With the constant rumors flowing in and around the production of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, it always helps when one turns out to be extremely exciting. Although, the disappointment is that much more severe when the rumors turn out not to be true. The latest and greatest in this long line of unproven reports involves the ever-amiable Simon Pegg having a small, secret role at some point during Episode VII. But let’s not start creating “Pegg holding a lightsaber” fan art just yet.
This potential news bite comes from IGN, a far superior source to many online rumor mills. We all know that production recently wrapped up in Abu Dhabi, where leaked set photos gave rabid fans their first non-Abrams-approved look at the film. And though we didn’t see Pegg in any of those pictures, sources say that the World’s End actor was there on the set, and that he was shooting scenes.
Thus begins the rabbit hole of rumor denial, in which Pegg and Abrams both say that he isn’t in the movie. Our tolerance for Abrams’ “facts” has all but vanished after the Khan debacle of Star Trek Into Darkness. The fact that Pegg was in both of Abrams’ Star Trek movies, as well as Mission Impossible III, lends credence to the rumor, but we’ll probably just find out that Lawrence Kasdan’s screenplay revisions inexplicably called for the role of Simon Pegg, but they got a different actor to play him. Expect anything and everything with a film like this.
This rumor goes against Pegg’s own statement last year when he was first asked about the chances of him heading into the Star Wars universe. His stance then was that he didn’t think Abrams should cheapen the film by using stunt casting, and that he “wouldn’t want to be popped out of enjoyment by a knowing cameo.” He also says, “J.J. should cast new faces,” and that’s the sentence I’d like to use as a jumping-off point into deeper rumor introspection.
As Nightmare on Elm Street actress and special effects designer Heather Langenkamp showed the world with her Star Trek Into Darkness cameo, one doesn’t need to show their face in a J.J. Abrams movie in order to have a cameo. Given the vast number of non-human characters in Star Wars, it’s entirely plausible that Pegg could get behind some makeup and CGI trickery for his role to go unnoticed. I certainly hope so. And then maybe they can give him a gun battle like these?
With or without the masterful Simon Pegg, Star Wars: Episode VII will forcechoke its way into theaters on December 18, 2015.