As if fulfilling fanfiction written by Doctor Who and Star Wars fans everywhere, Matt Smith has joined the ever-increasing list of famous people starring in Star Wars: Episode IX. On Tuesday, news broke that Smith would have a “key role” in the next big Star Wars movie. It's unknown what that role will entail.
Famous for his emotional and hilarious performance as the titular role in Doctor Who, Smith has a pretty deep range as an actor, which he partially proved on the Netflix drama The Crown. But, for sci-fi fans, he’ll always be the bow-tie-wearing 11th Doctor, righting wrongs all throughout space and time while delivering impassioned speeches and gobbling up fish fingers and custard. But now Smith is going to be in Star Wars, and his role there may actually eclipse his nerd status as the Doctor.
But what will that part look like? Right now, Lucasfilm hasn’t said anything concrete, so, with that in mind, here are three predictions for Star Wars roles that would be perfect for Matt Smith. Geronimo!
One of the Knights of Ren
Since 2015, the identities of the Knights of Ren — Kylo Ren’s personal hit squad from Star Wars: The Force Awakens — have remained a secret. They weren’t referenced in The Last Jedi at all, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still out there wreaking havoc across the galaxy. Presently, the best fan theory is that the Knights of Ren were at least partially made up of former students from Luke Skywalker’s failed Jedi school. But we haven’t seen any of these guys unmasked (yet). Now that Kylo Ren has ditched his helmet and taken the Supreme Leader role for himself, maybe his cronies will start unmasking, too, revealing one of their number to be... Matt Smith.
The best part of Smith possibly being revealed as one of the Knights of Ren is that it would hopefully result in him wielding a lightsaber, either in the present, or perhaps in flashbacks at Luke’s Jedi Academy.
Grand Admiral Thrawn
Matt Smith would actually be great for Grand Admiral Thrawn, and not just because he’s got the right chin for the job (though, let’s be honest, that chin is a big part of it).
Thrawn is a cold and calculating bad guy who's often surprisingly soft-spoken and artistic. This sensibility would be perfect for Smith’s ability to perfectly blend goofiness with deadly seriousness. Plus, Smith has played cold, calculating bad guys before. In Terminator Genisys, Smith was the embodiment of the most famously evil artificial intelligence ever: Skynet.
Worried that Smith is too young to play Thrawn in the time period of Star Wars: Episode IX? Don't be! While Thrawn is mostly active during the Rebellion era as depicted in Star Wars Rebels, Smith pulled off old-man make-up just fine in “The Time of the Doctor,” his final regularDoctor Who appearance. Also, Thrawn is from an alien species called the Chiss, meaning he might not visibly age the same as the “humans” in the Star Wars galaxy.
Broom Kid, All Grown-Up
If Matt Smith doesn’t play a bad guy, and instead returns to a Doctor Who-esque heroic part, then what better role than that of a grown-up version of Temiri Blagg, that kid who used the Force to grab a broom in the very final scene of The Last Jedi?
It’s a pretty good bet there’s a time-jump between the end of The Last Jedi and the start of Episode IX, and if there are at least 10 years, it’s not totally crazy to think a grown-up Broom Kid could show up. Sure, at 35, Smith is a little old to be playing a hypothetical 20-something Temiri Blagg, but because Smith is so youthful and exuberant, it could work perfectly. This is sort of the opposite of him playing an older Thrawn, but Matt Smith is versatile enough to play a little younger than he is anyway. Plus, using the Force on Canto Bight while avoiding evil alien slave traders could have put years on the face of Broom Kid.
Again, the best part of this scenario is that it would likely result in Smith having a lightsaber, something all Doctor Who fans have been imagining — and hoping for — since he first brandished his extra-large green sonic screwdriver.