Film Lists

Solo: From Sitcoms to Star Wars…

In case you weren’t already aware, there are few things more satisfying than providing an unwanted commentary to a television programme with “oh look, that’s such-and-such out of Star Wars. Let’s call it one of the gifts of geekdom. One of the things which does beat it, however, is watching Star Wars while pointing out “oh look, that’s him/her out of that comedy show I remember” (at home, obviously – don’t do this in the cinema). Call that one of the gifts of middle-age.

Yes, the stars and supporting players of classic (and obscure) British comedy programmes have been cropping up in the Galaxy Far, Far Away for a long time now, and Lucasfilm’s new addition of Solo: A Star Wars Story is no exception. So let’s take a look at some of the faces who swapped laughter for lightspeed, and went from sitcoms to the stars…

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Providing the voice and motion-capture performance for the already-notable droid L3-37 in Solo, Phoebe will be more familiar to TV viewers for her dramatic role in Broadchurch. But it’s the acerbic 2016 BBC comedy Fleabag where Phoebe really shines, adapted for TV from her own stage play and bristling with millennial angst and outrageously funny moments.

With a raft of awards for the first six episodes and second series currently in the works, we haven’t seen the last of Waller-Bridge on our small screens, but it could be a challenge for viewers familiar with Fleabag to watch L3-37 without imagining the imminent to-camera delivery of the show’s recurring aside, which we can’t print in this article*…

(*seriously, Fleabag is not a sitcom for your padawans)

Adrian Edmonson

Rumoured as far back as November 2016 but cloaked by non-disclosure agreements and professional diplomacy, Ade Edmonson’s addition to the Star Wars canon was a cause of furtive and excited conversation. The Bradford-born performer has taken to dramatic roles in recent years, but to an entire generation he’ll always be Vivian from The Young Ones and Eddie from Bottom.

The Last Jedi‘s Captain Peavey provided the perfect platform for Edmonson, with the First Order officer being stern, pragmatic, but exuding a quiet, comedic exasperation. And better still, he’s alive when the credits roll, so it could well be a part which is reprised in Episode IX…

Ralph Ineson

It’s Finchy! An established character-actor for many years, Ralph Ineson has charmed us in Great Expectations, unnerved us in The VVitch and even used his voice to sooth our stomachs in adverts for a proprietary brand of antacid solution. But perhaps his most engaging moment on the small-screen was as the unbelievably boorish paper salesman Chris Finch in The Office.

The kind of man who defiantly argues the toss over the answer to a pub quiz then launches a hapless colleague’s shoe over a building, we hope Ineson’s Last Jedi character Ansiv Garmuth hasn’t brought those traits to the First Order. Although what a night in the cantina that would be if he has

Andy De La Tour

It’s Chief Inspector Grobbelar! Yes, we’re back to Bottom and the ‘Parade’ episode, where Andy De La Tour plays a world-weary police chief whose life is made more miserable by having to deal with Eddie and Richie during a line-up. Another seasoned all-rounder, De La Tour crops up in Rogue One as General Hurst Romodi, a reliable cog in the machine of Death Star middle-management (this in itself is ripe sitcom-territory, surely?).

Given that Romodi’s first appearance was in the lead-up to the Scarif attack – and given that we know what happened to the Death Star a few days later – we’re unlikely to revisit him on-screen at any point soon. But he joins the ranks of Imperial administrators who appear to have wandered into the wrong career by accident, only to realise they’re there ’til the end…

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