The Sequel Trilogy and especially The Rise of Skywalker didn’t live up to people’s expectations of it. As such, it turned out to be one of the most divisive installments of the franchise. By now, we know the story behind the sequels. There were production troubles since the plot or even character arcs weren’t correctly mapped. One clear example of this is the Emperor’s plan that made everyone scratch their heads.
Now, thankfully, the plan has been clarified a bit more in the new novel. Another example of the mishap is Rey’s parentage. This was an ever-changing concept. Actress Daisy Ridley who played Rey said that her character was a no-one before the Palpatine reveal in Episode 9.
As such, these production troubles have made fans look at the Sequel Trilogy in a new light. They think about what could have emerged from the Sequels by examining the initial story by The Rise of Skywalker’s first director, Colin Trevorrow. Back then, it was reported that Doctor Who actor Matt Smith would play an essential role in the movie.
However, the actor didn’t show up in the film. Rumors pointed towards Smith playing Palpatine’s son or a beloved character like Grand Admiral Thrawn. However, the significant rumors were that Smith was playing Palpatine’s son. But was it true? Matt Smith has clarified his Star Wars role and what impact it would have had in the Star Wars franchise.
Recently Matt Smith sat down with the Happy Sad Confused podcast host Joshua Horowitz for an interview. The Last Night in Soho and Doctor Who actor was asked about his rumored role in The Rise of Skywalker.
The host asked the actor if he had filmed any scenes for the movie, but Smith denied it. He said that he didn’t shoot anything, but he was close to being in the film.
Here’s his full quote:
“No, I didn’t… We were close to me being in it but then it just never ever quite happened… I think the thing they were thinking of before eventually, the part became, y’know, it became obsolete and they didn’t need it and so I never got to be in Star Wars.”
After that, Smith was asked about his role in the film and whether he would play Palpatine’s son. In response, he looked all around the room with a sly smirk and said that he couldn’t talk about it. But he did mention the fact that the role was groovy.
Here’s your full quote:
“It was a pretty groovy thing like it was a really groovy part and concept… It was a big thing. Yeah, it was like a big story detail, like a, you know, transformative Star Wars story detail. It never quite got over the line.”
He further said that his role would have resulted in a “big shift in the history of the [Star Wars] franchise.” So we do think that it was a sizeable role at least. Smith also talked about the casting process and said that no costume fittings were done.
But there had been some meetings to talk about it. When asked if he would like to come back to the franchise, the actor said, “maybe I can come back; you never know.”
Smith then thought about the possibility carefully and said, “God, to come back as that guy,” while holding up his hand in an effective manner. His hand gesture looked very suspiciously like that of Force power but from the dark side.
It’s like Palpatine’s Force Choke or Force lightning. So maybe this was a hint by Smith towards the role that he was playing. You can check out the interview here:
Matt Smith was reported to join the cast of The Rise of Skywalker around J.J. Abrams’ inclusion in the project. So it’s pretty safe to assume that the actor would have had a role in Abrams’ version rather than Colin Trevorrow’s.
The popular theory is that Matt Smith would play either Palpatine’s soon or a young Palpatine clone. This was presumably to tie in with the storyline of Rey’s parentage. And this would undoubtedly have resulted in a significant shift, as Smith had correctly guessed.
So if this was the case, then Lucasfilm must have opted to change the story to retain more of the notion of Rey’s parents being just nobodies. Fans will remember that back then, Ian McDiarmid was also announced to be returning.
But this was a year after speculation regarding Smith’s involvement in the franchise. As such, Lucasfilm might have opted to go with an actor who Star Wars fans already knew and loved in-universe.
Every though the Sequel Trilogy was disappointing, maybe we can see Matt somewhere down the line in the variety of Star Wars projects currently in development. The Rise of Skywalker is now streaming on Disney+.
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