More traditionally known as a dramatic actor, Daniel Mays nonetheless has great comic-timing which he uses when the occasion arises. What’s more, his first credited screen-appearance was as a supporting character in Lee & Herring’s Fist Of Fun (and yes, that’s Kelly Brook sitting next to him).
There were few laughs to be had with Daniel’s energetic appearance as Tivik in Rogue One of course, the doomed Rebel fanatic ‘released’ by Cassian Andor to spare him a Stormtrooper-interrogation. Never mind Daniel, as part of Saw Gererra’s crew, we could yet see your likeness in future Star Wars spin-off comics…
More of an honourable mention, here. Another Lee & Herring cohort, the face of the Curious Orange from This Morning With Richard Not Judy and chief archeologist Mike from the Al Murray sitcom Time Gentlemen Please appeared in Pablo Hidalgo’s Rogue One Visual Guide (and subsequently at Wookieepedia) as Milton Putna, the custodian of Imperial records on Scarif.
But the character described in the encyclopaedic entry appears to have been played by another actor in the final cut of Rogue One. Exactly why this might be is currently unknown, but Bothan spies are working to unravel the mystery as you read this…
Another high-profile cameo, Simon Pegg spent years cutting his comedy-teeth with the likes of Steve Coogan and in BBC sketch show Big Train before his iconic role of Tim Bisley came to our screens in Channel 4’s 1999 sitcom, Spaced.
A vocal fan (and critic) of the Galaxy Far, Far Away for many years, Simon eventually voiced bounty hunter Dengar in the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, before donning the latex fat-suit to portray junk-dealer and ration-distributor Unkar Plutt in The Force Awakens (and check out the film’s deleted scenes to watch Pegg help demonstrate the Wookiee-reputation for rapid arm removal).
Another Spaced alumni, Peter Serafinowicz was the cool, collected voice of Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace. The Zabrak assassin was a being of few words of course, but those lines he did utter reinforced Maul’s psychological aesthetic as more than just Palpatine’s blunt object.
Serafinowicz’s dialogue in the film would go on to be referenced directly in Spaced by his character Duane Benzie, one of the series’s myriad pop-culture (not to mention Star Wars itself) Easter-eggs…
An established and versatile character-performer, Celia Imrie worked alongside Victoria Wood for many years, through the latter’s BBC sketch and stand-up shows and the spoof soap opera, Acorn Antiques.
So imagine the 1999 audience’s surprise when Celia appeared suddenly in The Phantom Menace, as pilot Bravo Five in the Battle of Naboo. It was a fleeting role to be sure, but when you’re up against the droid fighters of the Trade Federation, every proton torpedo counts…