The 15 Star Wars cameos you never noticed

If there’s one thing we learned from The Force Awakens, it’s that everyone wants to head to a galaxy far, far away. Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood are keen to suit up as aliens and spend hours in make-up for a brief cameo, and it’s not just the Star Wars sequels, either. The Star Wars saga has a long history of small cameos from folks you wouldn’t expect. There are plenty of obvious ones - we all remember Brian Blessed as Boss Nass in The Phantom Menace, and Sofia Coppola’s stint as one of Padmé Amidala’s handmaidens - but some are harder to spot. Here's 15 of the more obscure cameos you might have missed.

George Lucas

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

He created the entire Star Wars saga - George Lucas is the man behind the magic. And after 28 years behind the camera, he finally decided to give himself a cameo in the galaxy far, far away. It’s one of the weirdest Star Wars cameos to date, but George Lucas appeared as Baron Papanoida - a blue-skinned alien statesman and playwright who appears in the Senate in Revenge of the Sith. I can’t help thinking he could have given himself a slightly better role.

You know them from: Seriously?

Daniel Craig

Cameoed in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

It was widely rumoured that Daniel Craig - that’s 007 to you - would appear as a stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It turns out the rumours were spot on. Known as FN-1824, the stormtrooper played by Daniel Craig was assigned to watch over Rey aboard Starkiller Base after she was captured by Kylo Ren. If you listen closely, you might even identify Craig’s voice during their brief exchange. He’s the trooper who succumbs to Rey’s Jedi mind trick, releasing her from captivity and handing over his blaster. Clearly, he could do with brushing up on his interrogation skills.

You know them from: He’s Bond… James Bond. Daniel Craig has starred as 007 in Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. Presumably, Bond’s aim is a little better than his stormtrooper counterpart.

Joe Johnston

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Appearing in one of the first ever Star Wars cameos, filmmaker Joe Johnston suited up to play a trio of stormtroopers in A New Hope. Working as a special effects designer in the galaxy far, far away, he later went on to design Boba Fett’s iconic outfit. During filming of A New Hope, he earned several rather cool cameos, presumably making up the numbers to fill out the Empire’s ranks.

You know them from: These days, he’s perhaps best known for directing Captain America: The First Avenger, and was the man behind several iconic family movies such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Jumanji. 

Jett Lucas

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith

One of the major upsides to being George Lucas’s son is that your dad created Star Wars. The other upside? Getting a rather cool cameo in the Star Wars saga, even if it was in the prequels. Jett Lucas appeared in Attack of the Clones as the young Jedi Padawan, Zett Jukassa, reprising his role in Revenge of the Sith. Unfortunately, this meant that poor Jett was given the task of being slaughtered by Clone Troopers during the Great Jedi Purge. 

You know them from: Being the son of George Lucas.

Warwick Davis

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

He’s best known as Wicket the Ewok from Return of the Jedi, but Warwick Davis is more than just a kid in a furry costume. He first appeared in the Star Wars saga at the age of 11 and reprised the role in the often-derided Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure as well as Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, but he’s also appeared in the Star Wars saga minus the Ewok costume. Appearing in numerous small roles in The Phantom Menace, his most memorable was as Weazel - a diminutive arms dealer who attended the Boonta Eve Classic Podrace alongside his business partner, Watto. He even placed a bet on Anakin Skywalker to win the race.

You know them from: He’s probably the most famous little person in showbiz, and has appeared throughout the Star Wars saga. He also starred in Willow and the Harry Potter films as well as being sent around the world with Karl Pilkington for An Idiot Abroad.

Richard Marquand

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

Richard Marquand directed Return of the Jedi, but while he was certainly busy behind the camera, he couldn’t resist the temptation to step in front of it, appearing as an AT-ST pilot, Major Marquand. He can be seen piloting the iconic chicken walker during the Battle of Endor, but it doesn’t end well. After taking on the Rebel Alliance and their Ewok pals, his AT-ST is ambushed by Chewbacca who makes quick work of Major Marquand and his co-pilot. 

(For bonus points, the AT-ST co-pilot was Return of the Jedi co-producer, Robert Watts.)

You know them from: Well, probably from directing Return of the Jedi. It was his most successful movie, landing him a Huge and Jupiter Award. He also directed Jagged Edge and Eye of the Needle.

Ahmed Best

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

It’s no secret that Jar Jar Binks single-handedly ruined The Phantom Menace. Despite an overwhelmingly negative response from the fans, Jar Jar appeared in all three of the prequel movies. Although Ahmed Best had the humiliating job of playing the most-loathed character in Star Wars, it looks as though George Lucas gave him a chance to redeem himself. Appearing in a more human role in Attack of the Clones, Best played Achk Med-Beq - a con artist posing as a Republic Security Force officer in the Outlander Club on Coruscant. Meesa thinks that’s still a better role than Jar Jar Binks.

You know them from: Being the most annoying character ever created in cinema, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.

Anthony Daniels

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

C-3PO has appeared in every Star Wars film to grace the screen so far and inside that clunky, gold costume is British actor, Anthony Daniels. He’s been part of the Star Wars films since the very beginning, and in 2002 he was finally given the chance to appear without the iconic costume. Appearing in Attack of the Clones, he played Dannl Faytonni - a fellow conman who posed alongside Ahmed Best as Republic Security Force officers to scam patrons of the Outlander Club. A far grittier role than we’re used to, but it must have been amazing to get out of that suit.

You know them from: He’s everybody’s favourite uptight protocol droid, bringing his snarky British wit to the entire Star Wars saga.

Simon Pegg

Cameoed in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Another British actor with an impressive Star Wars cameo, Simon Pegg has managed to transcend the Star Wars/Star Trek divide by appearing in both sci-fi franchises. Best known for the role of Scotty in the Star Trek reboots, he landed the costumed role of Unkar Plutt in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Remember when Rey was living out her days scavenging junk on the desert planet of Jakku? Unkar Plutt was the greedy, despicable junk boss who traded her finest wares for a meagre handful of food rations. Yeah… nice guy.

You know them from: He’s the quintessential British geek! But as it happens, he also has a rather impressive movie career, appearing in the rebooted Star Trek series as well as Mission: Impossible.

Jeremy Bulloch

Cameoed in: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

In the original Star Wars trilogy, Jeremy Bulloch played the infamous bounty hunter, Boba Fett. Appearing in The Empire Strikes Back and then Return of the Jedi, he struck fear into the hearts of men right up until he was eaten by a giant sandworm. Still, he got the chance to return to Star Wars in Revenge of the Sith. Appearing as Captain Jeremoch Colton, he piloted the Republic vessel known as the Sundered Heart which saw Bail Organa, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi going in search of surviving Jedi after Order 66. And it’s great to see him without the helmet.

You know them from: Well… playing Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Billie Lourd

Cameoed in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

You don’t have to have a famous parent to appear in the Star Wars saga, but it certainly helps. The daughter of Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, Billie Lourd landed a minor role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix. Lieutenant Connix was first seen in the Resistance base on D’Qar, helping organise the attack on Starkiller Base. She’s later seen celebrating with her colleagues when the pilots return from their mission and is said to have a larger role in Star Wars 8. Quite how Lieutenant Connix fits into the upcoming sequel remains to be seen, but she sports a hairdo that’s remarkably similar to Princess Leia’s iconic buns.

You know them from: Being Carrie Fisher’s daughter? She also recently appeared in the comedy/horror show, Scream Queens.

Rian Johnson

Cameoed in: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 

Although Rogue One hasn’t even hit cinemas yet, we already know that Star Wars 8 director Rian Johnson will be making an appearance in a rather awesome cameo. It was revealed during a panel at Star Wars Celebration that Rian Johnson was given one of the greatest Star Wars cameos of all time - as one of the Imperial Gunners who activate the planet-shattering laser weapon aboard the Death Star. How’s that for an incredible job perk?

You know them from: He’s just finished directing Star Wars 8, but Rian Johnson is most famous for putting Joseph Gordon-Levitt through some dodgy makeup sessions in Looper, just to make him look sort-of like Bruce Willis. If you squint a bit.

Harriet Walter

Cameoed in: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Dame Harriet Walter is a remarkable class act, appearing across stage and screen, but she likes a good sci-fi too. Appearing in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, she stars as Major Harter Kalonia - the high-ranking Resistance doctor who treats Chewbacca’s wounds back at the Resistance base. She’s also seen treating Finn’s lightsaber wounds after his encounter with Kylo Ren, and it’s assumed that she’ll be reprising her role in Star Wars 8. At least, if Finn is still in that coma.

You know them from: She’s probably best remembered as Natalie Chandler from the ITV drama, Law & Order: UK, but has also starred in Downton Abbey, Sense and Sensibility, and Atonement.

Jimmy Smits

Cameoed in: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 

After starring as Senator Bail Organa in the Star Wars prequels, it looks as though actor Jimmy Smits will be reprising the role for a neat cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. During the prequels, it’s revealed that Senator Organa adopted Princess Leia after Obi Wan spirited the Skywalker twins away to keep them safe. And while little is known about his role in Rogue One, the rebellious Senator could well play a minor part in the destruction of the Death Star. A nice little nod to those who know his backstory.

You know them from: Where haven’t you seen him? Jimmy Smits is famous for his roles on L.A. Law and NYPD Blue, but he’s also starred in Dexter and Sons of Anarchy in recent years. He played Senator Organa in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, too.

Gareth Edwards

Cameoed in: Star Wars 8 

It’s not in cinemas for another 15 months, but Star Wars 8 already has one cameo confirmed - Rogue One director, Gareth Edwards. It was revealed during a panel at Star Wars Celebration that Star Wars directors Rian Johnson and Gareth Edwards will be appearing in each other’s movies, but while we have details about Rian Johnson’s role, Gareth Edwards’ remains a bit of mystery. All we know is that he’s dressed in some slightly shabby-looking clothes and could easily be a part of the ragtag rebellion. But for now, we’ll have to wait and see.

You know them from: He destroyed half of San Francisco while directing Godzilla and half of Mexico in his debut movie, Monsters. Now, he’s going to be destroying entire star systems with the help of the Death Star after helming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Want some more? Here’s the famous actors you probably missed in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writer at GamesRadar+ and fully fledged geek. Still hopes to one day build his own Iron Man suit.
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