A Game Of Thrones Star Was In Star Wars, See Who

Julian Glover portrayed Grand Maester Pycelle in Game of Thrones and General Maximilian Veers in Star Wars.

By Mark McKee | Published

Some actors are best suited for franchise roles, whether leading a franchise like Keanu Reeves does with The Matrix and John Wick or joining an ensemble like Ian McKellen in X-Men and Lord of the Rings. Then there is the kind of actor that bounces around to different franchises in one-time roles but can make a big difference, like Julian Glover. The iconic British actor may be best known by modern audiences for his role as Grand Maester Pycelle on Game of Thrones, but eagle-eyed Star Wars fans will recognize him as a member of the Empire

julian glover

Empire Strikes Back is largely seen as the best of the original Star Wars trilogy and opens with Vader’s death squadron searching for a rebel base. Unimpressed by the lack of progress, Vader kills the operation’s leader and replaces him with General Maximilian Veers, played by Julian Glover, thirty years before Game of Thrones. Once they find the rebel base on Hoth, Veers leads the ground assault to take out their generator in the lead AT-AT walker, where his fate was left ambiguous but later confirmed that he was critically wounded but survived. 

The Game of Thrones actor landed the part primarily because an executive producer on the film, Robert Watts, lived next door to Glover and invited him to audition for the role. He spoke with George Lucas about the role, and while he was very impressionable to Darth Vader in the original script, Glover convinced Lucas that you don’t make general by being a wimp, and therefore, he was rewritten to challenge Vader. Glover was initially slated to return to the franchise in Return of the Jedi but was otherwise engaged in another project and had to pass on the part. Ironically, Robert Watts stepped up and took on the role of a pilot that was written initially as Veers but ended up being an unnamed character with a similar-looking helmet. 

Star Wars and Game of Thrones are not the only franchises you may recognize him from, and may not be the only George Lucas franchise either. Glover appeared as Walter Donovan, an antiquities dealer on the hunt for the Holy Grail in the third installment of the Indiana Jones franchise, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In the film, he posed as a concerned financier of Jones’ father’s hunt for the Grail by telling Indiana of Jones Sr’s disappearance when he was actually behind the disappearance himself. He met his end with an epic moment where he “chose poorly” when picking out the Grail cup, and his life was sucked from him. 

Like any iconic British actor, there are also ties to two of the most famous English franchises in the history of cinema. He portrayed Aris Kristatos as the once-believed ally turned secret antagonist to James Bond in Roger Moore’s fifth turn as the super spy, For Your Eyes Only. He also voiced the giant arachnid, Aragog, in 2002’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In addition to his role in Game of Thrones, this gave him the trifecta of classic British film roles, a Harry Potter role, a James Bond role, and being part of the Galactic Empire. 

This is the way.

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