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Doctor Who Matt Smith

One of the stranger mysteries surrounding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been whether or not Doctor Who alum Matt Smith is actually in the movie. The actor’s casting was first reported last August, but his name was not on the official cast announcement and the actor himself denied having a role in the film. Star Wars Celebration shed some light on the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga with the reveal of the movie’s title and first trailer, but regarding Matt Smith, we were left in the dark.

That darkness may be beginning to abate though, because in the movies section on Disney’s United Kingdom website, the page for The Rise of Skywalker lists out the returning cast as well as the newcomers. There, sandwiched between Keri Russell and Dominic Monaghan, is the name Matt Smith. This seemingly confirms that yes, in fact, the Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith is in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

It doesn’t get much more official than Disney’s website, so unless someone is messing with us or has been given the wrong information, this is the most conclusive evidence we’ve had so far that Matt Smith will indeed be in this movie. If that’s the case and Disney was just going to confirm it in this unceremonious fashion, why the prior secrecy?

Even though the original casting announcement seemed to offer more transparency than expected with regards to Mark Hamill returning and how Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia would be brought back, Matt Smith’s name was not included. And Matt Smith denied being in the film, which would seemingly indicate that he wasn’t allowed to talk about it.

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That secrecy now looks especially interesting in light of the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That trailer ended with Emperor Palpatine’s laugh, and with Ian McDiarmid’s appearance on stage, we now know that the Saga’s main villain will be in Episode IX in some form.

That is a massive reveal with major implications and something that could have remained hidden as a surprise. So if Disney is willing to reveal the return of the Emperor but hide Matt Smith (other than his name on the UK website, which could be a big uh-oh for someone), just who the heck is he playing?

Speculation has ranged on this matter, but the prevailing consensus seems to be that he will be a bad guy. The two possibilities that I’ve seen thrown around the most are that he’s either a Knight of Ren, the dark siders who again failed to make an appearance in the trailer, or that he has something to do with Palpatine.

The Knights of Ren are still being held back, so it is entirely possible that Matt Smith’s character could be among their ranks, but the Palpatine angle is what I’d put my money on. With Ian McDiarmid in the movie, it doesn’t seem like Matt Smith will be Palpatine, but some sort of clone or apprentice would be neat. Perhaps when the next trailer arrives, we’ll get a better idea what Matt Smith’s role in this movie will be, but right now he is one of the biggest question marks.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what’s headed your way this summer, and for all your movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

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