Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is certainly a movie where a lot of things happened. But one thing that didn’t, that many expected, was that Doctor Who’s Matt Smith was going to show up, despite his own denials. Now the actor has spoken out about the role and teased that whoever he was going to play would’ve had huge ramifications for the Star Wars galaxy.
“We were close to me being in it, but then it just never quite happened,” Smith told Josh Horowitz in a conversation for the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast’s Patreon. “I think the thing they were thinking of me for, eventually the part became obsolete and they didn’t need it, and so I never got to be in Star Wars.”
While Smith refused to reveal the identity of the character, he did offer an intriguing tease that they were going to have had a major impact on not just the events of the film, but Star Wars at large. “I could not possibly say but it was a pretty groovy thing,” the actor continued. “It was a big story detail, like a transformative Star Wars story detail but it never quite got over the line… It was a big shift in the history of the franchise.”
Naturally, your Star Wars experts at io9 have been able to do nothing but think about the possibilities of this very serious revelation. Who could Smith have played that would’ve been so mind-blowing, so earth-shatteringly revelatory, and yet got left on the cutting room floor? What secrets could’ve changed The Rise of Skywalker, nay, Star Wars forever, with his arrival? We put our best thinking caps on and came up with not just one, but 10 whole possibilities for Star Wars characters Smith could’ve changed the galaxy far, far away forever with.
Maybe. Possibly. You be the judge.
2 / 12
Just imagine that instead of the mysterious masked smuggler Rey and friends meet on Pasaana turning out to be Lando Calrissian, it’s just a giant green rabbit with blaster pistols played ever so delicately by a mo-capped Matt Smith.
3 / 12
The Rise of Skywalker had plenty of underworld links and a need for information brokering—and a fascination with criminal elements in the galaxy far, far away that has continued to give us explorations like The Mandalorian or The Book of Boba Fett on Disney+. But alas, none of those characters had a ship name as good as The Wild Karrde. Exquisite.
4 / 12
Instead of hashing out the remnants of Dark Empire, Rise clearly should’ve been a direct adaptation of The Courtship of Princess Leia, where the fate of the Resistance’s very survival against the First Order could’ve rested on the shoulders of one dire task for General Organa: can she marry Matt Smith playing one of the stupidest, most powerful men in the galaxy?
5 / 12
You want Matt Smith clones? This is how you get Matt Smith clones. Or sorry, to follow the old EU’s answer to what happens when you clone someone, Maatt Smith clones.
6 / 12
Unlike Yoda, he speaks in completely normal English. And sounds like the Eleventh Doctor.
7 / 12
Sure, Ochi’s actually in the movie already, but the version we see—very briefly—is presented as this sinister, hypercompetent threat, the right-hand assassin of the Sith hunting down Rey’s renegade parents. The version of Ochi we’ve seen since in Marvel’s Star Wars comics (in particular the current Darth Vader run by Greg Pak, Raffaele Ienco, Neeraj Menon, and Joe Caramagna) is an absolute disaster of a being who constantly eats shit and says things like “whaa… I thought there were only two Sith!” while surrounded by a planet full of cultists. I love him, justice for the dumbass version of Ochi.
8 / 12
Tired: fan-casting people as Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Wired: stick a big mustache on Matt Smith and have him make allusions to a certain Grand Admiral, driving fans nuts in the process.
9 / 12
Look, I just want the pipeline to getting Rogue and Wraith Squadron in live-action again to have gone as quickly as possible. It was Piggy or Hohass Ekwesh.
10 / 12
Fine, fine, let’s go with the one everyone thought it would be. Not a Snoke though, not a replacement to Ian McDiarmid cackling from his robo-appendage machine thing, just… an extra Palpatine. As a treat. Rise definitely needed more Palpatines!
11 / 12
The only thing that would need to change from the Duel on Byss is that it’s Rey and Ben fighting twink clone naked Palpatine. That’s all.
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12 / 12