Casting the ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire’ Live Action Movie!
After the last two installments of the “Skywalker Saga” sequel trilogy ‘The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi’ from Disney I’ve decided to look elsewhere for a good fix of the iconic series til ‘Episode IX’ drops. There’s definitely not a better spot to start than with Timothy Zahn’s iconic “Thrawn” Trilogy!! There’s a lot of Star Wars fans out there, like myself, who’ve never really seriously delved into the EU (expanded universe) stuff, I’d been recommended this trilogy of books, ‘Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising & The Last Command’ for a long time as they’re considered by many fans the real Episodes 7, 8 & 9. I can firmly say I’d wished they’d have drawn from this storyline for the current trilogy as it’s not a direct “retelling” that mirrors the original trilogy. It has incredible villains at it’s core as well, that bury characters like Snoke, Kylo Ren & Phasma. The current trilogy is actually more of a reboot, borrowing major plot points from previous movies, even Rian Johnson’s “The Last Jedi” while supposedly attempting to subvert audience expectations still follows very similar beats with the original trilogy.
Heir to the Empire is set five years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the Rebellion, which is now known as the New Republic, is still fighting the final remnants of the Imperial resistance and trying to set up a strong new government. But in outer reaches of the galaxy, the most cunning of all the hand picked Grand Admirals is quickly gaining power and preparing to launch a series of deadly attacks on the New Republic. After convincing a crazed Dark Jedi to join his side, Grand Admiral ‘Thrawn’ is scheming his ultimate victory. I’ve been listening to the audio books, narrated by Marc Thomson and damn does that guy nail the voices of almost all character to perfection, as I listened I could picture it all unfolding on screen with the original actors, so if you’re a bit late to the party (it came out in 1991!) & wanna check this out most definitely check out this version of the story, it’s a ton of fun.
So obviously I began to think about how much I’d like to see this basic story on the big screen & while it is true, that because of the newest trilogy they’d have to change a few of the plot points I think they could still manage to tell a decent version of the original story. Fore instance Leia is newly pregnant with twins at the time in the book, that’d have to change, it’d have to be baby Kylo and it could take place a bit later than 5 years after Return of the Jedi. Still though, this story could indeed be brought to the big screen as many of the major characters required for this adventure have actually already been recast in ‘Solo’ and ‘Rogue One’. I have my doubts however this movie would happen at this point in time, as ‘Solo’ was a bit of a flop and perhaps Disney wouldn’t want to take a chance recasting the original trilogy characters again. If they ever do bring this to life though, I’ve got the actors right here cast that’d likely please hardcore fans- let’s take a look at some choices for major characters in the story that I think would be great for the movie version of the epic trilogy….
Han Solo: Alden Ehrenreich
Obviously we’ve got to to cast Alden again as Han right? To keep with continuity of the new ‘Solo’ film it makes perfect sense he’d be up for the role again. I of course wish they’d have given Anthony Ingruber a shot as he’s a spitting image and mastered the general vibe of Harrison Ford. But in this case we’ve already got our new Han so we might as well roll with it right? That’s the good thing here, some of the casting is already complete. Phew!
Lando Calrissian: Donald Glover
Another no brainer, as Glover did an excellent job as portraying Lando in ‘Solo’. He had it down and obviously did his homework on mastering a similar swagger of icon Billie Dee Williams. There’s a lot of Lando here in this Star Wars adventure and it further cements him and Han’s friendship after the events of ROTJ. It’d be amazing to see Glover back again and cement his legacy as a younger Lando once again as this story has a good deal of trouble for him and Han to get into!
Princess Leia: Billie Lourd
To me Billie Lourd is the only real option for Leia. She’s the perfect age to play the role, she’s totally beautiful like Carrie and she’s Carrie’s daughter!! She’s also looks a lot like her and has already expressed interest in playing a young version of the character. How truly sweet would it be to have her play her mother’s iconic character? Check this out as she states how she wishes she could play a young Leia:
I know she’s got a small role in the latest trilogy but this would be a whole new timeline. I’d love to see Billie as Leia learning to use a lightsaber as well as tapping into the Force like she did in the book. How could you turn her down for the role? You’d have to have no damn soul!
Luke Skywalker: Sebastian Stan
If Luke is ever recast it’s already been established that Sebastian has got the role, at least in Hamill’s eyes as he’s already given his seal of approval. He’s even joked about being Stan’s “father”. The two look so similar some pictures of the two you can’t even tell who is who. Also Stan has the star power already from his role as Bucky in the Marvel movies. You couldn’t ask for a better Luke Skywalker if you tried & I don’t think anyone would have a big problem with him filling the Skywalker shoes if it meant we’d be getting something like the “Thrawn trilogy” on the big screen!
Mon Mothma: Genevieve O’Reilly
So here’s another actor Genevieve O’Reilly who’s already been re-cast as an original trilogy character in ‘Rogue One’, deleted scenes from ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and again in the ‘Rebels’ animated series as Mon Mothma. The character first seen in ‘Return of the Jedi’ as the legendary galactic senate leader & plays a role in the Zahn trilogy and it’d be pretty sweet for continuity’s sake at the least for the actor to reprise the role once again!
Talon Karrde: Antonio Banderas
I think Antonio would be a great choice for the sly intergalactic smuggler Talon Karrde. Give him some long hair and a beard and let him do go to town in the role. I’ve always though he had an undeniable charisma that’d translate nicely to the Star Wars universe. Check out this pic below of Karrde and tell me Antonio wouldn’t be a good choice!
He looks and sounds to me like what I’d picture Talon to in the flesh and after seeing him in the weird robot sci-fi flick ‘Automata’ I can easily picture him strutting his stuff in the ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire’ movie.
Thrawn: Richard E. Grant
As rumor has it there’s theories already that Thrawn may actually show up in ‘Star Wars: Episode 9’ and the actor rumored to be possibly playing him is indeed the perfect choice, Richard E. Grant. He would be an absolute perfect pick to play the menacing villain as he clearly already looks exactly like the character and has the same intense charisma that the would be required to be Thrawn on the big screen. If he does indeed appear in 9, it’ll be a breath of fresh air as the latest trilogy is in need of a more imposing villain in my opinion to offset the characters of Hux and Kylo Ren, who’ve seemed to have a hard time getting anything evil accomplished in the last two movies. Thrawn would whip these two into shape shape quickly as a villain who’s completely cunning and calculated. If he does indeed appear as the fan favorite bad guy it’d only make perfect sense for him to return in the story that put him on the map back in 1991.
Mara Jade: Rose Leslie
Ok again here’s another iconic character that desperately needs to make a real appearance in a Star Wars movie, another total fan favorite Mara Jade. The female Jedi master and wife of Luke Skywalker made her appearance in the 1991 book as a villain who was hellbent on destroying Luke but eventually coming around to helping him in the fight for good in the galaxy.
Sporting red hair and an iron will Mara is in on the action throughout the story, so who better to portray her than ‘Game of Thrones’ bad ass Rose Leslie? Her role in that series provides the perfect resume to land her the part of Mara Jade!!
Gilad Pellaeon: Sam Elliot
Thrawn’s partner in crime was Captain Gilad Pallaeon who’d spent most of his time questioning his boss’ many seemingly odd strategies while engaged in many epic space battles. He’d learned over time that Thrawn’s tactics oddly panned out in ways he’d originally been unable to comprehend.
I think Sam Elliot would be perfect in the role as he’s a delight in nearly any role he plays and also looks the part as well. Seeing him and Grant as Thrawn interacting on the big screen would be a true delight to behold. Elliot would likely be a welcome addition from fans to enter the Star Wars universe as the classic character.
Jorus C’baoth: Rutger Hauer
Ohhhh shit! Picking the actor to play the crazy ass evil Jedi clone was a fun one to think about. C’baoth is truly one weird ass character and whoever plays him has got to have a certain mysterious, unsettling & unpredictable aura to them. So this guy being portrayed by none other than Rutger Hauer would give the movie a certain degree of street cred amongst sci-fi fans as he portrayed the iconic and equally frightening villain ‘Roy Batty’ from Blade Runner.
Hauer has proved time and time again that when it comes to playing an imposing villain he’s the right dude for the job. Imagine Hauer, Grant and Elliot playig the villains of this story, now that’d be a real cinematic treat to behold. C’Baoth is obsessed with capturing Luke & Leia and longing to train her two children in the ways of evil. Seeing Luke & Mara Battle this insane dark Jedi would be a damn fine time at the movies to behold.
Who would you choose for these roles? What do you think of my choices?