Matt Smith Says His Axed Star Wars Character Was “Big”

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 15: Matt Smith visits "Extra" at Universal Studios Hollywood on August 15, 2018 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith is about to join the (extended) Marvel universe in next year’s Morbius, but he could already have boarded another major franchise back in 2019. Smith was widely believed to be in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but when the conclusion to the sequel trilogy came out, he was nowhere to be seen. Two years later and we still don’t have the full story of what went on behind the scenes.

But now Smith has shed a little light on what role he was in line to play. As The Crown actor told Happy Sad Confused host Josh Horowitz, he never actually got to shoot any scenes or even have any costume fittings, but he did attend “a couple of meetings to talk about it” before his mystery role became “obsolete”.

“No, I didn’t…” Smith revealed. “We were close to me being in it but then it just never ever quite happened… I think the thing they were thinking of before eventually the part became, y’know, it became obsolete and they didn’t need it and so I never got to be in Star Wars.

Horowitz then asked Smith if he was to play Palpatine’s son, as has been rumored. The star gave a shifty look around the room before continuing, admitting that his role was a “big story detail” and “transformative” for the history of Star Wars.

“It was a pretty groovy thing, like it was a really groovy part and concept… It was a big thing. Yeah, it was like a big story detail, like a, you know, transformative Star Wars story detail. It never quite got over the line.”

When the interviewer encouraged him to see the bright side, that he could still play another character in the universe down the line, Smith suggested he could potentially portray his Rise of Skywalker role somewhere else. “Maybe I can come back, you never know,” he teased, before adding “God, to come back as that guy.” Intriguingly, Smith then held out his hand as if impersonating this “guy”.

It’s unclear, but Smith’s hand gesture definitely resembles a Dark Side Force power, like a Force-choke or Palpatine’s lightning blasts. His silence when point-blank asked if he was in the running for the Emperor’s son could also be telling. That said, Billy Howle already played Rey’s father in TROS, and Smith’s words indicate his character was cut, not that he was replaced.

Star Wars fans, let us know what your theories are about Matt Smith’s axed character in the comments.