Matt Smith has spoken about his cut role in Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, teasing that his character was “transformative” for the franchise.
The actor was reported to be involved in the final instalment of the Skywalker saga back in August 2018, yet when the final film was released in December 2019, he was nowhere to be seen.
It’s become an ongoing mystery of what Smith’s involvement was supposed to entail, with the prevailing rumour being that he was cast as Emperor Palpatine’s son.
Speaking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast with Josh Horowitz, Smith was asked about the rumours directly and confirmed he was “close” to being in the film.
Remember those reports that Matt Smith was going to be in THE RISE OF SKYWALKER? He told me his role was a big deal, representing “a big shift in the history of the [STAR WARS] franchise.”
WHO WAS HE GOING TO PLAY?!
— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) November 3, 2021
“No I didn’t [shoot any scenes],” Smith said. “We were close to me being in it but then it never quite happened. I think the thing they were thinking of me for eventually the part became obsolete and they didn’t need it, and so, I never got to be in Star Wars, there we are.”
While he “could not possibly say” whether the role was Palpatine’s son, he added: “But it was a pretty groovy thing, it was a really groovy part and concept. It was a big thing, it was a big story detail, a transformative Star Wars story detail but it never got quite over the line.
“It was a big shift in the history of the franchise.”
But is the character completely cut from existence? Smith, who only had “a couple of meetings” to talk about the role, coyly teased: “Well maybe I can come back, you never know.”
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker went through numerous changes during production, with original director Colin Trevorrow exiting the film over creative differences. He was replaced by JJ Abrams, which led to some adjustments from Trevorrow’s original script.
A number of Star Wars spin-offs are currently in the works, with Disney+ series The Book Of Boba Fett set to be released in December. There’s also Rogue One prequel series Andor in production which will see Diego Luna reprise his role from the original film.
Ewan McGregor is set to return as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a TV series next year, while The Mandalorian season three is also scheduled for 2022.