Steve Urkel Is Going To Be In Star Wars, Seriously

The man behind Steve Urkel, Jaleel White, will be part of Star Wars' Skeleton Crew series.

By Phillip Moyer | Published

It’s been a long time since the name Jalee White has been on the radar of mainstream entertainment. White, who is famous for playing the impossibly nerdy Steve Urkel on the popular sitcom Family Matters, along with voicing Sonic the Hedgehog in the 1993 TV series colloquially known as “SatAM,” hasn’t had many well-known roles since that TV series ended in 1998. But now, according to The Direct, White will be appearing in the Star Wars series Skeleton Crew in an as-yet-unannounced role.

While the exact nature of Jaleel White’s role is unknown, it seems likely that the part will be quite different from his iconic Steve Urkel role. In a brief held during an Edmonton Oilers NHL game, White announced that he will be playing “a pirate” on the show — which he said was a big change for him. He revealed that his role requires heavy use of prosthetics, which require two hours a day to put on.

It’s not clear how big of a role White will play in the show, which will have him appearing alongside Fantastic Beasts star Jude LawBetter Call Saul actress Kerry Condon, and American Horror Story actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong. However, he almost certainly won’t have a role as prominent as that of Steve Urkle, considering that he’s not yet listed on the show’s IMDb page. However, seeing that Skeleton Crew’s main villains are pirates, there’s a good chance that White will be a recurring character.

Regardless of the actual plans for Jaleel White in Skeleton Crew, it’s worth noting that the Family Matters writers didn’t intend for Steve Urkel to be a main character either. His nerdy character, who didn’t show up until partway through the first season, was only supposed to appear on the show once before disappearing forever.

family matters steve

However, as everyone with even a passing familiarity with Family Matters knows, Steve Urkel ended up being a far cry from a one-off gag character. His unexpected popularity with audiences transformed the family-centric sitcom into something of a proto-Big Bang Theory, with Urkel’s geeky antics becoming the focal point of almost every episode. The series’ supposed main characters, such as Carl Winslow (played by Die Hard actor Reginald VelJohnson), were practically relegated to supporting characters whose main purpose was to react as Urkle drove the plot.

According to an older UPROXX interview with Jaleel White, the main reason that Steve Urkle became such a breakout character was simple: the all-white cast of writers had no idea how to relate to the idea of a black family in Chicago. So, when they tried to write a funny sitcom about the regular members of the family, it just didn’t work. But once they had the opportunity to write about a nerd like Steve Urkel, the writers were in more familiar territory, so the jokes felt more natural.

A sitcom featuring a nerd like Steve Urkel is one thing, however. A Star Wars show featuring space pirates is another. Fans will have to wait until Skeleton Crew releases in late 2023 to find out just how well Jaleel White’s acting skills translate to the show. 

This is the way.

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