Rumours of former Doctor Who star Matt Smith’s involvement in Star Wars Episode IX have been swirling around for while, though the erstwhile Time Lord (and Prince Philip) denied the claims after they first emerged.
“As far as I can tell, I’m definitely not [in it],” he told the LA Times back in March, countering previous reports that he has “a key role” in the film – but some fans weren’t too convinced by his oddly-worded denial, speculating that Smith was merely keeping his role secret ahead of the film’s release in December 2019.
And now, those same fans (most of whom have followed Smith since his years in BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who) are claiming to have potentially found Smith’s mystery Star Wars character after all, with many claiming that a blue-faced alien pictured in an officially-licensed Episode IX Topps trading card is none other than the former Eleventh Doctor.
Obviously, you can’t see much of this character behind his masked helmet and slightly scaled skin, but Whovians and other Matt Smith fans claim that the actor’s trademark brow and stare are unmistakable. Plus, the character’s name being kept secret (with only the very Doctor Who regeneration-friendly caption A New Face) only adds to their theories that this is Smith in action.
And some fans have even pointed out that Smith could have taken inspiration from his former onscreen companion Karen Gillan, who already found post-Who fame playing a blue alien in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
For our part, we’re not entirely convinced – we see so little of the character’s face that they could be played by LITERALLY ANYONE, and it seems unlikely that Smith would be kept secret from fans if he genuinely was just playing a new alien character (after all, other newcomers like Richard E Grant, Keri Russell and Naomie Ackie have been officially confirmed).
Still, in a movie franchise as big and secretive as Star Wars, we can’t rule anything out – and frankly, we doubt the excited fans would want to listen to us anyway.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker is released in UK cinemas on the 19th December