The force is strong with Matt Smith, the former Doctor Who, and star of Last Night In Soho. Or, at least, it would have been, if his axed Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker character was as significant as he says it was.
In a recent interview with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Smith reluctantly offered some tidbits about the character he says would have altered the “history of the franchise.” Smith, however, says that he didn’t shoot any scenes, and the role never made it past a few meetings. Therefore, it never came close to being in the movie, even though “Somehow Palpatine returned” did.
Nevertheless, as evidenced by the leaked details regarding Colin Trevorrow’s scraped script for Episode IX, fans love hearing about how Rise Of Skywalker could’ve been better. And Horowitz is no exception.
Josh Horowitz: You were going to be in The Rise Of Skywalker. Matt, did you ever shoot any Star Wars scenes.
Matt Smith: No, I didn’t. We were close to me being in it, but it never quite happened. I think thing of me for, eventually, the part became obsolete and they didn’t need it, and so I never got to be in Star Wars.
Smith “could not possibly say” what the role was—though Horowitz has some ideas.
Horowitz: Here’s conjecture, was that Palpatine’s son? Is that who you were playing?
Smith: I could not possibly say. But it was a pretty groovy thing, it was a really groovy part and concept. It was a big thing, it was a big story detail, a transformative Star Wars story detail and it never got quite over the line.
Horowitz: No, I can’t deal with this. I’m going to have nightmares.
Smith: Yeah, it was a big shift in the history of the franchise.
So, the character represented such a massive shift that it was ultimately not used at all, and instead, we got another franchise-altering character, Babu Frik. Of course, the rest of The Rise Of Skywalker was, unfortunately, memory-holed because no one can remember seeing that movie.