That point of view, naturally, is my own.
Normally I’d scoff at any such attempt to try something like this, because, unlike “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Firefly,” there are very few people on the entirety of this planet who don’t know the main characters and lead actors of the original Star Wars trilogy that began in 1977. Trying to re-cast such worldwide iconic roles — they’re on our toys, lunch boxes, t-shirts, bed sheets, video games, and probably products for children, too — is always a fool’s errand best left to drunken Comic Con parties and Livejournal blogs. But bad ideas have never stopped George Lucas or Disney from making all the money before, so why should they stop now?
On Tuesday Disney announced that they have purchased Lucasfilm: Star Wars. (If you haven’t yet seen this news, then you should check your pulse, because you’re probably dead.) Whether we like it or not, there will be more live-action Star Wars movies and they will be cannon to the established filmic universe, starting with Episode VII in 2015. Several sites are already busy trying to determine what Episode VII could possibly be about, with at least one actively polling readers on which new actors should play the original heroes, though the story is supposedly something we’ve never seen before. I’m not going to do that, because in terms of the extended universe, I only really know the Heir to the Empire series (a.k.a., the Grand Admiral Thrawn books) and those are entirely ruled out.
Most likely, since we’re dealing with George “Yippee” Lucas, Episode VII will star the offspring of Han and Leia, and possibly Luke, in order to keep each trilogy in the family and clearly demarcated by separate generations. Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher would likely reprise their parts in supporting rules like Jedi-Ghost Luke and Galactic Queen Leia or something. Since we literally don’t know at this point, it is entirely possible Disney won’t do the smart, logical, emotionally bearable thing and will instead simply try to start at some point not too far from where we left off with Return of the Jedi in 1983. Should this happen, proving beyond all shadow of a doubt that we can’t possibly live in even the ten millionth best of all possible worlds, it’s good to remember that not much of the original cast was ever going to win an Oscar. The matter is simply that, crucially, only Harrison Ford and the aforementioned Hamill and Fisher have their faces. With that mind, if the actors are good enough, at least the characters could be reasonably re-imagined in a mostly harmless manner.
The following list may or may not be your druthers, but I could certainly get behind at least one whole movie featuring these performers in these roles. At the very least, it could make for a decent Funny or Die video.
Nathan Fillion as Han Solo
Let’s just get this one out of the way right now. Fillion is the only choice for this role. If we were talking about Indiana Jones re-casts, he’d be the only choice for that role, too. Hell, he’d probably make a pretty excellent Mad Mardigan if you really wanted to re-imagine Willow for new audiences. From Cap’n Mal to Castle to Cap’n Hammer, and even going back as far to his Third Guy from “Two Guys, a Girl, and a Pizza Place,” Nathan Fillion simply is Han Solo.
Charlie Hunnam as Luke Skywalker
Knowing Hunnam first from Judd Apatow’s underrated college-set sitcom “Undeclared,” where he played a foppish ladies’ man from across the pond, I underestimated the actor’s ability to convincingly portray a grizzled (or, grizzling) American biker. But after watching a few seasons of “Sons of Anarchy,” where he plays Jax, a man maturing out of his father’s shadow and learning (to greater and lesser degress) from the mistakes of the past, I am now thoroughly convinced Hunnam can play just about anything. It doesn’t hurt that a combination of foppery and hardened nobility struggling against the easier path of darkness is precisely Luke Skywalker is all about.
Alison Brie as Princess Leia
Even if we never get tired of Annie’s Boobs, some of you are no doubt sick of Alison Brie, especially her gifs that keep on giving. And yet, she’s already proven in “Community” than she can handle Leia’s stern rectitude, soft center, and constant witty repartee with that Nerf herder, Han Solo. She could also fill out a metal bikini if the script calls for it. Let’s be honest, Leia needs both brains and beauty, and Brie has more than enough of each to spare. Goth Britta would also suffice.
Donald Faison as Lando Calrissian
For Lando, the only brother in the whole damn galaxy, it was almost too tempting not to pick every white person’s favorite actor of color currently working today, Idris Elba, as some sort of meta-casting. And while Elba would undoubtedly be great, Donald Faison (Turk if you’re nasty) would absolutely kill in those role. He could stand toe-to-toe with Fillion and be more than a little dashing in a cape and bell-bottoms ensemble. As a bonus, he probably already has all of Billy Dee’s lines memorized.
Peter Dinklage as R2D2
Okay, obviously this would never happen, and not least because Dinklage is far more than his stature as a person and a performer. But, still, wouldn’t you get a giddy thrill knowing that Tyrion Lannister is controlling everybody’s favorite little droid?
Doug Jones as C-3PO
Without question, Anthony Daniels not only could probably still put on the golden robot suit and play Artoo’s second banana, he might very well want to. But Doug Jones has shown, mostly in Guillermo Del Toro’s movies, that he should be Hollywood’s go-to guy for roles requiring intense physical performances in uncomfortable latex costumes and make-up. Actually, I wouldbe surprised if his performance in Hellboy II: The Golden Army wasn’t totally inspired by Daniels in any of the Star Wars flicks.
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca