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Star Wars: The Force Awakens featured performances from a number of famous people, and not just in front of the camera. From Simon Pegg as junk dealer Unkar Plutt to Ewan McGregor briefly voicing Obi-Wan Kenobi again (though they also snuck in some cleverly-edited archive dialogue from McGregor’s predecessor, Sir Alec Guinness), the seventh live action Star Wars installment brought various celebrities in to make small appearances. However, in Jon Stewart’s case, he turned the opportunity to play a stormtrooper because it wasn’t the role he had in mind.
While going over Star Wars: The Force Awakens behind-the-scenes secrets with some of the movie’s creative team, Empire revealed that the former Daily Show host wanted to cameo as a good guy in the movie. However, with stormtroopers left as the only roles to fill, Stewart decided to pass on appearing. Fortunately, there were still plenty of folks willing to voice the soldiers in white, including Daniel Craig, Kevin Smith, Michael Giacchino, Ben Schwarz and Nigel Godrich. Besides, we can reasonably assume what would have happened to Stewart’s stormtrooper even if he had agreed to that cameo. It’s the same fate that befalls all stormtroopers who aren’t Finn: being easily gunned down by a Rebel/Resistance member.
Since departing The Daily Show last August, Stewart has made few appearances on television, but after signing a exclusive four-year with HBO last year, fans can look forward to his brand of comedy returning soon on digital platforms. Once he gets back in the public eye, maybe the Star Wars folks will approach him about cameoing in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and this time they can guarantee him a good guy role. If shooting wasn’t already underway, I would suggest putting alien makeup on him and have him performing some intergaltic stand-up comedy in the background of one of those "cantina"-like scenes. What, too elaborate?
While Stewart has expressed his enjoyment of Star Wars movies in the past, this situation is the complete opposite of his friend and fellow talk show host Stephen Colbert, who flew to New Zealand and shot a cameo in 2013’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Whether or not Stewart is offered another cameo in a future Star Wars installment, Lucasfim certainly won’t have any trouble finding people to voice stormtroopers. They may not reach the same level of fame as TR-8R…sorry, FN-2199, but any chance to contribute in a Star Wars project will forever earn them a line in the history of that galaxy far, far away. Oh, and their name mentioned in the credits.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now available on both Blu-ray/DVD and for digital purchase, while Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15, 2017.