It’s safe to say that the Star Wars revival is in full swing. Episode VIII – The Last Jedi hits theaters in December, the Han Solo Anthology film is coming next summer, and a full slate of films are planned for the foreseeable future. Star Wars has always meant exciting roles for both veteran actors and promising newcomers. A New Hope set the trend, casting British veterans like Alec Guinness and Peter Cushing against the film’s trio of young, fresh-faced leads. The pattern continues today as legacy actors Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher star alongside newcomers Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, while character actors like Adam Driver and Ben Mendelsohn make their marks with wider audiences in scene-stealing villain roles. Perhaps more than any other popular film franchise, Star Wars is providing fascinating acting opportunities for performers across the Hollywood spectrum.
As new films are conceived, planned, and greenlit into production, the folks at Disney are recruiting all kinds of hot industry talent for Star Wars. Some big-name Hollywood actors have even petitioned for Star Wars roles on social media, further heightening fan speculation and casting buzz. Star Wars is a uniquely beloved media property, and it requires a balanced approach to casting. The characters of Star Wars are some of the best-known faces in all of cinema, and therefore need to be betrayed by actors who can step comfortably in and out of our favorite galaxy far, far away. We’re here to lend a helping hand to the folks over at Disney’s casting department with 16 Actors We’d Love To See In Future Star Wars Movies.
16. Sharlto Copley
South African actor Sharlto Copley has made quite the name for himself as one of the most talented performers working today. Igniting the screen with a singular manic energy, Copley has stolen the show in action movies like The A-Team and Hardcore Henry, and brought life to modern classics like District 9 and Free Fire. There’s nothing Copley can’t do, which is why he’d be the perfect actor to cast in Star Wars.
Copley’s range opens up a world of casting possibilities within the Star Wars universe. His motion-capture performance in Chappie makes him the ideal candidate to follow in the footsteps of Rogue One’s Alan Tudyk and play a motion-captured droid. He’d also be great in a colorful villain role. Copley really shines as part of an ensemble, so whether he aligns with the dark or light side of the force, his presence would require rounding out the rest of the cast with great actors for Copley to play against.
15. Sarah Michelle Gellar
We could all use more Sarah Michelle Gellar in our lives. The former Buffy star has already lent her voice talents to Star Wars Rebels (alongside husband and series regular Freddie Prinze Jr.), so why not take full advantage of her on-screen talent and devoted fan base by giving her a meaty role in a live-action Star Wars film?
Since Buffy ended in 2003, Gellar has been a criminally underutilized actress in Tinseltown. Her recent stint on the canceled Robin Williams series The Crazy Ones was brief, but it served as a helpful reminder of how rare a talent she truly is. Casting her in a Star Wars flick is practically a no-brainer. Not only would Gellar draw in multiple generations of Buffy fans, she’d also bring the gravitas and spirit that that is now expected from a Star Wars leading lady.
14. Mike Colter
As the titular star of Marvel’s Luke Cage, Mike Colter has exhibited copious amounts of charisma, sex appeal, vulnerability, and emotional range. In another time and place, he would already have been a movie star by now. Star Wars would be the perfect place to introduce Colter to an even wider audience and give him a role he can really sink his teeth into.
Casting one of the MCU’s established movie heroes in Star Wars would probably be a mistake, but someone from the franchise’s Netflix division could definitely work. Colter isn’t the only Defender who might shine in a Star Wars role (Jon Bernthal, Charlie Cox, and Krysten Ritter could all find success making the jump to hyperspace), but no one from the Marvel small screen seems more suited for the job than Colter.
13. Brie Larson
Brie Larson’s Star Wars ship may have already sailed. She’s set to join the MCU as Captain Marvel in 2019, and her career thus far indicates that she’s most comfortable starring in prestigious non-franchise projects (her upcoming superhero role being a rare exception). But should an actor from the MCU ever cross over to Star Wars, Larson would undoubtedly be up to the task.
Larson has demonstrated that she can carry a movie in a lead role as well as shine as part of an ensemble. Since she’s set to star in a Marvel movie, perhaps it’d be best to cast her in a supporting role. Big names like Benicio del Toro and Laura Dern are set to appear as supporting characters in The Last Jedi. Maybe that’s the sort of Star Wars casting torch Larson could carry in the future.
12. Pierce Brosnan
We’ve already had one James Bond in a Star Wars movie (Daniel Craig, though his cameo appearance was a masked one). Why not invite another 007 to join the fun, perhaps even in a major role? Pierce Brosnan is a charismatic movie star whose acting talents have gone criminally underutilized throughout his career. Interesting roles have come his way here and there, but not nearly enough to fully showcase his emotional depth and range on screen. Not only would Brosnan look great in a Star Wars film, but given the proper part, he’d also turn in a sterling performance.
Brosnan is at his best playing characters that underpin his natural elegance with menace and instability. That’s why an imperial villain role would be a perfect fit for the suave, sensitive former Bond. And should Grand Admiral Thrawn ever make a live-action appearance, Brosnan would be an incisive choice for the part.
11. Constance Wu
Constance Wu has made some serious waves on ABC’s comedy series Fresh Off The Boat. As Jessica Huang, Wu has been both hilarious and emotionally powerful. Her tough love attitude and rebel girl spirit in the show make her an excellent candidate for Star Wars.
Wu is the type of actress who could fit almost anywhere in the Star Wars universe. She’d shine in a supporting role, and she has what it takes to play a lead. And because she’s a new face, it’d be easy for fans to identify her seamlessly with her Star Wars character. Hollywood has taken substantial steps in providing Asian actors and actresses with substantial roles, but it still has a long way to go. Star Wars is leading the charge in casting with diversity in mind, and Constance Wu would be a great addition to the Star Wars‘ family. Seriously, this woman has been crushing it on TV for three years now; it’s time the movie industry took notice already.
10. Kristofer Hivju
No one on this list has a starker look than Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju. He’s been an absolute powerhouse on Game of Thrones as the wildling warrior Tormund Giantsbane, and he’s displayed broad emotional range in foreign films like Force Majeure. Star Wars would be the perfect place to put Hivju’s signature look and unique abilities to good use.
Hivju’s large stature and signature red hair and beard make him ideal for anything from a cameo in a cantina scene to a prominent rebel hero or intimidating villain. Marvel’s Star Wars comics have produced the type of unusual looking Imperial villains that we have yet to see in the films. Hivju would be the perfect actor to bring one of these villains to the big screen.
9. Gina Rodriguez
Outside of her wonderful starring role on The CW’s critically acclaimed Jane the Virgin, Gina Rodriguez has had plenty of supporting roles in both TV and film. A weightier film role is the logical next step in Rodriguez’s career, and Star Wars would be a great vehicle for her.
The popularity of characters like Ahsoka and Rey have opened the floodgates for fully fleshed out female Jedi. Rodriguez exudes both the strength and vulnerability that every Jedi should aspire to. The fan art of Rodriguez in Jedi garb, wielding a lightsaber practically makes itself. If the Star Wars team ever decides to explore the Old Republic era on film, Rodriguez should be one of the first actresses they look to when casting the Jedi knights of the ancient era.
8. Kelvin Yu
TV writer, producer, and actor Kelvin Yu may be most familiar to fans of Aziz Ansari’s Netflix series Master of None. He’s also had supporting roles in films like sci-fi hits like Cloverfield and Star Trek. Yu is a charismatic player. His unassuming presence is noteworthy without being overtly showy. This is just the type of presence that Star Wars needs to make its supporting characters sufficiently memorable.
The franchise could also provide Yu with an opportunity to stretch his acting chops and make an impression in a more central role. He could add diversity to the empire as a prominent Imperial officer, or stand out as a strong rebel leader or potential Jedi. Whether as a supporting player or fresh-faced lead, Yu would be a welcome addition to the Star Wars saga.
7. Christina Hendricks
Practically anyone from the principal cast of Mad Men would be a welcome addition to the Star Wars family (there are surely future characters out there for the likes of Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, and John Slattery to play), but none of them seem more tailor-made for Star Wars than Christina Hendricks. Her diversified career makes her a familiar face to many, and her unique look gives her a leg up on plenty of actresses. Star Wars has always been a pallet of interesting faces and colorful characters, two qualities that Hendricks indisputably brings to the table.
Hendricks is the type of actress that could tackle almost any type of character. Across all media platforms, Star Wars is filling its universe with strong female villains as well as heroes. Hendricks would undoubtedly bring the wisdom and authoritative presence to emulate the dark side of the force.
6. Matt Bomer
With a face carved out of Greek marble and a lethal amount of onscreen charisma, Matt Bomer stands out in everything he’s been in, from Magic Mike to American Horror Story. Let’s face it: the man is an Adonis, and his acting talents are of equal brilliance to his looks. Bomer isn’t necessarily the type of leading man that Star Wars has used in the past, which may be all the more reason to bring him into the fold now.
He may not radiate the ragtag persona that the light side of the force is known for, but given the opportunity, Bomer could add new dimensions to the Rebel Alliance. One of Star Wars Rebels’ most intriguing supporting characters is Agent Kallus, a rebel spy undercover as an imperial officer. A double agent character like Kallus would be the perfect role for Bomer to exercise his talents.
5. Laverne Cox
With The Force Awakens and Rogue One, Star Wars has shown that diverse casting is a huge priority. Now would be a great time to really lead the charge and give trans actress Laverne Cox a role worthy of her talents. Cox is one of the most talented people working in Hollywood today, gracing every project that comes her way with the life and showmanship of a true operatic space queen.
So far, the Star Wars revival has only scratched the surface of George Lucas’ infinite fictional universe. As the Anthology films continue to explore the farther reaches of the galaxy, more and more colorful characters will need to be created and cast. Laverne Cox is the perfect actress to inhabit some exotic, previously unexplored region of space with power, drama, and glamour.
4. Sam Rockwell
A brilliant character actor and offbeat leading man, Sam Rockwell makes every movie he’s part of more vibrant. With a diverse resume’ of popular films under his belt, Rockwell’s cinematic experience could do wonders for an Anthology film. Star Wars needs seasoned actors with profiles that don’t distract from the property, and that’s exactly what Rockwell brings to the table.
Another great thing about Sam Rockwell is that he could easily play a hero or villain. In either capacity, his singular screen presence would make for an original take on the mythological characters of Star Wars. Rockwell was highly entertaining as Zaphod Beeblebrox in The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. A similar character would add some quirky brevity to an ensemble Star Wars cast.
3. Lady Gaga
In both her music career and admittedly limited time acting in TV and film, Lady Gaga has established herself as an endless well of personified talent and originality. Taking a queue from the operatic space-age personas of singers like David Bowie and Prince, Gaga has created a look and persona that — combined with her acting skills — could be a remarkable game-changer for Star Wars.
Rogue One’s success proved that the Anthology films provide opportunities to take big risks and move in bold new directions. If the Anthology series ever explores sci-fi’s weirder regions, it’ll need bold, fearless talent to inhabit them. As an actress and performer, Lady Gaga would bring the right kind of weird to create a truly memorable Star Wars character.
2. Steven Yeun
Killing off beloved characters has practically become a sick game on cable television, and The Walking Dead is certainly no exception. One of the show’s most recent victims was Steven Yeun’s Glenn, a character whose death was decried by legions of fans. Casting Yeun in Star Wars would be a perfect way to bring new fans into the Star Wars fold and showcase the talents of a beloved TV personality.
Yeun is another actor who could play a variety of Star Wars roles. Since he’s already proven himself a worthy member of an intrepid cast of world weary characters, perhaps his talents would best be served as an underdog bounty hunter or smuggler. The Star Wars underworld has always been home to the franchise’s most interesting characters, and would surely do Yeun justice as a performer.
1. Rosario Dawson
Rosario Dawson’s name is already associated with Star Wars in the minds of many fans after a recent social media outcry calling for to be cast as fan-favorite Ahsoka. Despite the overwhelming excitement over the prospect, as far as we know, she’s no closer to landing the tailor-fit role. But whether Dawson ends up playing Ahsoka or not, she’s the perfect actress to lead any Star Wars cast.
Dawson is a self-proclaimed Star Wars fan, which automatically makes her a prime casting candidate (Rogue One star Ben Mendelsohn honed in his own Star Wars fandom to great effect). She’s also turned in countless stand-out performances in some of Hollywood’s most beloved genre pictures, and she’s been a fan-favorite in the MCU Netflix series. It’s rarely a good idea to cast a film based solely on what the fans are screaming for, but there’s no doubt that Dawson would kill it as Ahsoka, if not any Star Wars role.
So what do you think? Do these actors and actresses have what it takes to embrace the force? Have we missed anyone that’s clearly destined to appear in a galaxy far, far away? Let us know in the comments.