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Long ago in a galaxy far away, there were rumors that former Doctor Who star Matt Smith was meant to appear in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in a pretty substantial role. Now, two years later, the actor is finally setting the record straight, confirming the rumors were in fact true and the 39-year-old actor was almost at the helm of a major “shift in the history” of the Star Wars franchise.
Remember those reports that Matt Smith was going to be in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER? He told me his role was a big deal, representing “a big shift in the history of the [STAR WARS] franchise.”
WHO WAS HE GOING TO PLAY?!
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) November 3, 2021
In the most recent episode of Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast (via The Wrap), Smith opened up about his almost-part on the project, driving both Horowitz and Star Wars fans everywhere a bit mad imaging what could have been. According to Smith, he took several meetings leading up the film’s production, going over his character and the impact he would have on the series, but was ultimately cut from the film when the role “became obsolete.”
“We were close to me being in it, but then it just never quite happened. I think the thing they were thinking of me for, eventually… it became obsolete. They didn’t need it. So I never got to be in Star Wars.”
After Smith dropped the news, Horowitz asked him the question I’m sure we’re all thinking right now: who was Smith supposed to play? Horowitz then suggested Emperor Palpatine’s son, which caused Smith to smile and quickly grow quiet, before replying, “I could not possibly say, I could not possibly say. But it was a pretty groovy thing.”
“It was a big thing.” Smith added. “Pretty big — it was like a big story detail, like a transformative Star Wars story detail. But it never quite got over the line.”
While everyone has their own feelings on how the Star Wars sequel saga ultimately ended, you can’t deny it’s pretty fun to speculate what Smith would have been up to in the final film had he been involved. Luckily for Smith, however, the actor is doing quite well and is keeping busy in some pretty major franchises, including Sony’s Morbius and the Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon.