The Actors Who Could've Been In STAR WARS: The Prequel Trilogy - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Actors Who Could've Been In STAR WARS: The Prequel Trilogy

None of these actors were the chosen ones...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Well, 1990's California actually. Yes, it's time to delve once more into the potential casting choices Sir George of Lucas might've gone with for the Star Wars films. Last time we looked back at The Original Trilogy, today its The Prequels.

Possibly the most divisive of the trilogies (although the Sequels are not complete yet and they contain The Last Jedi, so...), it's no surprise then that some of the possible cast members are equally divisive, as we will discover...

Michael Angarano as Young Anakin Skywalker
Apparently thousands of children were auditioned for the role of young 'Annie'. Prior to production could begin on The Phantom Menace, the Bearded One needed to find the perfect young actor who could portray the role of potential Darth Vader. It was a tricky job, as they had to have just the right amount of midichlorians (sorry), and eventually Jake 'are you an angel' Lloyd won the role.

The video above shows Lloyd, alongside, Devin Michaels and Justin Berfield auditioning for the role. It also includes Michael Angarano, who George Lucas was particularly impressed with. The part eventually came down to a choice between Lloyd and Angarano, with Lucas deciding that while Angarano was the better actor (dah), Jake 'yippee' Lloyd would be more comfortable with the film-making process.

How'd that work out for you George?

Vinette Robinson as Queen Padme Amidala
You know Vinette Robinson. That's her above as Rosa Parks in Doctor Who. You've probably also seen her in Sherlock as Sgt Sally Donovan, just one of her many on-screen roles. Her career almost received a massive early boost as her very first film audition was for Padme in The Phantom Menace. So it could've been her awkwardly delivering Lucas' love story lines instead of Natalie Portman.

Joseph Fiennes as Obi-Wan Kenobi
A tricky part to cast, yet a shortlist of fifty actors was produced, all of whom had to be compared to pictures of young Alec Guinness, who portrayed the elderly Obi-Wan, to make a believable younger version. Eventually Ewan McGregor won the role and was given a vocal coach to help his voice sound closer to Guinness's.

But, close behind him in contention for the part was Shakespeare in Love actor Joseph Fiennes. The reason George picked McGregor over Fiennes is an incredibly weird one, as the almost Obi-Wan explained. It seems that during the final callback for the part Lucas introduced Fiennes to his daughter and... well, we'll let Fiennes explain,
It was whittled down after many auditions to myself and another fine actor who I was at that time at drama school with [McGregor].

[Lucas' daughter was] a lovely, delightful child. Must’ve been around age five, and he introduced me, ‘this is Joe and he’s quite possibly Obi-Wan Kenobi.

His daughter turned around and said ‘I don’t like this guy. He’s weird. I don’t like him.’ And that’s how my audition went.
Don't get on the wrong side of Katie Lucas.

Benicio Del Toro as Darth Maul 
He'd go on to play DJ in The Last Jedi, but Benicio Del Toro was originally cast in the Star Was saga 20 years previous as the double-bladed lightsaber brandishing Darth Maul.

Yes, that's right, Del Toro was cast in the role. But the actor himself dropped out. The character of Darth Maul was originally a much larger role, but before filming began Lucas trimmed the part and cut many of his lines, so Del Toro backed out and Ray Park was cast as Darth Sidious' Sith apprentice (with Peter Serafinowicz providing the voice).

Michael Jackson as Jar Jar Binks 
I know. I know.

But the Jar Jar motion-capture actor, Ahmed Best, even confirmed it...
Me, Natalie Portman, and George's kids, we were at Wembley arena at Michael Jackson's concert. We were taken backstage and we met Michael. There was Michael and Lisa Marie [Presley]. George introduced me as "Jar Jar" and I was like, That's kind of weird. Michael was like, "Oh. OK." I thought, What is going on?

After Michael had driven off, we all go back up to a big afterparty. I'm having a drink with George and I said, "Why did you introduce me as Jar Jar?" He said, "Well, Michael wanted to do the part but he wanted to do it in prosthetics and makeup like 'Thriller.'" George wanted to do it in CGI.

My guess is ultimately Michael Jackson would have been bigger than the movie, and I don't think he wanted that. 
Would any of us have wanted that?

Gary Oldman as General Grievous 
For Revenge of the Sith, Lucas cast Gary Oldman to voice General Grievous. Production on the film had been completed, with Oldman's vocal duties due to be recorded during the post-production process at Skywalker ranch. Then Oldman had to withdraw himself from the role, as his spokesperson revealed...
Gary was excited and looking forward to working on the film. The snag is that the movie is being made without members of the Screen Actors Guild. It means Gary would have been working illegally overseas. Out of respect and solidarity with the other members, he could not and would not consider violating the rules of his union.
Matthew Wood was then called up for vocal duties.

Literally every single male actor in their twenties for the role of Anakin Skywalker
Attack of the Clones would be set ten years after The Phantom Menace, so a new actor was sought for the role of Anakin Skywalker. It seems just about every young actor working in Hollywood at the turn of the 21st Century either auditioned for the role or was asked to do so. Some of the most noteworthy include Leonardo DiCaprio, who was asked to read for the part, and had a meeting with Lucas about it. DiCaprio decided it wasn't for him.

Supernatural's Castiel, Misha Collins went to Skywalker Ranch to audition for the role. It seems that before interviewing with Lucas, Collins decided to take a walk around the grounds and ended up slipping in a river. Not having time to change, Lucas didn’t like the state he was in and never called him back.

Ryan Phillippe (pictured above) came as close as you can get to securing the part, as he explained...
There is a part of me that really wanted the role. And I got pretty far down to the final cut, [and] got to test with Natalie Portman, who is Princess Amidala.

In real life, I’m seven years older than her, which was dubbed too old. At age 29, I was an over the hill Anakin.
Dawson's Creek and Fringe actor Joshua Jackson was apparently on the shortlist, as was the late Paul Walker, of The Fast and Furious franchise, who really wanted the role...
I was really bummed out that I didnt get the part of Anakin, there were rumors circulating, I don’t know how close I came to actually getting it. Josh Jackson was apparently in talks to play Anakin, too. You can’t say anything, but a part of me was thinking…’You’d better not get it over me!’

At the same time, you’d be happy if he does get it rather than Hayden Christensen, some no-namer from Canada.
That last line is a joke, by the way. At the time of the interview, Walker had just got through filming Takers with Christensen.

He does have a point though, doesn't he?

Next time we look at the actors who could've been in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.

The Actors Who Could've Been In Star Wars: The Original Trilogy

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