J.D. Dillard is a name most Star Wars fans will just be discovering for the first time. The writer/director is currently attached to a new Star Wars movie (opens in new tab), and actually has prior history in a galaxy far, far away – with an impossibly hard-to-find Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (opens in new tab) cameo.
Not spotted him? Don’t worry, you won’t have to wait until the Rise of Skywalker home release to comb through every frame to try and figure it out. Dillard is one of the many, many Stormtroopers featured in Episode 9. He’s listed in the credits only as “FN-1226,” (H/T Cinema Blend (opens in new tab)) who is one of the poor First Order soldiers that ends up getting Jedi mind-tricked by Rey on Kylo Ren’s Star Destroyer midway through the movie.
He joins a whole host of other weird and wonderful cameo appearances, including director J.J. Abrams himself as hairdryer-shaped droid D-O, legendary composer John Williams on the planet of Pasaana, and even Ed Sheeran (opens in new tab). Sorry to bring that up again.
Dillard, meanwhile, probably won’t have time for a cameo in his next project. Teaming up with Luke Cage writer Matt Owens, Dillard will oversee the new Star Wars movie, reportedly set on the Sith Planet of Exegol.
A release date has not yet been set, nor whether the film is going to hit theaters or instead go straight to Disney Plus but, like Finn, he’s going from humble beginnings behind a helmet to possibly shaping the galaxy. Not bad going for a Stormtrooper.
Catch a glimpse of the future with our look at every upcoming Star Wars movie (opens in new tab) – including Rian Johnson’s possible new trilogy.