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Matt Smith Confirms He Was Nearly In Star Wars, And His Role Sounds Wild

Matt Smith in The Crown
(Image credit: Netflix)

There are few franchises quite as beloved as Star Wars. The galaxy far, far away has remained a pop culture mainstay for years, with some A-list talent joining the property. The Crown’s Matt Smith recently confirmed he was nearly in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and his role sounds wild.

Filmmaker J.J. Abrams returned to the director’s chair for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, where he was tasked with ending both the sequel trilogy and the nine-film Skywalker Saga. It turns out that Matt Smith almost had a role in that blockbuster, and there are bound to be countless fan theories about what his role might be. Smith confirmed his connection to the franchise, saying:

We were close to me being in it but then it never quite happened. I think the thing they were thinking of me for, eventually the part became obsolete and they didn’t need it. So I never got to be in Star Wars.

What a bummer. It’s one thing to be an actor who never got to play in the world of Star Wars. It’s quite another getting that close, before a role was ultimately scrapped from the movie altogether. Although with the franchise continuing to grow on both the small and silver screens, perhaps Matt Smith will get another opportunity sometime in the future.

Matt Smith’s comments come from a recent appearance on Happy Sad Confused Podcast, and is sure to blow the collective minds of Star Wars fans out there. The Rise of Skywalker featured a few newcomers to the franchise with Keri Russell and Richard E. Grant, but it would have been awesome to see Smith also thrown into the mix.

Later in that same interview, Matt Smith went on to tease what his mysterious role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would have been. While being careful with his words and not revealing any specific details, it sounds like he would have had a unique place in the galaxy far, far away. In Smith’s words,

It was a really groovy part and concept. It was a big thing, it was like 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.

Well, my head is spinning. There’s no telling what J.J. Abrams and company originally had in store for Matt Smith, and clearly there were some big concepts that ended up on the cutting room floor. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker definitely swung big in theaters, to varying degrees of success

As previously mentioned, the Star Wars franchise isn’t slowing down production anytime soon, so perhaps Matt Smith will get a chance to join. A number of live-action shows are currently happening at Disney+, while Patty Jenkins is working on a Rogue Squadron movie. With the Skywalker Saga now in the rear view, filmmakers might get the chance to put their own spin on the beloved property.

The next installment of Star Wars will be The Book of Boba Fett, premiering on December 29th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.