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You’re probably well aware of this fact by now, but Simon Pegg is multitalented. Not only is he an actor, he’s also an experienced, decorated screenwriter—he was tasked with writing Star Trek Beyond recently—and these skills came in handy on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We know he has an unconfirmed small part in the film, but as it turns out, he contributed to the next excursion into that far, far away galaxy much more than we initially thought.
Pegg has been pals with The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams for years. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Abrams revealed that Pegg actually had much more of a hand in shaping the direction of the film than people knew. He said:
[Pegg] was a sounding board. He would drop by the set because he wanted to, and when he could, he would help… We could talk about things, and he was a perfect combination of incredibly smart screenwriter, fan of the series, critical fan of the series, and friend of mine – but not just blindly supportive. He was an honest, critical friend. And he wasn’t so close to it that he became immune to things. He would come in with fresh eyes and very smart ideas. He’s one of a handful of people along the way that has been really priceless.
Pegg is well known to be a devoted Star Wars fan, as well as a lover of all things nerdy and awesome. He also seems like the ideal candidate to add to the so-called "brain trust"; he’s passionate, knowledgeable, and honest. From what Abrams says here, all of that, as well as his background in storytelling, came in handy, or was at least a useful resource to have at their disposal.
How awesome, as a fan, would that be? It’s like sitting around with your friends talking about what crazy, fantastic things you’d like to see in the next Star Wars movie, only you’re in a position where those things might actually come to pass. That would be nuts. Abrams continued singing Pegg’s praises:
He was a wonderful partner in crime to kick the story around and ask questions and come up with ideas, and he was an incredibly helpful part of the process for all of us. I’m very grateful.
Almost since the beginning, there have been rumblings that Pegg would show up in The Force Awakens, and he certainly had a good time playing the is-he-isn’t-he card in interviews. At San Diego Comic-Con last month, we finally got our first look at him in costume, or at least most of one, on the Abu Dhabi set. He’s going to appear as some kind of creature in a practical costume, and though many presumed it was going to be a simple cameo, Abrams makes it sound at least a bit more substantial than that. He said:
I will say this in terms of Simon: while he won’t be recognizable in the movie, in all honesty, his role in this – not the performance or the character – but his support and friendship has been massively important and helpful in the process.
We can’t wait to see what kind of creature costume J.J. Abrams and company cooked up for Simon Pegg. From what we’ve seen, it looks pretty big, not to mention hot as hell—he was sweating buckets in the desert. Like with most things related to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we probably won’t know much about it before the film opens on December 18.