8 ACTORS WHO SHOULD JOIN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE
Article By Abbey Archer
The Star Wars franchise is easily the fandom that I love the most. I don’t profess to be an expert, by any means, but I’ve done enough research on the films and expanded universe that it makes me a valuable Info Machine in trivia-based games. (Call me if you need help at your next game night.) And because Star Wars is definitely not going away in the foreseeable future, there’s a lot of material that has yet to be created or discovered. So, in honor of yesterday’s 40th anniversary of A New Hope’s theatrical release, here are some actors that would fit perfectly in this galaxy far, far away.
Colin Farrell — Luke’s first padawan
Colin Farrell is a fantastic actor who was criminally underutilized in the Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. His characterization was a flimsy, paint-by-the-numbers villain that could have had a great character arc in the movie. It doesn’t help, either, that he physically doesn’t fit in the world of Hogwarts and Wizards That Make Questionable Decisions. But for Star Wars? He’d be absolutely perfect. It would be too easy to cast Farrell in the role of a villain(though, to be honest, it would be amazing). Instead, let’s make him a good guy — specifically, a Jedi that was trained after the events of Return of the Jedi. Maybe Luke Skywalker had a padawan after peace was restored, and after becoming a Master went off to recruit other potential trainees … like Ben Solo. After Ben turns to the Dark Side and becomes a Knight of Ren, Luke tells Farrell’s character to go into exile, for his own safety; and, reluctantly obeying his friend, Farrell carries the teachings of the Jedi with him to an unexplored section of the galaxy
Jessica Chastain — Hera Syndulla
I love this woman. Jessica Chastain brings a lot of life to her characters, often singled out as the best actress in the films she’s involved in. Her versatility is evident, ranging from sweet humor to stone-cold drama, and she’s dabbled in a fantasy franchise. But like the above-mentioned Irishman, I’d like to see her make the jump into a sci-fi setting. Hera Syndulla is a Twi’lek and pilot of the Ghost in the television show, Star Wars Rebels. Canonically, the show takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, and it’s been well received by critics and audiences alike. Chastain would fit seamlessly in the role: not only does she share similar physical features with Hera, but her natural warmth and tough-chick persona matches exactly who Hera is. Fans have been clamoring for a live action version of SWR and the characters, so here’s the chance for Lucasfilm to fulfill their wishes. And admit it, now you’re kind of curious to see Chastain with green skin and those tenticular head appendages.
Chadwick Boseman — Bounty Hunter
This is quite a longshot, considering Chadwick Boseman is already heavily involved with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But when he broke out in Captain America: Civil War as Black Panther, everyone agreed he was one of the best parts of the movie. He’d already proven his acting chops by playing Jackie Robinson in 42, and especially James Brown in Get On Up, so he could very easily hold his own here. I would love to see Boseman play an antihero-type in Star Wars, and bounty hunters are some of the more gray area characters that crop up. Boba Fett, the galaxy’s most well-known and feared hunter, got the real crap end of the stick when he bit the dust in the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi (as far as we know). Why not make another memorable character like Fett, with much more screen time, and with no real clear-cut morals? Boseman’s bounty hunter is more lackadaisical on his downtime, but then turns it up to 11 when he’s on the job. He knew Fett and thought he was pretty overrated, so Boseman sets out to overturn the Fett legacy, paving his own way in the galaxy — eventually becoming Finn’s father and dying before his son gets to know him. PLOT TWIST.
Ziyi Zhang — Guardian of the Whills
For those unfamiliar with Ziyi Zhang, just pop in your DVD or Blu-Ray of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and you’ll know who it is I’m talking about. Or better yet, watch the criminally underrated Memoirs of a Geisha to get a better feel of her acting chops. She hasn’t been in a standout film for a long time, which is disappointing, so bringing her back into the mainstream media would be so rewarding. Like last year’s Rogue One character, Chirrut Îmwe, it would be cool to see Zhang play another Guardian of the Whills — basically, a protector of the Temple of the Kyber, which produces the crystals used when crafting lightsabers. She is a descendant of the Jedha protectors, hearing the stories of Îmwe as she grew up to be trained in the ways of the Guardians. I would put her in the same universe as the Boba Fett standalone film: she is his latest target. To be honest, I want to see a formidable opponent go against Fett, and I see her being just that. Imagine her kung-fu moves taking out his gun, and Fett having to straight up brawl with her, almost equals in their fighting skills. Like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon … but in SPACE. Admit it, that sounds incredible.
Mark Rylance — Surprise Villain
In 2015, Steven Spielberg’s film Bridge of Spies came out and introduced mainstream audiences to this actor. Four months later, Mark Rylance took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, and rightly so. His performance was so charismatically subtle and pleasant, and he’s quickly becoming a highly sought-after commodity. In between his future roles, Disney and Lucasfilm should call him up. Let’s be honest: Star Wars has a huge gallery of amazing villains, but the majority of them admittedly fit in either the completely-menacing-dressed-in-black bad guy archetype, or the mustache-twirling-obvious-evil-doer mold. What Star Wars needs is an unassuming villain, someone who is soft spoken and mild-mannered, polite and courteous — and then causes such catastrophic damage behind the scenes that it catches everyone completely off guard. Maybe a spy for the Empire or First Order, or someone working on his own that severely cripples the good guys’ reinforcements. Think a Hannibal Lector type … minus the cannibalism. Rylance is prime for that kind of role, and it’s something that would bring a new formula that hasn’t been featured prominently in canon.
Rebecca Ferguson — TIE Pilot
Mission Impossible 5’s Rebecca Ferguson was such a delight to the film. She managed to be a kick-butt heroine while being real and vulnerable, and that’s such a refreshing thing to see. Filmgoers loved her, critics loved her, I love her. I’m sure the studios are thinking of some kind of superhero, or another franchise role for her, but let’s get her snatched up in Star Wars before anyone else does, shall we? You don’t see many Stormtroopers unmasked, and TIE pilots hardly ever have a face behind the helmet. I’m thinking Ferguson could bring some humanity to those baddies in black: a Mirialan with a cyborg parts that is the First Order’s best pilot. Someone who holds the same intimidation as Captain Phasma, but holds a quiet bitterness to her superiors. She was forced to join the First Order after they took her hostage at a young age, ripping her from her family, and therefore only follows their orders to survive. She could be Poe Dameron’s equal in the skies, a consistent thorn in his side when the bad guys send her on runs to bring him down. They finally meet face to face and become secret allies, with her defection to the First Order being a major blow to their downfall — similar to her part in Mission Impossible 5, but so much more satisfying.
Eva Green — Asajj Ventress
One of the more underrated actresses out there in Hollywood, Eva Green is a great actress that keeps getting some less-than-stellar film roles. She found a good niche on television with Penny Dreadful, but it seems she hasn’t had any real standout characters to play on the big screen since 2006’s Casino Royale. Give her an awesome Star Wars character, and she would be a very welcoming presence. The coolest female villain in Star Wars canon to date, Asajj Ventress was originally supposed to appear in Attack of the Clones, but instead was relegated to both television iterations of The Clones Wars. And for once, speaking for the gigantic mess that is the Prequel movies, this was a smart move on the creative team’s part: instead of being a potentially one-note, throwaway villain that became known with the Prequels (ahem, Jango Fett), she became a fleshed-out character that is treasured by die-hard fans. Green would kill it as Asajj: she already carries the kick-butt-chick air extraordinarily well, and I’d love to see her play a truly complex villain. And technically, Asajj is still alive, so the story arcs are wide open for what we could see of her.
Hugh Laurie — Anyone
Of all the actors I’ve written about today, Dr. House is definitely the one I’m gunning for the hardest. Please, Lucasfilm, cast Hugh Laurie in a Star Wars movie. In any role. For real. Make him a Bothan, or an Ewok, or Jar Jar Binks’s deathsticks-addled uncle; I don’t care. Just get him in this universe. But in all seriousness, I can’t just put Laurie in one box in Star Wars; I can honestly see him as anything. A wise comrade to Lor San Tekka and the Church of the Force; a grizzled radical in the First Order; a fellow Knight of Ren who rivals Kylo Ren in ability and power; a smart-alecky droid; a motion capture creature who talks in riddles, like Yoda; a grumpy but warm-hearted loyalist to the Resistance; or a smuggler who worked alongside Han Solo in his later chronicles. Make him an exiled Jedi that runs into Obi-Wan Kenobi before the events of A New Hope, someone who used to associate with the Sith and has gone out on his own. Turn him into one of the founding members of the Resistance, alongside Leia, who helped her hone her Force abilities. Or maybe cast him as Mitth’raw’nuruodo — aka Thrawn, one of the Star Wars universe’s greatest villains who basically helped create the First Order. I would pay to see him as anyone in this franchise.
Star Wars will be around for a very long time, and the bigwigs behind the studio would benefit greatly if they hired any of these actors. I believe they could all be very memorable characters that fans, new and old, would fall in love with. Lucasfilm, if you find this article, please consider these candidates. And for the love of all that is holy, please never cast Shia LaBeouf in any of your films. You tried before in another Lucasfilm property, and look how that turned out. Plus, he’s not even that famous anymore.