Star Wars: Matt Smith Finally Confirms His Rise of Skywalker Character

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Based on Smith’s account, it’s possible he was being tapped to play a character in Trevorrow’s version of Episode IX, but when the director was replaced by J.J. Abrams, Smith’s role was scrapped in the process. Indeed, one of the many theories concerning Smith’s mystery character is that he was set to play The Son, a celestial being from the Mortis realm and the physical embodiment of the dark side, presumably making an appearance in the final act of Trevorrow’s movie (although the character doesn’t exist in the first draft of Duel of the Fates).

Others have theorized that Smith was going to play a young Palpatine, which could mean that either The Rise of Skywalker was going to feature flashbacks to the Sith lord’s origins or that the Emperor’s clone was originally going to appear as a younger, revitalized version of the villain, like in Dark Empire, the ’90s comic book series that inspired the Palpa-clone storyline in the movie.

Whatever the case, Smith teased that the role was a “big thing.”

“I could not possibly say, but it was a pretty groovy thing. It was a really groovy part and concept. It was a big thing, it was a big story detail. Like, a transformative Star Wars story detail, but it never quite got over the line. It was a big shift in the history of the franchise,” Smith said.

That could certainly describe of the aforementioned roles — or maybe he would have played the Lovecraftian Tor Valum — but Smith never even did a costume test for the character. “No, there was no costume, there were a couple of meetings to talk about it.”

With The Rise of Skywalker now two years behind us, the question now is whether Smith will ever get a chance to play his character in a future Star Wars movie or TV series. “Maybe I can come back, you never know,” the actor said coyly.

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