Since the successful theatrical run of the original Star Wars movie in 1977, the beloved space opera property has expanded into various films and other media, including TV series, video games, novels, comic books, and even theme park attractions. And as the George Lucas-created universe continues to get bigger, more and more actors are being added to the franchise’s roster of stars. While a lot of those stars played principal characters in live-action movies and TV series, some of them only did small roles and fun cameos. A few of them even made their appearances without showing their real faces. Below are 29 celebrities you did not know starred in Star Wars.
Andy Serkis doesn’t usually show his actual face in his films, so it’s completely understandable if he’s one of the celebrities you did not know starred in Star Wars. Best known for his performance capture roles, Serkis played the CGI villain Snoke in 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and 2017’s Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.
Snoke was an artificial genetic construct created on the planet Exegol by the resurrected Darth Sidious. Though possibly unaware of his true nature, Snoke ruled the First Order as Supreme Leader during the New Republic Era. Though he was only designed to be a proxy that the Sith Lord could manipulate, Snoke possessed an independent mind and a deep connection to the dark side of the Force even if he was not a Sith himself.
A year after his stint as Jojen Reed on HBO’s Game of Thrones, Thomas Brodie-Sangster played Thanisson in The Force Awakens. In the movie, Thanisson served the First Order as a petty officer on board the Resurgent-class Star Destroyer Finalizer, the flagship of General Armitage Hux.
Brodie-Sangster most recently starred as Benny Watts on the hit Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.
Ben Schwartz and Bill Hader
Sonic the Hedgehog voice actor Ben Schwartz and Barry star Bill Hader are probably two of the celebrities you did not know starred in Star Wars, as both actors were not actually seen in The Force Awakens even though they were really part of the cast.
Both Schwartz and Hader provided the voice for BB-8 in the movie. And even though Schwartz also appeared as a stormtrooper in the film, his actual face was not shown as he was wearing a full-face helmet.
Sofia Coppola, who is best known for writing and directing the Oscar-winning 2003 romantic dramedy Lost in Translation, appeared in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as Saché, one of the many handmaidens of Queen Padmé Amidala (Natalie Portman).
Just three days after The Phantom Menace debuted in Los Angeles, Coppola’s feature-length directorial debut, The Virgin Suicides, came out to critical acclaim. Since then, Coppola has continued to direct more movies while taking on supporting or smaller acting roles on the side.
James Bond actor Daniel Craig is one of the many celebrities you did not know starred in Star Wars because they were suited up as stormtroopers. To be exact, the British actor played FB-1824, the stormtrooper assigned to guard Rey (Daisy Ridley) when she was held captive by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) aboard Starkiller Base in The Force Awakens.
With her latent Force abilities, Rey used a Jedi mind trick on FN-1824 to force him into releasing her from captivity. Though her first two efforts failed, her third attempt was a success, as she was able to make FN-1824 unlock her restraints and, on her command, left his F-11D blaster rifle behind before leaving her to escape.
Simon Pegg, who currently stars as Benji Dunn in the Mission: Impossible film series, played the CGI character Unkar Plutt in The Force Awakens. A member of the Crolute species, Unkar was a junk boss who bought weapons, gears, and scraps of Rebel and Imperial ships that had crashed during the Battle of Jakku. In the movie, Rey’s parents sold her to Unkar to keep her hidden from Emperor Palpatine’s (Ian McDiarmid) followers.
Pegg, who is also known for co-writing and starring in the Three Flavors Cornetto film trilogy: Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World’s End (2013), also voiced the original trilogy bounty hunter, Dengar, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 4, episode 20, title Bounty.
Deep Roy, who rose to prominence for his role as Oompa Loompa in 2005’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, played Droopy McCool in 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI ― Return of the Jedi. Originally from the planet Kirdo III, McCool was a Kitonak member of the Max Rebo Band. He played a flute made from a hollow chidinkalu plant from his home planet.
In addition to portraying McCool, Roy also played an Ewok on Endor and was a stand-in for R2-D2 in some scenes in the movie. In the 1980 film Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, Roy also played Jedi Master Yoda for several second unit shots, in which the diminutive Jedi was seen walking or standing in the open. Roy performed those scenes on his knees to bring him down to Yoda’s height.
Prior to playing her Golden Globe- and Emmy-nominated role as Ellen Parsons on the FX legal series Damages, Rose Byrne appeared as Dormé in 2002’s Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.
Dormé was one of the most devoted handmaidens of Padmé Amidala during the former queen’s time as the senatorial representative of the Chommell sector in the Galactic Senate.
Three years before debuting the role of Det. James “Jimmy” McNulty on HBO’s The Wire, Dominic West actually appeared as Jerus Jannick in 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. Jerus was a Palace Guard of the Royal Naboo Security Forces, which served the Royal House of the planet Naboo.
His most recent U.S. TV series is Showtime’s The Affair, in which he played the role of Noah Solloway, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best actor. West will be next seen as Prince Charles in seasons 5 and 6 of Netflix’s The Crown and in the film Downton Abbey 2, which is set to be released this December.
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran played Engi Golba in 2019’s Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Originally a miner, Golba escaped his home in the world of Didyma V when it was annexed by the First Order. With talent in setting explosives, Golba later joined the Resistance and was part of the Resistance’s landing team who fought Sith Eternal forces on the surface of the Steadfast command ship during the Battle of Exegol.
Aside from portraying Golba, the Shape of You hitmaker also appeared as a First Order stormtrooper in the same movie.
If you’re one of the casual fans who don’t bother looking up the voice actors behind the droids in the franchise, then it’s likely that Phoebe Waller-Bridge is one of the celebrities you did not know starred in Star Wars. Waller-Bridge, who is best known as the star of Amazon’s Fleabag and the creator of the BBC America series Killing Eve, provided the voice of L3-37 in 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
L3-37 is Lando Calrissian’s (Donald Glover) insecure but talented piloting droid. A custom, self-made droid, L3-37 improved herself with scraps of other droids, including her torso, which she pieced together from an old astromech.
Gary Fisher, the Instagram famous dog of the late Carrie Fisher, is the inspiration for the small, gray-furred creature called sheffi that appeared in The Last Jedi.
The said sheffi was owned by a patron of Canto Casino in Canto Bight. The sheffi and its owner were both present when Finn (John Boyega) and Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) went to the Canto Casino to look for the Master Codebreaker (Justin Theroux). The sheffi that appeared in the movie was an animatronic prop that was remotely operated by Daisy Beattie and was attached to the arm of alien performer Paul Warren.
Over 15 years before landing the title role on Amazon’s superhero series The Tick, Peter Serafinowicz did voice works for The Phantom Menace. Serafinowicz was the first actor to voice Darth Maul. The English actor dubbed his voice over that of Ray Park for grunts and for each of the three lines that the character had in the film.
In the same movie, Serafinowicz also provided the voice for a Gungan scout and for the battle droid 2163. He was also the initial voice of Maul in Solo: A Star Wars Story but was ultimately replaced by Sam Witwer, who had voiced the character in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.
Greg Grunberg, who is best known for his role as Matt Parkman on NBC’s superhero drama Heroes, played the minor role of Temmin “Snap” Wexley in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Grunberg made his first appearance as the Resistance pilot in The Force Awakens and reprised the role in The Rise of Skywalker.
Grunberg’s Star Wars casting wasn’t surprising, as he has a long history of working with director J.J. Abrams. The two had worked together on The WB’s Felicity, ABC’s Lost, and in the 2009 film Star Trek, among many others.
Max von Sydow
The late Max von Sydow, who famously appeared as The Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones and the star of various iconic Ingmar Bergman movies, played the small role of Lor San Tekka in The Force Awakens.
An explorer and member of the Church of the Force, San Tekka became a believer in the ideals of the Jedi Order during the Clone Wars, despite not being Force-sensitive. At the beginning of the movie, he gave Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) the map fragment that would lead the Rebels to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Soon after that, San Tekka was captured by Kylo Ren, who demanded to know where the map was. When San Tekka refused to comply, Ren killed him.
Jason Sudeikis and Adam Pally
Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudeikis and Happy Ending star Adam Pally appeared as scout troopers JS-1975 and AP-1982, respectively, in the cold open of the season 1 finale of Disney+’s The Mandalorian.
The cold open started with JS-1975 and AP-1982 waiting for permission to continue their mission of turning over Grogu to the Imperial authorities headed by the Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito). While they were on standby, Sudeikis’ irked JS-1975 remorselessly punched Grogu twice when the Child started to coo and moved inside the bag he was stuffed into. While Pally’s AP-1982 also hit Baby Yoda once, most of the strong reactions from fans on Twitter were addressed to Sudeikis.
Sudeikis and Pally’s characters were also the ones responsible for the death of the beloved character, Kuiil (Nick Nolte).
Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda had a cameo as a Resistance pilot for the victory celebration on Ajan Kloss at the end of The Rise of Skywalker.
But prior to physically appearing in the final installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, Miranda and director J.J. Abrams composed the tracks Jabba Flow and Dobra Doompa for The Force Awakens. The duo also sang the vocals in both tracks.
Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse
Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse played young Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, respectively, in Attack of the Clones and 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. In the closing moments of the latter, the baby Luke Skywalker was given to them by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor).
In March 2021, Edgerton and Piesse were announced as two of the cast members of the upcoming Disney+ series Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Clerks filmmaker Kevin Smith played a Kijimi local in The Rise of Skywalker. In a Facebook post he shared in December 2019, Smith revealed that director J.J. Abrams offered him the role shortly after he had a near-fatal heart attack.
“Back when I had my heart attack, J.J. sent me an email that said ‘Live through this and I’ll put you in Episode 9!’” Smith wrote. “When they went into production last year on The Rise of Skywalker, I wrote J.J. and asked ‘So… I’m alive. That offer still good?’ He confirmed and I flew out to England to visit Pinewood Studios for a few days, during which time I giddily watched J.J. do his thing until I was called into action! Ducking stormtroopers on Kijimi, Poe passes a cyborg walking beside a bundled-up local. That local is me!”
Prior to his cameo appearance in The Rise of Skywalker, Smith also voiced a stormtrooper in The Force Awakens.
John Leguizamo, probably best known for his role as Aurelio in the John Wick film series, voiced Gor Koresh on Disney+’s The Mandalorian. An Abyssin gangster and gambler, Koresh hunted Mandalorian remnants for their beskar armor during the New Republic’s reign.
In the season 2 premiere of the series, Koresh met the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) at a fighting pit, who was searching for other Mandalorians. Koresh attempted to trick the Djarin into a bet which could scam him of his beskar armor. When Djarin refused the offer, the Abyssin and his henchmen held the bounty hunter at gunpoint. Djarin managed to defeat all of Koresh’s cronies and intercepted Koresh outside the fighting pit. After getting the information he needed from the Abyssin, Djarin left him hanging upside down to face some local creatures.
Keisha Castle-Hughes rose to prominence after playing the role of Obara Sand in Game of Thrones. But 10 years before that, the New Zealand actress appeared in 2005’s Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith as Queen Apailana, the successor of Padmé Amidala after the latter became a senator.
Castle-Hughes currently stars as Special Agent Hana Gibson in the CBS crime drama series FBI: Most Wanted. Castle-Hughes is the second youngest person nominated in the Best Actress category of the Academy Awards. She was only 13 years old when she received an Oscar nomination for her role as Paikea “Pai” Apirana in the 2002 drama film Whale Rider.
Two years before making his first appearance as Cliff Clavin on the NBC comedy series Cheers, John Ratzenberger played Rebel Force Major Bren Derlin in The Empire Strikes Back.
In the movie, Major Derlin served as the operations and security chief at Echo Base, the Alliance headquarters on the planet Hoth, under the command of General Carlist Rieekan (Bruce Boa).
Years before achieving global stardom for her role as Elizabeth Swann in the 2003 fantasy swashbuckler film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Keira Knightley played Queen Padmé Amidala’s handmaiden Sabé in The Phantom Menace.
Due to her strong resemblance to Queen Amidala, Knightley’s Sabé was handpicked by Captain Quarsh Panaka (Hugh Quarshie) of the Royal Naboo Security Forces. Along with Queen Amidala’s other handmaidens, Sabé was trained to serve as both an attendant and a bodyguard. But as the most important member of her group, Sabé was the first in line to take the queen’s place in times of crisis as a decoy. For most of the movie, Sabé posed as the Queen of Naboo.
Golden Globe nominee Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who is best known for his role in the 2009 rom-com (500) Days of Summer, voiced the CGI character Slowen Lo in The Last Jedi.
In the movie, Lo saw Finn and Rose Tico illegally land and abandon their ship on a Canto Bight beach. Lo told Finn and Rose that they were not allowed to leave the ship there. But when the duo ignored him, Lo informed the Canto Bight Police Department about the incident, which ultimately led to Finn and Rose’s arrest.
The Leftovers star Justin Theroux made a very brief appearance as the Master Codebreaker in The Last Jedi.
In the film, the Master Codebreaker was sought out by Finn and Rose Tico on a mission to stop the First Order’s flagship, the Supremacy, from tracking the Resistance through hyperspace. When they finally spotted him in the Canto Casino in Canto Bight, they tried to approach him but failed to do so after they were apprehended by the Canto Bight Police Department for illegally parking their starship on the beach.
Jodie Comer, who rose to prominence for her Golden Globe-nominated role as Villanelle in Killing Eve, appeared as Rey’s mother in a flashback scene in The Rise of Skywalker.
Aside from the fourth and final season of Killing Eve that is set to premiere in 2022, Comer will be next seen in the sci-fi action-comedy film Free Guy and the historical drama movie The Last Duel, which will hit theaters this August and October, respectively.