It’s no secret that there are Star Wars fans everywhere so it’s not surprising that many well-known celebrities made cameos in The Force Awakens. Some of them are in costumes completely concealing their identities even. In order to point some of them out some specific scenes will be mentioned so I would advise seeing the movie before reading this if you want to know as little as possible before seeing it. With that said, read on at your own discretion, you’ve been warned.
Starting in order of appearance, there is Max von Sydow whom we meet in the beginning of the film talking to Poe on Jakku. Though he has a character name and gets a few lines, he’s barely in the movie so it’s essentially a cameo. Though we don’t hear his name in the movie his character is called Lor San Tekka. He’s referenced in the crawl even as an “old ally” so it’s likely that at some point we’ll get some backstory on him.
Next there’s the cute little ball droid, BB-8. Interestingly Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz provided the voice of BB-8 which was obviously modified to sound electronic through various modifications. You likely know Hader from his SNL days and if you’re a fan of Parks and Rec you’ll recognize Schwartz as Jean-Ralphio. For some more fun check out Bill Hader’s Star Wars impressions.
It’s been known for quite a while that massive Star Wars fan and friend of director J.J. Abrams, Simon Pegg, would be making a cameo in the movie as we see him in the behind the scenes reel they released at SDCC15 earlier this year. Pegg appears in a full costume as the big alien junk dealer named Unkar Plott, we see him on Jakku trading rations for scavenged parts to Rey.
When Finn is helping Poe escape the First Order near the beginning of the film you can pick out Thomas Brodie-Sangster. He’s the First Order officer that alerts his superior to the attempted “unsanctioned departure” while Poe and Finn are in the TIE Fighter. You might recognize him as Jojen Reed in Game of Thrones.
Just a little later in the movie, we see some of the cast from The Raid movies playing members of the Kanjiklub, one of the gangs that arrives to confront Han and Chewie on their freighter. Yayan Ruhian plays the apparent leader of the gang named Tasu Leech while his fellow Raid cast members Iko Uwais and Cecep Arif Rahman play subordinates.
Ewan McGregor did some voice acting for the Force flashback that Rey experiences when she touches Luke’s lightsaber that was lost on Cloud City. At the end of the flashback you can hear Obi-Wan say “Rey…these are your first steps.” The audio used is actually a combination of Ewan McGregor and Alec Guinness. It was revealed in an interview in Entertainment Weekly that producer Bryan Burk cut audio of Alec Guinness saying “afraid” into “Rey.” About the clip Abrams said, “They cut it, and you hear the performance – he’s saying it the way I would have begged Alec Guinness to have said it. It is so crazy perfect.” It should also be noted that Frank Oz also recorded lines for Yoda to be included in scene but the audio in the movie was pulled from the previous films.
Later, also in a scene featuring Rey, Daniel Craig makes an appearance as the First Order stormtrooper that falls victim to Rey’s mind trick while she is restrained. It’s kind of difficult to tell at first, but if you listen close as he says to Rey “I’ll tighten those restraints, scavenger scum” you can here the familiar voice of Craig.
Carrie Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd shows up at the Resistance base. She seems to be an analyst of some sort, similar to Brodie-Sangster’s cameo, Lourd gets a line in the movie apprising Leia of the battle going on at Starkiller base. You can see her in a few scenes, including at the end when our heroes arrive back at the Resistance base.
Among the Resistance members are also cameos by Emun Elliot and Dame Harriet Walter. Elliot, like the aforementioned Lourd, is mostly just around and eventually gets one line. Walter on the other hand gets a pretty good comedic moment in the film as she plays the doctor tending to Chewie’s arm. Elliot is probably best known for Prometheus while Walter is best known for her role in Sense and Sensibility.
Lastly, I’ll mention Greg Grunberg, Abrams’ long time friend who tends to get roles of varying sizes in a lot of Abrams’ projects. He plays Resistance X-Wing pilot Snap Wexley. He got a few lines and I actually consider him less of a cameo as I expect he’ll be around for the trilogy. He seems a little like the new Wedge Antilles. Grunberg is probably best known for his roles in Lost and Heroes.
So there ya have it. That’s a lot of cameo appearances. Be sure to comment below and let us know how many you knew and whether we missed any!
For more Star Wars The Force Awakens be sure to check out our look at Star Wars through the generations as well as our box office recap and spoiler free review! In other spacey sci-fi news, check out the trailer for the new Independence Day movie!
Images: Lucasfilm, Fox, NBC, Universal Studios, HBO, XYZ Films, Columbia Pictures