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The big stars you didn’t know were in ‘The Force Awakens’

You never know who’s hiding under that mask or costume.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Dec 18, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 11:43 am CDT

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is one of those films most actors would clamor for a role in, even if it’s a small one. And fans are already discovering just how Lucasfilm is working its magic, one cameo at a time.

The problem for many actors who would love a cameo in Star Wars: They’re way too recognizable to believably blend into the galaxy far, far away. The Force Awakens already has exciting familiar faces in Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford, but someone like Daniel Radcliffe, who once visited the set, might stick out like a sore thumb. Luckily for them, there’s an easy way to get around that.

The movie is crawling with stormtroopers, and whether it’s at a Jakku trading outpost, Maz Kanata’s cantina, or the Resistance base, there are plenty of alien lifeforms. And while we’re going to analyze everything about The Force Awakens in subsequent screenings, we can also keep an eye out for some of those cameos.

1) “The name’s 007. FN-007.”

In one of the movie’s more memorable scenes, Rey finds herself in a rather dire predicament while being guarded by a stormtrooper and attempts to get out of it in one of the many callbacks to A New Hope.

“I’ll tighten those restraints, scavenger scum,” the stormtrooper replies.

The man behind the stormtrooper mask is reportedly none other than the current James Bond, Daniel Craig (whose stormtrooper identification number isn’t listed). Simon Pegg first revealed this snippet earlier this year after denying that he was playing a stormtrooper in The Force Awakens, a claim that Craig had denied. But Spectre shot at the same studio as The Force Awakens, so the plausibility of Pegg’s flub was still there.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Craig was able to slip over and film the cameo.

2) Unkar Plutt

Fans have suspected that Pegg, who’s been spotted on the set of The Force Awakens before, for more than a year, but the movie finally reveals it.

He’s seen fairly early in The Force Awakens as Unkar Plutt, the stingy junk dealer Rey sells the items she scavenges to on a daily basis for “portions.” He’s not a fair creature, deciding to change his prices on a whim, but he’d gladly pay a lot more for something else in her possession.

3) BB-8

BB-8, the lovable droid and hot holiday seller, won us over immediately with those adorable beeps and boops. And that voice came from an unlikely source.

HitFix’s Drew McWeeny discovered as the credits rolled at the Hollywood premiere of The Force Awakens that Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader and Parks and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz were both credited in the movie as “BB-8 Vocal Consultant.”

“JJ [Abrams] f**king around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me,” Hader explained. “It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8’s voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human.”

We think he nailed it.

Illustration by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Dec 18, 2015, 6:21 pm CST