Star Wars Should Copy Star Trek Casting

By Zack Zagranis | Published

star wars star trek

Kathleen Kennedy made waves again recently when she suggested that, following the perceived failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm wouldn’t be recasting iconic characters again. This new edict comes despite Alden Ehrenreich’s performance being one of the few things fans didn’t hate about the movie. With fears of AI Carrie Fishers keeping us awake at night, we implore Kennedy to reconsider and instead have Star Wars take a page from Star Trek when it comes to recasting.

Recasting Didn’t Hurt Star Trek


When it came time to make Star Trek (2009) the not-quite reboot, not-quite prequel, and not-quite sequel, J. J. Abrams was smart enough to recast the classic crew of the Starship Enterprise. Don’t think he didn’t have a choice either because X-Men: The Last Stand was released a few years earlier and featured a digitally de-aged Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, proving that Hollywood was already on its CGI facelift BS.

It Didn’t Hurt Obi-Wan Kenobi Either

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No, Abrams knew that the best way to depict these famous characters in their youth was to recast them with younger actors. Star Wars itself did this years before Star Trek, with Ewan McGregor filling in for the deceased Alec Guinness. Of course, Obi-Wan wasn’t quite as beloved as the core trio of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo, at least not prior to the prequels.

Recasting Is Better Than Digital Resurrections

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Which brings us back to Abrams and his crew of Star Trek babies. Not only did the fandom not reject the new Kirk and Spock, but Star Trek was a massive hit and reinvigorated the ailing franchise. It wasn’t all perfect—Simon Pegg’s Scotty felt a little too much like stunt casting—but it was a million times better than CGI Peter Cushing cursing Rogue One with its dead eyes.

Who Didn’t Love Donald Glover As Lando?

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Citing Solo as a reason to stop recasting the original Star Wars characters is even more baffling when you remember that Donald Glover’s performance as a young Lando Calrissian was universally praised. It’s almost like Lucasfilm doesn’t want to admit that Solo underperformed because A) it came out barely six months after the last Star Wars movie and B) the last Star Wars movie was The Last Jedi, which left a bad enough taste in many fans’ mouths that they didn’t even bother to go see Solo in the theater.

Without Recasting, You Can Only Digitize Or Delete

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The big problem with not recasting is that it creates problems for all of the material being churned out that takes place in the New Republic era. Luke and Leia were big deals at the time, and anything involving Jedi or politics would naturally feature the two of them. Without recasting, the only two choices are to do what The Mandalorian did by putting a CGI mask over Mark Hamill’s face using AI to generate his voice or go the Ahsoka route, where Senator Leia is mentioned but never shown because she’s conveniently busy with something else.

If I’m being frank, both choices suck. Star Wars should go with a third choice and copy Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. That’s right, Paramount recast Spock yet again. No Polar Express-looking Leonard Nimoys for Star Trek.

More Recasting, Less CGI Wizardry

With Dave Filoni working on his Heir to the Empire movie and The Mandalorian and Grogu in production, Lucasfilm will face increased narrative demand for the old characters, even if they’re just cameos. It would be nice if Kathleen would listen to the fans who have made it clear they’re not fans of the CGI Muppets Disney keeps using for new appearances from original trilogy characters. Instead, she should let Star Wars be the one to borrow from Star Trek for a change and just recast the roles with younger actors.