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Dream Casting: Tales From the Star Wars Cantina
Dream Casting is an imaginative look at the casting process of potential Hollywood projects based on comics and other media. This isn't just about what is being made; this is about what should be made, and who we think should be the stars.
With The Mandalorian tearing it up on Disney+ every week, I started thinking about what else they could do with Star Wars on TV (beside the already announced Cassian Andor and Kenobi shows). My pitch is a series about the Mos Eisley cantina, featuring a cast of weird underworld characters who get involved in various criminal schemes.
The show should take place just before Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, so all the same characters are around but nobody's been killed or had their arm cut off yet. I didn't want to spend all my time casting the less human characters like Hammerhead, Muftak, Kabe, or the Modal Nodes, but rest assured they'll all be there. For the central cast, I've put together a collection of actors who I think could make a great ensemble for a lighthearted crime show in a truly exotic location.
Ken Marino as Wuher
If the Cantina's going to sustain a series, Wuher the bartender is going to need more of a personality than just being surly and hating droids, and comedy veteran Ken Marino (Veronica Mars) can help bring that to life.
Joan Cusack as Ackmena
Nobody can really replace the legendary Bea Arthur, but Joan Cusack (Toys, Addams Family Values, A Series of Unfortunate Events) brings a similar height, bearing, and sarcastic demeanor.
Ben Schwartz as Greedo
If he's going to be a regular character, Greedo probably needs to speak English, but even if he doesn't, Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation) can make the slimey bounty hunter funnier than he ever was before.
Charles Baker as Doctor Evazan
Yeah, I know Evazan was on Jedha immediately before A New Hope, but I think if you did a Cantina series he and Ponda Baba would need to at least be recurring. Charles Baker (El Camino) would give a great performance under those nasty prosthetics.
Matt Jones as Ponda Baba
I don't know if Ponda Baba can possibly speak English out of that butt-mouth, but in addition to comic timing, Matt Jones (El Camino) brings size, enthusiasm, and established chemistry with Baker.
Zazie Beetz as Brea Tonnika
Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Joker) is a great actress and would be a great asset for this show, whatever they decide the new-canon deal is with the Tonnika sisters.
Troian Bellisario as Senni Tonnika
Supplemental materials will tell you the Tonnikas are identical twins, but if you actually look at them in A New Hope they're clearly not. Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars) would work as Beetz's sister, however, and she's a great TV actress in her own right.
Joseph Mawle as BoShek
BoShek could have been a Star Wars hero if he'd taken Obi-Wan's charter himself instead of introducing him to Chewbacca. With Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones) in the role, he could have adventures of his own.
Jackie Earle Haley as Kardue'sai'Malloc
Jackie Earle Haley (The Tick) is exactly the actor you want to play a space devil, whether he's still a war criminal in hiding like in the Expanded Universe or not (but he probably should be).
James Frain as Dannik Jerriko
I don't know if Dannik Jerriko is officially still a brain vampire or not, but I do know that James Frain (Star Trek: Discovery) will look great with a prosthetic nose and smoking that hookah at the bar.
Patton Oswalt as Bom Vimdin
I don't know Bom Vimdin's deal, exactly, but I do think it would be fun to see Patton Oswalt (Happy!) as a weird little guy with a giant horn on his head.