Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard has revealed that Tom Hanks wanted to cameo in the movie as a Stormtrooper. Given Star Wars' huge profile as a pop culture phenomenon, it's no surprise that some major stars have worked their connections in order to land roles in Disney and Lucasfilm's new movies. Some famous folks want in on the action so badly, they're even willing to take anonymous cameos as lowly Stormtroopers just to be able to say they appeared in a Star Wars film.
As every fan knows by now, The Force Awakens kicked off the trend of secret star cameos by hiding James Bond himself Daniel Craig in a Stormtrooper outfit for the crucial scene where Rey uses a Jedi mind trick to escape the clutches of the Empire. Star Wars: The Last Jedi was to have featured its own major cameos by British celebrities, with Princes Harry and William and actor Tom Hardy all disguised as Stormtroopers, but unfortunately the appearances all had to be cut.
Now, we've learned about another Star Wars Stormtrooper cameo that almost happened. Speaking to JOE.ie, Solo director Ron Howard revealed that no less a megastar than Tom Hanks spoke to him about appearing in the movie as an armor-clad servant of the Empire. Unfortunately, Howard says the scheduling just didn't line up:
Tom Hanks was interested in being a Stormtrooper. It would have been great. He was shooting and he just couldn't get there. But now that Lucasfilm knows that Tom Hanks is interested, I'm sure they'll work it out some day.
Hanks and Howard of course have a long history together, with Hanks starring in Howard's films Splash, Apollo 13 and the Da Vinci Code trilogy. Unfortunately, they were not able to extend that history by working Hanks into Solo. Howard did however manage to find a role for his brother Clint Howard, as well as one for his old Willow star Warwick Davis. And he also worked to make that other shocking third act cameo happen in the movie (leading to much speculation about how this particular character figures in to the future of the franchise).
As Howard says, now that Lucasfilm knows Hanks wants to play a Stormtrooper, all parties involved can surely work something out. Perhaps Hanks will find his way into the next main trilogy film Star Wars 9, set to be written and directed by J.J. Abrams. Or perhaps he'll pop up as a Tusken Raider alongside Ewan McGregor in Lucasfilm's long speculated about Obi-Wan Kenobi standalone. Maybe Logan director James Mangold will cast him as a masked bounty hunter in his potential Boba Fett movie. Or perhaps Howard will get to make a sequel to Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the two will have their chance to work on Star Wars together.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Obi-Wan Kenobi release date: Nov 18, 2018