If you’re a real movie nerd, chances are you get as excited when you see a supporting character with a familiar face as you do when one of your faves is the star. Let’s celebrate these heroes!…
Back in the early World Wide Web days, defunct site Fametracker had an awesome column called “Hey, It’s That Guy!”, celebrating character actors and actresses from all your favorite things. So we’re showing our love for that idea every so often in our Friday Five by doing the same, and this week we’re dipping our toes into today’s “May the Fourth” celebrations by bringing you the most recent crop of “yooooo, isn’t that….?!” from a galaxy far, far away…
One of the most fun side-effects of the current Star Wars slate of films is spotting familiar faces now that a pop culture-savvy generation is its prime audience. There are loads of fun appearances and cameos in the franchise these days, even if a drastic amount of prosthetics and CGI sometimes make it extremely difficult to know who that person is. (Hello, Simon Pegg!) Nevertheless, we thought we’d focus today’s Friday Five on a few of the fun appearances in the most recent spin across the Star Wars galaxy – the ones who are relatively easy to recognize, or at least they look pretty familiar! – so see if you caught these folks in The Last Jedi!…
Kate Dickie (Hux’s First Order Monitor)
There are many wonderful character actors in Star Wars, particularly in the ranks of the First Order and Resistance military in the new trilogy. You might be forgiven if the face of the neatly efficient, coolly controlled monitor who announces to General Hux that Supreme Leader Snoke would like to speak to him (Just before Snoke’s hologram materializes and he Force-slams Hux’s face into the floor) looked familiar, yet… off. This is because the actress who plays her, Kate Dickie, is quite familiar to genre fans in a very, very different role… that of the haggard, paranoid, and completely unstable Lyssa Arryn (sister of Catelyn Stark, i.e. she who walked right into the arms and dastardly plans of Littlefinger) on Game of Thrones. Dickie has also done tons of TV work, particularly in her native England, and appeared in the films Prometheus and The Witch.
Adrian Edmondson (Captain Peavey)
If you are a younger Star Wars fan, chances are the stately mug of Adrian Edmondson doesn’t ring a bell; he looks like many a Brit baddie who has kept the Empire and/or First Order gears running over the decades. But if you grew up in the 80’s – and are a fan of British comedy – you may have sat upright, snarled and shouted “VYVYAN!” (OK, maybe you did the last thing in your head; respect your fellow moviegoers.) The point is, Edmondson is a Britcom legend for, among many more, his roles as student punk hellraiser Vyvyan on The Young Ones; as well as the brutally funny slapstick series Bottom which he co-created and starred in with his longtime collaborator, the late great Rik Mayall. (Additional fun fact: Edmondson is one-half of a comedy-royalty couple, having been married for over 30 years to Jennifer Saunders, of Absolutely Fabulous and French & Saunders fame.)
Lily Cole (“Lovey”)
So, probably the biggest “Who, isn’t that?!…” moment of The Last Jedi is the sudden, unexpected and suave appearance of Justin Theroux as the “Master Codebreaker” – pretty big actor, very small but important moment, A+! But if your eye was caught by the ethereal visage of his companion, known only as “Lovey” around that space-craps table in Canto Bight’s casino, it’s probably because model and actress Lily Cole’s face is pretty unforgettable. Cole’s enormous blue eyes and blazing red hair have made her a striking presence in many genre titles, starting with her debut in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus; in between her very busy modelling career, she has also appeared in Snow White and the Huntsman, The Moth Diaries, and as the Siren in the rollicking pirate-themed Doctor Who episode “The Curse of the Black Spot.”
Gareth Edwards (Resistance Trench Soldier)
So this particular face might not be terribly familiar, unless you’ve watched a lot of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story behind the scenes footage and interviews. But there are a lot of great cameos among the ranks of the Resistance fighters in Last Jedi – director Edgar Wright and his brother, among many more, are in there somewhere! – yet Gareth Edwards, aka the director of Rogue One, definitely gets a primo featured moment as one of the ground troops just before the Battle of Crait begins. (He’s the one with enough sense not do rub his fingers on the ground and taste it, declaring “Salt!”… I mean, is it clean salt? Is there some kind of toxic metal in there? We need every one of you guys!) Anyway, Edwards’ little moment is actually the second in a series, as if you look closely in Rogue One‘s Death Star scenes, Last Jedi director Rian Johnson appears there too!
Gary Fisher (Inspiration for “Space Gary”)
To be fair, this one isn’t so much an actual appearance as it is a delightful piece of character design… but for fans, it 100% counts. There have been lots of great appearances from real-life second-generation Star Wars cast; Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, plays a key supporting role as Resistance Lieutenant Connix. All of Mark Hamill’s three kids have appeared in some form as Resistance fighters, as well. But one of the niftiest “kid” cameos of all is a small bug-eyed creature visible briefly in the Canto Bight sequence. That little guy was confirmed by Rian Johnson to be the creature equivalent of Fisher’s beloved French Bulldog, Gary – who in the last couple of years of her life, became our General’s constant companion in interviews, junkets and on red carpets. The internet LOVES Gary Fisher. It is only fitting that he have an intergalactic counterpart (though his ubiquitous tongue is absent, the resemblance is definitely there!)