Another familiar face is reportedly returning to the Star Wars franchise in forthcoming film The Rise of Skywalker: Denis Lawson, who played the role of X-Wing pilot Wedge Antilles in A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.
Word of the casting comes from Rebel Force Radio, which says that it’s received confirmation that the actor has agreed to reprise the role of his character from the original trilogy.
LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT THING. We just received a solid “YES” from a representative for the actor, Denis Lawson will be in #StarWars #TheRiseOfSkywalker reprising his role as Wedge Antilles. pic.twitter.com/ESoB0JhA1L
— Rebel Force Radio (@RFRRebelForce) October 5, 2019
Abrams had approached Lawson to reprise the role for The Force Awakens, but the actor had turned down the role, according to Birth.Movies.Death: “They asked me but it would just have bored me,” he explained at the time.
Obviously, there’s a bit of a grain of salt to be taken from any casting news for the upcoming film, but there have been some other apparent clues: the Spanish publisher for Rebecca Roanhorse’s upcoming novel Resistance Reborn apparently tweeted (via ScreenRant—the publisher’s tweet has since been deleted) an updated image for the book’s cover, featuring someone who looks very much like Antilles. The synopsis for that book reveals that the heroes from The Last Jedi are desperately working to rebuild their movement, “seeking out more leaders—including those who, in days gone by, helped a nascent rebellion topple an empire.”
The character has appeared in a handful of post-Return of the Jedi stories: he was mentioned in a pair of short stories in Star Wars Insider, “Blade Squadron” and “Blade Squadron: Zero Hour”, and appeared in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy. In the now non-canon Expanded Universe (rechristened Legends), the character appeared in or headlined a number of novels, most notably Michael A. Stackpole’s Rogue Squadron series.
If Lawson is returning, it stands to reason he could be one of the people recruited to help rebuild the Resistance movement. Indeed, we speculated that he’d be an ideal character for Marvel’s Kevin Feige to feature in a Star Wars film just the other day. Maybe we’ll get some sort of cool callback back to Rogue Squadron.