 67 / Actor's Age 51* )

It is easier to make someone look a few years older than a few years younger and Temuera Morrison would seem to slide seamlessly back into the armor if George lets Boba Fett out of the Sarlacc pit.


Ahsoka Tano: (In-Universe Age 71 / Actor's Age 31 )

As a character only visualized in animation so far, the casting options with Ahsoka are pretty flexible. It would be a nice touch if as pictured above voice actress Ashley Eckstein was cast to play Ahsoka in the Sequel Trilogy.  Of course this assumes that the character doesn't die at the end of The Clone Wars and instead has been in hiding in the galactic fringes until the Sequel Trilogy.


Force Ghost Anakin: (In-Universe Age Deceased / Actor's Age 31* )

Sebastian Shaw who portrayed the un-masked Vader in Return of the Jedi died in 1994 at age 89. Hayden Christensen was digitally inserted as Anakin's Force Ghost in the 2004 DVD release of the film. It would seem to be pretty simple to have Christensen reprise his role as a blue Force ghost if Anakin is useful to the story in Episode VII.


Force Ghost Obi-Wan: (In-Universe Age Deceased / Actor's Age 43* )

The original Obi-Wan, Alec Guinness died in 2000 at age 86.  Ewan McGregor who portrayed Obi-Wan in the Prequels is 41 years old. The voice actor James Arnold Taylor plays Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars and is  43 years of age. McGregor wouldn't seem to work to portray a Force ghost of Obi-Wan because he is to young when compared to Guinness' Obi-Wan.  The two options to me are to digitally animate Obi-Wan based on old Guinness footage and have Taylor provide the voice over or simply have Obi-Wan if he appears to only appear as an invisible and not visualized Force ghost.

Force Ghost Yoda: (In-Universe Age Deceased / Actor's Age 68* )

Frank Oz is 68 and has most recently filled the role of Yoda in the Prequel Trilogy as well as providing some voice work for Star Tours: The Adventure Continues.  Tom Kane is the voice actor who portrays Yoda in TCW and is 50 years old. It is possible but seemingly unlikely that we will get a Force ghost of Yoda in Episode VII, if we do it seems possible that either Oz or Kane could fill the role. This one seems like a toss up to me.


Force Ghost Qui-Gon: (In-Universe Age Deceased / Actor's Age 60 )

Liam Neeson is 60 years old. Qui-Gon's Force ghost scene got cut from Revenge of the Sith, could he return? Sure and Neeson is still young enough to pull it off.


Palpatine via Sith Holocron: (In-Universe Age Deceased / Actor's Age 68 )

I think a cool idea would be to have Ian McDiarmid appear as a Sith Holocron avatar. It was revealed that in the production of TCW series that George Lucas thinks the Sith cannot appear as Force ghosts. This conflicts with what we have seen in the Expanded Universe where the spirits of ancient Sith are frequent guests. So barring a Dark Empire like clone, the only real way to get Palpatine into the series would be to have someone discover his Holocron. How cool would it be to see Palpatine twist another Jedi to the Dark Side and have that character become the villain in Episode VII?


Starkiller's Clone: (In-Universe Age 54* / Actor's Age 35 )

The original Galen Marek (Starkiller) was born around 19 BBY, his clone which was aged to look the same age as him was created in 1 BBY. So we will operate with the original's birthday for age appearance purposes. The fate of Starkiller's clone is up in the air following the events of The Force Unleashed II.  Certainly possible he could pop up in the films, but he would have to be aged up a little bit for it to work.


Mace Windu: (In-Universe Age 107* / Actor's Age 63 )

This only works if you play with the idea that Mace survived his electrocution and fall on Corsucant. But given that George Lucas recessitated Darth Maul, I think we can't foreclose the possibility of a Mace Windu return. An ancient Mace Windu would kind of be cool, bald head and long grey beard?


Mon Mothma: (In-Universe Age 83 / Actor's Age 79/35*)

Caroline Blakiston portrayed Mon Mothma in Return of the Jedi and is 79 years old. Genevieve O'Reilly who bares a great resemblence to Blakiston portrayed Mothma for Revenge of the Sith and is 35 years old. I wouldn't expect that Mon Mothma is in the script but it is possible that she could serve in some advisory capacity assuming Leia is running the New Republic government in the films. The age of the actress and character work.


Nien Nunb: (In-Universe Age ? / Actor's Age *48/ Unknown)

Puppeter Mike Quinn performed the in the cockpit Nien Nunb while actor Richard Bonehill was the extra in the full body costume. Quinn was born in 1964 while Bonehill's age is not publicly available. I just threw this one in for fun, because it makes sense that we will at least see cameos from some characters from Return of the Jedi.

Admiral Ackbar: (In-Universe Age 79 / Actor's Age 90/?* )

Ackbar's voice was performed by actor Erik Bauersfeld in Return of the Jedi. Bauersfeld is 90 years old. In TCW Ackbar was portrayed by voice actor Artt Butler, age unknown. Seems like Butler is the most likely candidate to voice Ackbar if he is still involved in Episode VII.  The question becomes do they go puppet or digital for the character.

What characters and actors did I miss? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

6 comments:

  1. Would be fun to see a flashback on how Boba Fett got out of that pit :). Killing off Ahsoka in Clone Wars series could possible be considered live execution of someone you are fond of :I. Starkiller actor would be nice to see in a movie, favorite actors of mine. Something we have missed on movies are the holocrons totally. And lots and lots more possible stuff to cover more on the movies.

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  2. Peter Mayhew is also wheelchair bound, precluding him from reprising the beloved Wookie. I had also heard that he had passed away. I'm assuming that's false then?

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  3. If Anakin can appear as a younger man as a force-ghost so can obi-wan. Ewan McGregor has already mentioned on twitter that he'd be up for forceghost obi-wan.

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  4. MACE WINDO DIED ..... next
    ANAKIN SKYWALKER DARTH VADER DIED .... next
    PALPATINE / EMEROR DIED .... next
    BOBA FETT DIED ..... next
    MACE WINDU DIED ....next
    QUIN GON DIED ..... next
    BEN (OBI WAN) KENOBI ... DIEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ..... next
    YODA DIED ....... next

    we need ------->>>>> HAN; LUKE, LEIA, CHEEWIE, R2,3PO, LANDO and a looooot of KIDS (LUKE&MARA JADE, HAN&LEIA), new charaters and 2-3 BAD GUYS, that's it

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  5. more maul or drath krayt lumiya ken palpatine kyle ben jacen jaina anakin solo cade something like thats what i like. could change the books but prob make new stories/people

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  6. Im all for Ewan McGregor taking back the role of Obi Wan but in The Empire Strikes Back Obi Wan apeared as the ghost of Ben so why would they make him young again? But Ewan McGregor is my favorite Star Wars actor of all time so i will be happy either way.

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