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Dream Casting: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Contributed by
Dec 28, 2017

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 Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi tearing up box offices and eliciting divided but more or less positive fan reactions, this seems like a great time to think about Star Wars in general. It seems clear that unlike a lot of genre films of its era, the original Star Wars (aka Episode IV - A New Hope) will never get remade or rebooted; it will just be surrounded by more and more prequels, sequels, and side stories set in the same continuity. And don't get me wrong, that's fine. That's great, in fact. It's been one of my favorite movies since I was a tiny child, and the thought of watching a remake makes me a little uneasy.

However, here at Dream Casting, it's my job to imagine things that will never come to pass. Thinking about Star Wars, and particularly about how much more diverse the recent films are than the original, I did start thinking about what a new take on Episode IV could look like. So here, just for fun, is a 2018 cast for the very first Star Wars film.

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Daniel Kaluuya as Luke Skywalker

Kaluuya (Get Out) is a very likable actor with a slight build who can believably make that all-important Luke Skywalker transition form whiny kid to resolute hero.

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Kiersey Clemons as Princess Leia

Clemons (Dope) has the beauty and the bearing to play Leia Organa, plus she can do amazing new things with her hair.

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Deobia Oparei as Darth Vader

Rather than the triple-casting of the original trilogy, I really wanted to find one actor who can physically be in the Darth Vader suit, use his own voice, and be Vader's face when the helmet eventually comes off. Oparei (Game of Thrones) seems like just the guy.

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Aubrey Plaza as Han Solo

The key to Han Solo is how funny he is — and particularly how many of his best moments are him getting into a jam and then flailing to get out of it. Our new version of Han is female, but Plaza (Legion) has that same off-kilter charisma that made Harrison Ford such a hit in the role. And yes, for the record, she's going to be just as interested in Princess Leia.

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Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson as Chewbacca

Björnsson (Game of Thrones) isn't just extraordinarily tall, he's also broad and muscular in a way that Peter Mayhew never was. His version of Chewbacca will be an even bulkier and more intimidating creature.

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Mandy Patinkin as Obi-Wan Kenobi

Patinkin (Homeland) has a crusty sort of warmth that's perfect for 'Old Ben.' Plus, let's be honest, he just looks really great with a wizard beard.

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Maulik Pancholy as C-3PO

If you remember Pancholy from 30 Rock, you know how great he is at being frantic, nervous, and put-upon. In other words, he has all the key ingredients to play C-3PO.

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Willem Dafoe as Grand Moff Tarkin

Obviously I mostly avoided lookalikes in this recasting, but cadaverous cheekbones seem so important to Tarkin that I'd hate to lose them. Besides, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) has decades of experience playing creepy villains, and he can knock this role out of the park.

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Giancarlo Esposito as Uncle Owen

Esposito (Breaking Bad) is really great at being stern and unyielding, which are the main things Owen needs to be.

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S. Epatha Merkerson as Aunt Beru

Merkerson (Chicago Med) can balance Esposito's sternness with warmth, and even make that blue milk seem really inviting.

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Jason Mantzoukas as Dr. Evazan

Only a cameo obviously, but I feel like Mantzoukas (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) could really sell that "death sentence on 12 systems" line while a walrus man bellows over his shoulder.