My great friendship with George Lucas by British actor David Oyelowo

“My children would meet George Lucas and see the original Yoda.... we had a rarefied introduction to the world of Star Wars” says the Spooks and The Butler star

David Oyelowo’s voice will be soon heard in the new Disney animation Star Wars Rebels. But this is not the only thing inter-galactic and far, far away about the actor: it turns out the onetime star of BBC1 drama Spooks is great, great pals with Star Wars creator George Lucas.

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The two met on the set of Red Tails, the World War II airman film that Lucas produced (Oyelowo played Joe “Lightning” Little) and have been firm buddies ever since. In fact L.A-based Oyelowo, his wife Jessica and their four children have enjoyed regular visits to Lucas’ Skywalker ranch and now have an open invitation.

“My children would meet George Lucas and see the original Yoda and the original this and that,” Oyelowo tells me. “We had a rarefied introduction to the world of Star Wars. They are big fans now.”

In fact when they meet up, Lucas still talks incessantly about the Star Wars franchise despite his relatively hands-off role in the upcoming films which are now being overseen by Disney: “George never seems to tire of it. He will happily sit you down and talk non-stop about the Star Wars universe. He has also become a happy viewer from afar.”

Oyelowo is also happy to follow suit. Because while he is proud to be part of the Star Wars story (he plays the villainous Agent Kallus in the Disney animation which is set 16 years after Episode III and five years before Episode IV) he seems doubtful about the idea of being in Star Wars for real.

“To be honest that itch has been scratched by being in Star Wars Rebels,” he adds. “But would I say no to being in Star Wars? Of course not… anything is possible.”

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Star Wars Rebels launch episode is on October 3 on Disney XD followed by the full series from October 16