Those who make their living pretending to be other people don’t always have the best choices of which characters they’re going to play. However, work is work, and we don’t blame anyone for taking certain jobs.
Still, some past roles create fonder memories than others, and the cast of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as well as previous installments in the series, have given in to the Dark Side when they picked some of their past roles.
We aren’t going to pretend that acting is all fun and lightsabers. Even the most respected, famous, and successful actors occasionally take jobs that neither entertain nor delight anyone. Similarly, newcomers have to take whatever they can get while they wait for something better.
So we don’t blame any of the people below for accepting a job, but they probably wouldn’t put any of these gigs in their demo reels. Obviously they went on to make some good decisions at some point since they’re in Star Wars now, and sometimes the destination is better than the journey.
Ultimately, you can’t change the past, as these actors know. Here are the 18 Humiliating Roles The Cast Of Star Wars Wants You To Forget.
18. Mark Hamill – The Guyver
One year before his debut voicing The Joker on Batman: The Animated Series, Mark Hamill appeared in The Guyver, an extremely weird, loose adaptation of a Japanese manga series.
It’s about a guy who discovers a device that gives him a suit that makes him … part alien, we think? Or maybe just the suit is an alien? It isn’t super clear in the movie, but that’s not the relevant part.
Hamill plays Max Reed, a CIA agent who helps the kid with the Power Rangers abilities. Then, near the end of the movie, Reed turns into a giant cockroach and dies. It wasn’t even because of anything anyone did– his body just didn’t want to be a cockroach, and we don’t blame it.
17. Harrison Ford – Hollywood Homicide
Harrison Ford, who plays Han Solo, has portrayed some of the most iconic characters in film. Besides the lovable scoundrel and smuggler, he was also Indiana Jones and Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. Unfortunately, his work in the 2003 buddy-cop film Hollywood Homicide is the exact opposite.
The problem isn’t just that the movie, ostensibly a comedy, is laughable for all the wrong reasons, though. It’s also tough to watch because Ford and costar Josh Hartnett reportedly hated each other for most of the shoot, and that lack of chemistry bleeds into what we see onscreen.
16. Daisy Ridley – Morrisons ad
The Force Awakens and Last Jedi star Daisy Ridley started out about as far from flying the Millennium Falcon as one can get when she appeared in a 2012 ad for Morrisons, the fourth largest supermarket chain in the United Kingdom.
It’s not quite as cringe-inducing as Thor: Ragnarok costar Mark Ruffalo’s Clearasil commercial, but few things on Earth are. Still, it’s a little disheartening to see our favorite new Force-user eating snacks in the middle of a grocery store like it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. However, we assume and hope it helped to pay the bills.
Careers are a process– you start with what you can get and hopefully move up from there. However, acting is unique in that your early work still ends up in front of everyone, and then people put it on the internet for future analysis.
15. Ewan McGregor – The Island
It’s hard to believe, but the Star Wars prequel trilogy was not the most embarrassing work that Ewan McGregor ever had. We’re giving that honor to director Michael Bay’s 2005 “film” The Island, a sci-fi action story about two clones escaping from the facility in which they have grown to serve as living organ banks for famous people.
Fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000 might think that this sounds a lot like the plot of a movie featured on the show, Parts: The Clonus Horror, and they’re right. The Island is like Parts plus Michael Bay, which means it’s equally stupid but three times louder.
Another embarrassing roles that McGregor had was in the Tales from the Crypt TV series. The episode takes place in England but inexplicably casts the Scottish actor as an American, complete with dodgy accent. However, somehow The Island is even worse.
14. Ray Park – Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
The original Mortal Kombat is an early success of video game movies because all it had to get right was having a bunch of people from the series fight and sometimes murder each other. It’s better than it should be, and if you don’t have the theme music stuck in your head right now, we’d love to know how that’s possible.
The sequel, Annihilation, is not as effective. It eliminates the tournament and has its “kombatants” duking it out on a series of planets. One is covered with pools of water and dirt because things weren’t already awkward enough without two women mud-wrestling.
Ray Park, who was Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace, was the best and most underused part of that episode. Luckily for him, the two characters that he plays in both Star Wars and Mortal Kombat have their faces covered, so he can pretend that he was never a part of this nonsense.
13. Warwick Davis – Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood
It’s hard to pick an entry from a series about a killer leprechaun that includes an installment that takes place in space and uses a venereal disease as a plot point.
However, we have to give it to Back 2 tha Hood, which comes two movies after the cosmic one and is, itself, a follow-up to the already pretty bad Leprechaun in the Hood that repeats neither the weird fun nor self-awareness of its predecessor.
Warwick Davis, who has played several Star Wars characters, including Wicket the Ewok in Return of the Jedi, does what he can with the material. Unfortunately, what he has to work with includes killing a person with a bong and another character making leprechaun-slaying, clover-infused bullets.
However, we are glad that Davis doesn’t rap in this one.
12. Samuel L. Jackson – Sphere
Samuel L. Jackson plays Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, and while he’s usually the most dynamic actor in any scene he’s in, Windu is mostly just one more boring person sitting and talking.
It’s worse to be boring than all-out bad, though, which was the same feeling we got in 1998’s Sphere, which costars Jackson as part of a team of scientists investigating a mysterious, alien artifact in a spaceship on the bottom of the ocean. It’s based on a book by Jurassic Park writer Michael Crichton, but it’s not one of his better ones.
That premise sounds nearly impossible to snooze up, but Sphere manages this by taking an interesting premise and explaining it to death. Every plot development also depends on characters literally wishing themselves into and out of danger, which is the exact opposite of interesting.
11. Max von Sydow – Judge Dredd
Venerable and respected actor Max von Sydow appears in The Force Awakens as Lor San Tekka, a character whose job in the plot is to deliver some exposition and then die tragically.
That was also his role in the fairly embarrassing 1995 film Judge Dredd (not to be confused with 2012’s Dredd, which is amazing). The earlier movie can’t decide if it wants to be a zany, comic book romp or a gruesome action film, and it doesn’t do either particularly well.
Sydow plays Chief Justice Fargo, who dies after journeying into the wasteland, where a mutant cannibal stabs him with his knife hand.However, that’s not even the most ridiculous thing that happens in this scene because, as he’s dying, Fargo reveals that Sylvester Stallone and Armand Assante’s characters are, implausibly, genetic twins.
10. Hayden Christensen – Jumper
Jumper has a solid premise that should have worked: some people can teleport, and other people want to kill them because… reasons. Okay, so it’s not the best set-up, but it’s good enough for a sci-fi action movie.
Hayden Christensen’s work as the young Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader was already pretty embarrassing. Though we can’t even blame him because all he had to work with were green screens, boxes indicating furniture, and a monologue about sand.
However, Jumper is still a weird movie that goes for spectacle over the original novel’s more grounded and human story. We don’t really expect a mainstream movie about people with superpowers fighting a secret group sworn to kill them to end with everyone involved going to therapy like the book does, but the finale it comes up with is still pretty disappointing.
9. Benicio Del Toro – The Wolfman
Before Universal started its Dark Universe project this year — and scrapped it after a single movie — it tried to resurrect its classic monster movies with 2010’s The Wolfman, which cast The Last Jedi’s Benicio del Toro as the titular lycanthrope.
Del Toro is a big fan of the original, but the film suffered from production trouble. This included replacing original director Mark Romanek with Joe Johnston less than a month before filming was supposed to start.
The setbacks affected the entire project, including relying on computer-generated effects for the transformation scene, which makeup creator Rick Baker hoped would not be the case.
8. Anthony Daniels – I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle
The actor inside of C-3PO’s golden shell plays a priest in this 1990 horror-comedy about a killer set of wheels.
He attempts to exorcise the evil from the eponymous murder-bike, which gains sentience and a thirst for blood after a bad spirit enters it during a satanic rite. You can’t take this premise seriously, and the movie sure doesn’t.
The motorcycle suffers from all the traditional vampiric weaknesses, including crucifixes, garlic, and sunlight. None of this makes much sense, but even straight-faced horror movies sound completely absurd when they’re described.
Regardless, Daniels has credits in dozens of Star Wars projects including movies, TV shows, and video games, so we can’t imagine that having I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle on his résumé hurts him too much.
7. Christopher Lee – The Wicker Tree
We know that legendary actor Christopher Lee, who played Count Dooku in the prequel movies, is no longer with us. However, we’re pretty sure that, if he were, he’d rather talk about his work in the Nicolas Cage-less 1973 version of The Wicker Man than its unfortunate 2011 sequel.
The original’s Lord Summerisle was reportedly Lee’s favorite role, which is saying something considering the fact that he had 290 credits over a 70-year career. His appearance in The Wicker Tree is likely the same character, although he only appears in one flashback scene, says some cryptic things, and then goes away.
6. Oscar Isaac – Sucker Punch
Sucker Punch is the only film by Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder that isn’t a remake or an adaptation. It is also mostly awful.
The cast is probably the best part. It includes Poe Dameron actor Oscar Isaac as Blue Jones, who is both an orderly at the mental hospital in which protagonist Babydoll finds herself imprisoned and a gangster and pimp in her escapist fantasies.
He’s a cookie-cutter bad guy who is so despicable that, when the police show up to arrest him at the end of the movie, he’s trying to abuse a lobotomized female patient.
This is not a subtle picture, and to be fair, no one really expects that of a Snyder film. We expect them to be huge and loud, and he delivers. However, if we’re looking for an Oscar Isaac movie, we’ll put on Ex Machina or Inside Llewyn Davis first.
5. Peter Cushing – The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires
Every successful franchise runs out of ideas eventually, and that’s why movies like Jason X and Leprechaun: Back 2 tha Hood exist.
Hammer’s Dracula series fell into that slump in its ninth entry, a collaboration with the Shaw Brothers Studio in Hong Kong. The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires combines the traditional monster-hunting story, as embodied by Cushing’s Professor Van Helsing, with a kung-fu movie because Hammer had basically done everything else at that point.
The actor who played Governor Tarkin in A New Hope gives it his all as always. It’s interesting seeing him in a new, Chinese setting, still stabbing undead foes with deadly sticks. While we’re fine with a movie about kung-fu vampire slayers, we’re not sure that both work simultaneously.
4. Laura Dern – Jurassic Park III
We feel bad picking on another movie by The Wolfman director Joe Johnston, especially considering his important role in Star Wars history. He drew concept art for the first film, including the Millennium Falcon and the Blockade Runner that opens the movie. He was also an art director on The Empire Strikes Back.
However, Jurassic Park III is a mostly frustrating movie, not the least because it brings back original characters Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler and then barely uses them.
Laura Dern, who plays Sattler in this series and Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo in The Last Jedi, is more or less there to pick up a check. She also provides a convenient exit for the heroes at the end of the movie after they’ve done everything possible to get themselves killed and failed.
3. Keira Knightley – Domino
Director Tony Scott’s 2005 action movie Domino, about real-life bounty hunter Domino Harvey, is bafflingly bad. It’s obnoxious, loud, contains zero sympathetic characters other than Tom Waits (who is always delightful), and everyone involved deserved better.
That especially goes for lead actress Keira Knightley, who had previously appeared in The Phantom Menace as a decoy for Queen Amidala. This movie makes that one seem like a cinematic triumph in comparison.
Knightley has made way better mvoies than both of these projects, including The Imitation Game and Pride & Prejudice. However, Domino is somehow an even bigger blemish on her IMDb page than the one that introduced the world to Jar Jar Binks. At least Episode I also had Darth Maul and that podracing sequence.
2. James Earl Jones – Exorcist II: The Heretic
Few people outside Warner Bros. were clamoring for a sequel to the classic demonic possession film The Exorcist, and those who did certainly didn’t ask for the one that we got.
The Heretic is a bizarre, metaphysical hodgepodge that clings to familiar characters and imagery of its predecessor while adding nothing to those elements but some weird science fiction about merging consciousnesses and providing a dumb name for the villain from the first movie. The spirit’s name is Pazuzu, which immediately makes it about 60 percent less terrifying.
James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, appears as a previous host for the demon and a scientist who studies locusts. This naturally leads to a scene in which he wears an insect-shaped headpiece and spits a tomato out of nowhere onto a bed of nails. This movie is insanity that crazy people made.
1. Everyone – The Star Wars Holiday Special
This is the most obvious choice we could have made, but The Star Wars Holiday Special is also one of the most confusing and miserable pieces of media in existence.
We know it’s bad because, in an alleged quotation from a convention, George Lucas said, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”
This is the man who thought that what Return of the Jedi was missing in its theatrical version was a fully CG musical number. The Holiday Special was still somehow below his quality standards.
Part variety show, part Wookiee domestic drama, and all terrible, this is a must-see for all fans if only to prove that worse Star Wars exists than the Clone Wars movie. It’s an embarrassment to the franchise, television, and the cast members that it drags out to humiliate.
What are your favorite less-than-great roles from the Star Wars cast? Be sure to let us know in the comments!
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