Your eyes don’t deceive you. The comedian best known for The Young Ones and Bottom is apparently the latest addition to the cast of Star Wars.
Ade Edmondson has reportedly landed a role in Star Wars Episode VIII. Playing who? We don’t know, but his arrival in a galaxy far, far away isn’t that surprising when you take into account the eclectic mix of actors who’ve featured in the franchise.
Here are ten familiar faces you probably didn’t realise were in Star Wars.
Daniel Craig as a Stormtrooper
Britain’s surliest actor had blasted early rumours saying that he’d feature in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, saying “Why would I ever bother doing something like that? Fucking hell! Play an extra in another movie?” Sure enough, when Force Awakens arrived, Craig was recognisable as the Stormtrooper who freed Daisy Ridley’s Rey.
Dominic West as a Palace Guard
A pre-fame Dominic West had a role in the critically-panned Phantom Menace playing a guard to Natalie Portman’s Queen Amidala. This was three years before he hit the big time playing Jimmy McNulty in The Wire. Sadly, his Star Wars character never uttered the line “What the f**k did I do?”
Celia Imrie as Bravo 5
Upstairs Downstairs, Bridget Jones, Dinnerladies and countless other Victoria Wood classics… Celia Imrie is pretty much at national treasure status. Probably not for her role in The Phantom Menace, though, in which she was barely recognisable as a pilot embarking on a deadly mission with Anakin Skywalker.
Ralph Brown as Ric Olie
With over 100 acting credits to his name it’s no surprise to see Withnail & I’s Ralph Brown cropping up in a Star Wars movie. He’s Ric Olie, a fighter pilot serving in the Naboo resistance in Episode I. The character was dubbed Captain Obvious by fans thanks to utterances like “There’s the blockade!”, “That’s it… Tatooine” and “They’re selling hippy wigs in the Cantina, man.”
Michael Sheard as Admiral Ozzel
A Scottish character actor best know for playing the utterly terrifying Mr Bronson in Grange Hill, Sheard cropped up as Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back. After a tactical battle that saw the Empire lose ground to the Rebels, Darth Vader Force-throttled Ozzel to death for gross incompetence.
Greg Proops as Fode
If you sense something familiar about the voice of the two-headed podrace announcer in Episode I, that’s because one of them is US comic Greg Proops (the other is Scott Capurro). Proops took time out from stand-up and Whose Line is it Anyway? to lend his distinctive tones to Fode.
Hugh Quarshie as Captain Panaka
A Royal Shakespeare Company veteran, Quarshie must’ve thought he’d hit it big in movies when he landed the role of Captain Panaka in Episode I. Rumour has it the Holby City mainstay was set to return for Attack Of The Clones, but when he requested to read the entire script – and was refused – George Lucas got in a huff and wrote him out of the franchise entirely. That’s Hollywood.
Brian Blessed as Boss Nass
Already a sci-fi legend thanks to his booming “Gordon’s alive!” in Flash Gordon, Blessed voiced the underwater Gungan kingpin Boss Nass. Thanks to the general disdain for all things Gungan (blame Jar Jar Binks), Blessed never came back for further movies. He did, however, voice the character again in animated short Lego Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Out.
Peter Serafinowicz as Darth Maul
Stuntman-turned-actor Ray Park was the man behind double-ended lightsaber villain Darth Maul, but when it came to the voice George Lucas pulled in a then-unknown Peter Serafinowicz for some extra gravitas. For the entire story of the Brit actor’s Star Wars experience – and subsequent despair at the finished product – give Richard Herring’s podcast a listen.
Keira Knightley as Sabé
If you often get Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman mixed up, then it’s mission accomplished as far as George Lucas is concerned. He cast a pre-fame Knightley as Portman’s handmaiden decoy Sabé in The Phantom Menace. The resemblance is uncanny.