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The actor behind Mos Eisley’s most belligerent bar patron has died

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Dec 17, 2018, 9:00 PM EST (Updated)

The Star Wars actor whose belligerent Mos Eisley bar patron famously greeted Luke Skywalker with his first rude welcome to a wider world has passed away.

Alfie Curtis, who played the hair-triggered Dr. Cornelius Evazan in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, was 87, according to Comicbook.com. A British actor whose credits also include David Lynch’s The Elephant Man and the TV miniseries Lost Empires, Curtis’ Dr. Cornelius was itching for a fight with Skywalker in the iconic Mos Eisley scene, playing a disingenuous white knight on behalf of Ponda Baba, his smuggling partner.

Evazan’s terse attempts at bullying Skywalker — starting with “He doesn’t like you,” escalating to “I don’t like you either,” and, once Luke pledges to be careful, menacing him with “You’ll be dead!” are among the most-quoted in Star Wars fandom. Despite being a hard case with an (alleged) death sentence on 12 systems, Dr. Evazan ended up being no match for Obi-Wan’s lightsaber, once it became clear that violence was the only recourse.

Mark Hamill took to Twitter to acknowledge Curtis’ passing, and to celebrate his decidedly more civil disposition as a colleague, saying that the actor “made the #StarWars Mos Eisley Cantina scene (one of the most memorable I've ever been a part of) even MORE memorable,” and that, in real life, Curtis was “funny, kind & a real gentleman.”

Sharp-eyed viewers also may have caught a brief glimpse of a callback to the two characters in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, when Jyn and Cassian share a quick run-in with the smugglers on Jedha. Curtis did not reprise that role; however: Dr. Evazan was played in Rogue One by Michael Smiley.

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