Hey, why the actual hell does Gary Barlow get to be a stormtrooper and not me?

Huw Fullerton breaks down the new Star Wars movies' greatest injustice: cameos for the rich and famous


So we’re finally here. Just days after rumours emerged that actor Tom Hardy may be making a cameo as one of the First Order’s footsoldiers in Star Wars Episode VIII (and that Princes William and Harry did the same while touring the set), it’s now being reported that Gary Barlow could also soon be glamming up with white body armour for the sci-fi sequel.


It’s official – we’ve reached peak celebrity stormtrooper, and I’ve had enough.

Sure, Daniel Craig’s cameo in The Force Awakens was sort of fun (if a bit pointless), but if we’re getting to a point where Star Wars can cross over with the X Factor judging panel then pop culture has gone too far.


As the above vigorously-researched* Venn diagram proves, no-one wants this, and it’s bound to annoy fans who would rather see someone more deserving get a chance to be in the movie.

Could JJ Abrams and director Rian Johnson not think of the underdogs of this world, the unsung heroes who fight through life every day, only to find the world has turned its back on them?

Wouldn’t we all rather see a real fan have their dream come true, in a beautiful and heartfelt moment of cinema that would elevate all our souls and inspire us to try and become better people? A fan whose casting as a stormtrooper would raise the quality of life on Earth by at least 37%*?

As some of you may have guessed, I am of course talking about me. So here’s why I’d be a much better stormtrooper than any famous person, especially Tom Hardy or Gary Barlow.

1. I’m not a little short for a stormtrooper

Famously, stormtroopers aren’t very short (or Princess Leia is just totally stuck-up in A New Hope). I am also not very short, at around 6ft 1 and a half inches.

By comparison, both Tom Hardy and Gary Barlow are a lowly 5ft 9. Advantage me. And Princes Harry and William, at 6ft 2 and 3 respectively, just seem TOO tall really. You know it makes sense.

2. I look great in white


Totally doesn’t wash out my complexion or anything.

3. I have terrible aim.

Famously, Stormtroopers’ accuracy is somewhere between Mr Magoo and pointing the gun the wrong way round, with the Dark Side’s shock troops probably unable to hit a barn door while touching said barn door.

As I believe I have proven in the above visual aid, I share this lack of skill – but what of Tom Hardy?


Yep, he can shoot – and if you listen to any Take That Album you’ll know that Barlow also has impeccable aim, hitting almost all the notes with ease.

And both princes were in the real-life army! It’s like they’re spitting in the face of George Lucas.

4. I take orders from my Dark overlords with ease


Case in point – “Huw, can you write a piece about why celebrities shouldn’t be stormtroopers? Don’t be weird with it.”


(Admittedly Barlow also gains points here, as he is a known acolyte of Darth Cowell).

5. I’m willing to subsume my identity and go along with the crowd to serve a larger, evil purpose


See, here I am laughing at The Big Bang Theory, which might (in a very roundabout way) help it keep on being recommissioned.

Can you imagine Tom Hardy enjoying a Big Bang Theory double bill? No you cannot.

6. I met a stormtrooper once


I felt like we had a connection, OK, and if he was allowed to talk I could sense he would have given me a job recommendation. However, I can’t confirm or deny whether Gary Barlow and/or Tom Hardy have met stormtroopers, though I’m pretty sure they’ve both met Daniel Craig which sort of counts. We’ll call this one a tie.

7. I’m much poorer than any of these people


Let’s get real now, guys – if Gary Barlow wanted to be a stormtrooper, he could use his Take That money to build a life-size replica Death Star in his back garden and stuff it with supermodels. That’s just science.

Whereas in my case this is my one shot, so I really need you all to get behind this. Mr Johnson and Mr Abrams, please slide into my DMs when you’ve worked all the logistics out.


(In all seriousness, maybe extra stormtrooper roles should be in a draw or prize or something for non-famous fans, especially disadvantaged ones, who this kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would mean a lot more to. If you trust true fans and impress on them the need for secrecy, they won’t spoil anything, and they can go alongside all the fun celebrity/royal ones. OK. Serious bit over).


*Some data sources may have been lost in the great Jedi purge


Star Wars Episode VIII will be released in December 2018