The Star Wars movies are no strangers to featuring cameo roles. Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand snuck his voice in on a robot, George Lucas and several of his children could be seen in the prequel films, and Treat Williams had a quick turn as a Stormtrooper in the Hoth scenes in The Empire Strikes Back. You get the gist of it.
The Force Awakens features plenty of cameos, both transparent and wholly hidden from the viewer in plain sight.
J.J. Abrams is well known for his use of cameos and putting Easter egg-like references in his films so why not for The Force Awakens?
Here's the list of cameos that we've found thus far:
- Let's start with what we think is the biggest cameo. Both Ewan Macgregor and Alec Guinness feature in the same single line that can be heard during Rey's encounter with Luke's lightsaber. Alec does the “Rey” part and Macgregor does the “there are your first steps.” Here's how they managed this trick.
- The second one is what we consider the coolest cameo ever in the Star Wars movies. Daniel Craig, who is better known to millions of movie fans as James Bond, was the Stormtrooper who fell under Rey's spell when she tried her Jedi mind trick on him to request her release. It's a very funny and quotable exchange between the two.
- J.J. Abrams cast his good friend Greg Grunberg in the film as Snap Wexley. He had a line at the resistance base and featured in the X-wing attack on the Star Killer Base. Grunberg did a cameo for J.J. in the first episode of the TV show Lost as the pilot of the plane that crashed and had a quick turn in Mission Impossible III. He is, of course, best known for his role in Heroes. Snap followed up in The Rise of Skywalker in a slightly more prominent role. The character died in battle.
- J.J. cast his father Gerry in a very small cameo as Captain Cypress. Gerry has played bit parts in several of J.J.'s productions.
- The doctor that tends to the wound on Chewbacca's arm would have been well known to British Star Wars fans as she was played by Dame Harriet Walter, a renowned stage and screen actress. Her character was called Dr. Kalonia. There's a nice piece of symmetry here in that her uncle was Christoper Lee who played Count Dooku in two Star Wars movies.
- Simon Pegg plays Unkar Plutt. You wouldn't know it by looking at him or even listening to him! Pegg previously played a role in J.J. Abrams' Mission Impossible movie and formed such a strong working relationship that J.J. cast him as Scottie in the Star Trek movies.
- Do you remember the Ewok known as Wicket? Famously played by a very young Warwick Davis, he returns as an alien called Wollivan that can be spied drinking at Maz Kanata's bar. Davis charmed Lucas so much that he later featured in his Willow film. He also had a small cameo in The Phantom Menace.
- Nigel Godrich, a well-known music producer famous for his work with the band Radiohead, had a quick turn as a Stormtrooper. He's Stormtrooper number is FN-9330.
- Yoda puppeteer and voice of Miss Piggy Frank Oz recorded new lines of dialog for the flashback sequence but ultimately pre-recorded Yoda material was used.
- Billie Lourd, who is Carrie Fisher's daughter, was seen wearing Princess Leia-style buns as Lieutenant Connix.
- J.J. Abrams has a long-term working relationship with music composer Michael Giacchino. Given that John Williams has a firm hand on the teller when it comes to creating Star Wars music, Giacchino had to be satisfied donning a Stormtrooper suit as FN-3181. He's the trooper who puts the captured Poe Dameron before Kylo Ren at the film's start.
- You can briefly see Judah Friedlander as a bar patron at Maz's Castle.
- If you think back to the Han solo freighter scene, Kanjaklub leader Tasu Leech is played by Yayan Ruhian, and Iko Uwais plays Razoo Quin-Fee. They are well known for their athletic roles in the two Raid films.
- There's a strong run of actors who performed roles in Game of Thrones, this is because the casting director for that show also did the casting for The Force Awakens. Gwendoline Christie is the major player as Captain Phasma but did you spot that Thomas Brodie-Sangster of The Maze Runner and Game of Thrones plays a First Order officer? Jessica Henwick who was featured in season six of Game of Thrones played X-Wing pilot Jess Testor. Mark Stanley was a Knight of Ren. Miltos Yerolemou who played Arya’s doomed fencing instructor Syrio Forel is a barfly in Maz Kanata’s bar and Emun Elliott had a crack as an X-wing pilot.
- Morgan Dameron, whose last name was part of the inspiration for the name of Poe Dameron's character, has a turn as a Resistance officer named Commodore Meta. That's a pretty clever in-joke!
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for InfuzeMag and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.