Matt Smith Confirms Details About His Pivotal Star Wars Role

By Charlene Badasie | 4 days ago

matt smith star wars

It’s been a minute since Disney’s Star Wars sequel trilogy concluded with The Rise of Skywalker. While the ending may not have been what most fans expected, the biggest mystery involves a character that never made it to the film’s final cut. Doctor Who veteran Matt Smith was supposed to appear in the movie before plans changed. And now, he’s finally given fans a little insight into his role.

In an interview with Josh Horowitz of the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Matt Smith shared everything that went down before his role in the Star Wars movie was ultimately cut. When asked if he filmed any scenes for Episode IX, the actor said nothing was shot, but he did get close to being in it.

“No, I didn’t… We were close to me being in it but then it just never quite happened. I think the thing they were thinking of before, eventually, the part became, you know, it became obsolete and they didn’t need it and so I never got to be in Star Wars.”

Matt Smith was then asked specifically about his character in The Rise of Skywalker, and whether he was set to play Palpatine’s son. The actor looked around the room with a smile and said he could not possibly tell. But he did mention that it was a really groovy part and concept.

“It was a pretty groovy thing, like it was a really groovy part and concept. It was a big thing. Yeah, it was like a big story detail, like a, you know, transformative Star Wars story detail. It never quite got over the line.”

The Last Night in Soho star continued to elaborate on the part, saying that it would have been a huge shift in the history of the Star Wars franchise. When questions returned to how far Matt Smith got into the casting process, he said there were no costume fittings, only a few meetings to talk about it.

It’s no secret that The Rise of Skywalker faced a few problems before going into production. The movie lost its original director, with Colin Trevorrow exiting the project due to creative differences with the script. The first draft which he co-wrote with Jurassic World alum Derek Connolly was called “Duel of the Fates”. While it established most of the structure that was included in the final Star Wars movie, it also had some big differences.

matt smith

Based on Matt Smith’s revelations, he could have been an important part of Trevorrow’s version. But when the director was replaced by J.J. Abrams, Smith’s role was scrapped. Naturally, there has been a lot of speculation about the mystery Star Wars character. One theory suggests that Smith was set to play The Son, a celestial being from the Mortis realm and the physical embodiment of the dark side.

Others have theorized that Matt Smith was to play a young Palpatine. This could mean that The Rise of Skywalker was going to visit the Sith Lord’s origin story, or the Emperor’s clone was going to appear as a younger version of the villain. This would have linked back to Dark Empire, the ’90s comic book series that inspired the Palpatine clone storyline in the movie.

These story arcs would have definitely had an impact on the film’s ending. Perhaps Lucasfilm opted to remove Matt Smith’s character to retain The Last Jedi’s establishment that Rey’s parents were essentially no one significant. Moreover, Ian McDiarmid’s return was announced months after reports of Smith’s involvement, so the studio may have simply opted to go with an actor that Star Wars fans were already familiar with.