There’s a long tradition of casting brilliant British and Irish stars in pivotal Star Wars roles (Alec Guinness, Peter Mayhew, Peter Cushing, Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor to name but a few) so it’s little wonder Rogue One: a Star Wars Story features a plethora of homegrown talent.
How many of them did you spot in that galaxy far far away?
Valene Kane – Lyra Erso
The Fall’s Rose Stagg and Thirteen’s DS Lisa Merchant played leading lady Felicity Jones’ on-screen mum, Lyra Erson, wife to Mads Mikkelsen’s Imperial Science Officer, Galen.
Beau Gadson – Young Jyn Erso
In Netflix royal drama The Crown she plays a young Prince Margaret, so young star Gadson seems the perfect choice to be charged with playing Rogue One’s leading lady in her younger years.
Felicity Jones – Jyn Erso
You’d be hard pushed to miss seeing this British actress on screen in Rogue One. And of course, you probably know her from British classics like The Worst Witch, Doctor Who, Chalet Girl and The Theory of Everything – not to mention The Archers.
Daniel Mays – Tivik
The Line of Duty and Mrs Biggs star enjoys a stint on screen as a contact of rebel spy Cassian Andor (Diego Luna).
Genevieve O’Reilly – Mon Mothma
Irish born actress O’Reilly – who you’ve probably spotted in Episodes, The Honourable Woman, Banished and The Fall – reprises the role she took over from Caroline Blakiston for Revenge of The Sith. O’Reilly’s scenes were cut from the prequel finale, so Rogue One gave her a second shot at Star Wars glory in the guise of the Rebel senator.
Alistair Petrie – General Draven
The Night Manager and Utopia star is well known to UK audiences thanks to a jam-packed CV featuring roles in Undercover, New Blood, Sherlock, Whitechapel and The Forsyte Saga to name but a few. Now he’s known to Star Wars fans as the gruff Alliance military man, General Draven.
Riz Ahmed – Bodhi Rook
The Four Lions and Dead Set star has had a stellar 2016 thanks to his starring role in The Night Of, which has earned him a Golden Globe nomination. Rogue One sees him playing an Imperial cargo pilot who decides to defect and save the galaxy when Galen Erso sends him on an all-important mission.
Warwick Davis – Weeteef Cyubee
The veteran Star Wars legend couldn’t possibly be left behind on another journey to a galaxy far far away. With no Ewoks around to play, the Harry Potter, Willow and Last Kingdom actor took on a very different role this time around, channelling his inner guerrilla rebel and joining Saw Gerrera’s gang.
Ben Daniels – General Merrick
House of Cards, The Paradise and Cutting It star Ben Daniels makes his Star Wars debut as General Merrick, a moustachioed rebel pilot and leader of the Alliance’s Blue Squadron of X-wing fighters.
Ian McElhinney – General Dodonna
Veteran Northern Irish actor Ian McElhinney will be known to audiences for his roles in shows like The Fall, Game of Thrones and Hornblower or films like Borstal Boy. Rogue One sees him taking on the role of rebel General Dodonna, a character first played by Alex McCrindle in 1977’s A New Hope.
Jonathan Aris – Senator Jebel
British audiences will probably recognise at least one of the Alliance’s senators as Sherlock’s police nemesis, Anderson, who frequently butts heads with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Baker Street detective. This time around Aris – who also popped up in The Game, Humans, Wolf Hall and The Night Manager – takes on the guise of a rebel politician.
Sharon Duncan-Brewster – Senator Pamlo
Fans of Bad Girls will be no stranger to Sharon Duncan-Brewster, who played the prison drama’s Crystal Gordon before taking on the role of EastEnders’ Trina and popping up in Doctor Who episode The Waters of Mars. The British actress also has a more political role in Rogue One, playing the Alliance’s Senator Pamlo.
Geraldine James – Blue Three
Ben Daniels’ Blue Squadron is jam packed with British stars, including one of England’s finest actresses, Geraldine James. Utopia’s Milner is a veteran of the stage and screen, with roles in Dummy, The Jewel in The Crown, Band of Gold, Sins, Gandhi and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo under her belt. She also played Mrs Pincher, the breastfeeding mother in Little Britain, popped up quite recently in ITV crime drama Black Work, and has been nominated no less than four time for a Best Actress Bafta.
Aryion Bakare – Blue Four
We weren’t kidding when we said Blue Squadron was red, white and blue all over. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Thirteen, New Blood, and Doctor Who star Aryion Bakare is also among the men and women piloting rebel x-wings. You might also recognise him from A Respectable Trade, Family Affairs, Doctors, The Bill, Casualty or Holby City.
Simon Farnaby – Blue Five
Fans of Yonderland and Detectorists may spot a familiar face in the Blue Squadron as Simon Farnaby is between the controls of Blue Five. The Horrible Histories and Mighty Boosh star isn’t on screen for long though, so if you blink you might just miss him.
Jordan Stephens – Corporal Tonc
If you’re Down With The Trumpets you’ll know Rizzle Kicks star Jordan Stephens pretty well. Rogue One sees him playing a member of the Rebel Alliance, who heads off on that all-important mission to steal the plans for the Death Star.
Paul Kasey – Admiral Raddus
Before there was Admiral Ackbar there was Admiral Raddus, a Mon Calamari who headed valiantly into battle to help the rebels steal the plans for the Death Star. Now, he’s voiced by American actor Stephen Stanton, but it’s British actor Paul Kasey doing the body work. And Kasey will be well-known to fans of Doctor Who, because he’s played all manner of creatures in the time-travel series and spin-offs The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood.
Tony Pitts – Captain Pterro
Emmerdale’s Archie Brooks has gone to a galaxy far, far away! British TV fans will recognise Tony Pitts as the popular young lad who met his demise in the 1993 plane crash. More recently you may have spotted him playing Sergeant Moss in BBC drama series Peaky Blinders. He also appeared as Detective Chief Superintendent Les Hargreaves in the second series of BBC’s Line of Duty, and played Lesley Sharp’s husband in ITV crime drama Scott & Bailey.
Francis Magee – Grizzly Rebel
Game of Thrones fans may spot a second familiar face (along with the previously mentioned Ian McElhinney) but they’ll have to look a little harder to find him. Night’s Watch member Yoren aka Francis Magee aka Liam from vintage 1990s EastEnders aka The Bastard Executioner’s Absolon appears as a ‘Grizzly Rebel’ in the new anthology film.
Guy Henry & Peter Cushing – Grand Moff Tarkin
Now here’s a mind-bending Star Wars appearance you’d be hard pushed to spot. Peter Cushing makes a comeback from beyond the grave as the infamous Tarkin, but it’s actually Holby City and Harry Potter star Guy Henry beneath that CGI head. How on earth did they do it? We asked Gareth Edwards.
Spencer Wilding – Darth Vader
Original Darth Vader Dave Prowse didn’t return to the Sith suit for Rogue One, so the task of embodying the fearsome Star Wars villain fell to two men – one of whom was Welsh actor Spencer Wilding. The terrifically tall actor has played numerous roles in Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter franchise, most notably serving as Hagrid’s double in Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix.