One of the more intriguing casting announcements for Episode IX was that of veteran actor Richard E. Grant. While his role is being kept under wraps, rumors swirled of who he could be – everyone from Ezra Bridger to Grand Admiral Thrawn was rumored. Grant has been sworn to secrecy of course, but an intriguing comment may point to him playing a familiar face.
“[I was] surrounded by all this Star Wars memorabilia going back to 1977. And within about two seconds, [director J.J. Abrams] said, ‘Are you gonna do it or not?’ And I said, ‘Do what?’ Then he described the part, and I think he told me what my name was, at which point the room went upside down.”
Grant has been a Star Wars fan its entire existence. So for him to have a reaction like that means he recognized the name, right? Even if it’s not an actual character we’ve seen before, it is the descendant of one. If he was just
“Captain New Character”, he would of course still be excited, but the room wouldn’t have went “upside down”. He has said in previous interviews that he isn’t even allowed to his family who he is playing.
Secrecy like that is reserved for names like “Palpatine”, “Kenobi”, “Jinn” “Bridger”, “Thrawn”, and “Binks”. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the idea. It is looking more and more likely that he is someone we know, or related to someone we know. That is right in Abrams wheel house. Not just Khan from Star Trek 2, but the man puts “moments” over anything else. It sounds like the reveal of Grant’s character will be a classic Abrams “moment” to look out for in Episode IX.
There is also a rumor of another new cast member playing someone related to someone we know, so maybe its a trend in Episode IX. After all, Lucasfilm has stated this is the last chapter of the Skywalker Saga, so they will want to wrap everything up with a nice, neat bow.
If you have a convincing theory as to who you think Grant is playing, let us know! My money is on Thrawn or someone else from the expanded universe or cartoons. The spawn of a Jedi doesn’t make a ton of sense, and why not use Ian McDiarmid if the role is a Palpatine clone or something? But I am convinced it was a name that Grant had heard of before. Hopefully we’ll get more information – like a title – soon.
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters December 20.