If the original Star Wars trilogy was made today, this would be our dream cast.
When Star Wars was cast in the late 70s, it was filled with young, up-and-coming stars, or those that weren’t household names in the United States. Today, if the original trilogy were to be made, Hollywood wouldn’t be able to resist and would fill it with big names. Though this list isn’t who executives would cast in the roles, since there’s no mention of Chris Pratt, it’s our dream cast for the first three films.
Lando Calrissian – Donald Glover
One of two actual Star Wars recast in the modern era, and a perfect fit, Donald Glover would be the ideal Lando Calrissian if Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were to be made today. Capable of being silky smooth, with a dash of roguish charm, Glover’s portrayal in Solo was one of the best parts of the movie. Billy Dee Williams did a fantastic job in the original trilogy, but Glover is the one actor working today that can be just as smooth and charming while making the Millenium Falcon’s run through the second Death Star just as exciting.
Emperor Palpatine – Christoph Waltz
When casting the big bad evil guy of Star Wars today, there are plenty of villainous actors to choose from, Josh Brolin and Gary Oldman could do wonders with the role, but no one can be as intimidating with just his words and eyes as Christoph Waltz. The European star made his mark in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, before most recently becoming the arch-villain to Daniel Craig’s James Bond. The Emperor is only a major part of Return of the Jedi, but Waltz has proven he can make a lasting impression with very little screentime, giving us hope for something, anything, beyond “somehow, Palpatine has returned.”
Chewbacca – Terry Notary
You may not know the name Terry Notary, but the accomplished motion capture performer would be perfect for a modern-day Chewbacca in Star Wars. Notary acted as the movement coach for all of the Na’vi performers in Avatar, while also doing all the motion capture work for Groot and Cull Obsidian/Black Dwarf in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. If the series were made today, Chewbacca would not be played by a man in a suit, and with experience playing other massive characters, including King Kong in Skull Island, Notary is the perfect actor for the job.
Yoda – Andy Serkis
Chewbacca isn’t the only character that would be fully motion-captured and computer generated if Star Wars was made today, Yoda, having already transitioned to CGI, would do the same. Andy Serkis, the motion capture legend behind Gollum and Caesar in the latest Planet of the Apes trilogy, is at the top of the list for stars to play the diminutive Jedi master. With his natural English accent and acting skills, Serkis could even provide the voice of Yoda.
Yoda and Gollum have a lot in common in fact, both have strange ways of speaking, both are small and green(ish), and each one holds back important information from the hero just for fun.
Obi-Wan Kenobi – Richard Madden
After making his mark on Game of Thrones as Robb Stark, Richard Madden has since become a Marvel superhero as Ikaris and a superspy in Amazon’s latest hit, Citadel. The strong-jawed Englishman would be a perfect Obi-Wan Kenobi, assuming that Star Wars was made today, with the option of some CGI aging, a technique that already made an old man out of Guy Pearce in Prometheus. Madden’s underrated screen presence would make him a fantastic mentor to Luke, and if the prequels were also being re-cast or there was a need for flashbacks, as a younger version of Kenobi as well.
Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker – Oscar Isaac
Oscar Isaac is one of the best actors working today, and though he’s already involved with Star Wars as Poe Dameron, we think he’d be a fantastic Darth Vader if it was being entirely cast today. His role in Ex Machina is intimidating, but his performance in X-Men: Apocalypse proves he has what it takes to be a great villain under layers of CGI. For all the faults with the writing and pacing of that film, Isaac’s performance was one of the highlights, so with better material, he could do a great job as the physical Darth Vader and provide the voice for the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Han Solo – Ansel Elgort
Ansel Elgort proved in Baby Driver that he could act behind the wheel of a fast-moving vehicle, and most importantly, for the role of Han Solo, he can be charming in the process. While the Star Wars smuggler has already been recast with Alden Ehrenreich, the star of Solo lacked a certain charm, that undescribable “It” factor that Harrison Ford and Elgort have. One of the most important roles in the franchise would go to a young up-and-coming star, while Elgort hasn’t been attached to any major franchises since Divergent, he’s primed to break through at any moment.
Princess Leia Organa – Millie Bobby Brown
If Star Wars were to be cast today, Millie Bobby Brown as Leia would be the easiest layup on this list. The rising star has been a Hollywood “It” girl since the first season of Stranger Things; able to play youthful and innocent yet serious and dramatic, Brown has the range, poise, and talent to be the face of the franchise. Amazingly, not much would have to be re-done to give Leia an active role in the series, outside of an extra segment where she’s blasting away Stormtroopers, but as with Han Solo, it’s hard to imagine anyone but Carrie Fisher in the iconic role.
Luke Skywalker – Sebastian Stan
After remaining on the cusp of stardom for years, Sebastian Stan finally broke through in the MCU as Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier, but if Star Wars were to be recast today, he would have been an incredible Luke Skywalker. A little old for the role now; if Ansel Elgort and Millie Bobby Brown were the other two major stars, the entire dynamic could be swapped around, or other stars could be put in place around Stan. Logistics aside, he would be an amazing Luke Skywalker, able to act with a level of self-deprecation and an air of just barely hanging on, Stan should be cast in a Star Wars project today, he’s that perfect of a fit for the galaxy far, far away.