So fan-casting – or Canon Casting as I like to call it here at DSoTF – is awesome. It’s one of the features on the site I’ve looked most to exploring since we launched, but I haven’t had a great deal of time to dive into it. I did two prior Canon Casting posts a few months back when the site launched for my part of the Anthology film wishlist that Joe and I cooked up a few Dork Side Podcasts ago, but since then I haven’t given much time to it. I do have rules for my Canon Casting posts, too. First, if someone I cast is actually cast in a Star Wars film I have to recast that role. Second, real life matters – you can’t alter an actors age to cast them, and if they’re deceased you can’t cast them, either. Fair, right?
So today I am revealing my first serious Canon Casting post since the launch of the site – for the novel Bloodline, by Claudia Gray (which I recently re-reviewed in a new feature called Rollback Reviews). I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to fan-cast Star Wars movies forever, as I always plug different actors into the roles of the novels, comics, and animated Star Wars content that I consume, but until we launched the site I didn’t really have a vehicle. Claudia Gray was very vocal about which actors she had in mind when writing Bloodline, and someone even photoshopped an image with her casting choices on it (which I’ll post below, as to not confuse anyone with my choices). I have Canon Casting posts in the works for Rebels and the Aftermath series, as well as some of the comic series’, so stay tuned for those.
First up, I’m going to knock off the no-brainers, as in actors who would simply reprise their roles from The Force Awakens.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo & Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Korr Sella
Now let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Per the rules I laid out above, we have to recast Leia Organa. Sorry, but this will likely have to be done as we roll into production on Episode IX as well, so the fan community should probably start getting used to it…. I’m going with
Paige Turco as Leia Organa
- Yes, recasting such an iconic character is tough, and I realize that. I also can’t take full credit for this choice, as I saw Turco’s name pop up in an article about possible replacements for Carrie moving forward, and aesthetically it works for me. I did a little digging and she seems to have the chops to pull off Leia on the big screen, while still being a lesser known name and face, as I don’t see an a-list actress stepping into this role, it’s just too much pressure. So yeah, just wanted to get that one out of the way early.
Morgan Freeman as Tai-Lin Garr
- The perfect choice for Tai-Lin Garr in my opinion is Morgan Freeman. When I read the book he immediately popped into my mind, and it was a no-brainer for me to stick with him.
Shohreh Aghdashloo as Arliz Hadrassian
- Following the lead of Morgan Freeman, Shohreh Aghdashloo was the first actress that came to mind when we were introduced to the villainess Arliz Hadrassian, and although I did consider multiple actresses for the role of the leader of the Amaxine Warriors, I kept coming back to her. She has excelled in these exact types of roles throughout her career, so this was an easy one.
Alexander Ludwig as Joph Seastriker
- Not surprisingly, the last role that I cast and the actor I really know the least about. I don’t really care for the character of Joph Seastriker, so I didn’t want to burn a great actor I might be saving for a better role down the road… yeah, sue me. However, from what I can tell not only does Alexander Ludwig have the look to pull it off, he’s a damn good actor. Maybe he could make me like Joph….
Tom Hiddleston as Ransolm Casterfo
- I can’t take full credit for this one, as Claudia Gray has stated repeatedly that she more-or-less wrote the role of Centrist Senator Ransolm Casterfo with Tom Hiddleston in mind. Having said that, he’s perfect for the role. I did however have to recast young Sheev Palpatine from one of my earlier Canon Casting’s, as I had Hiddleston playing the young Sith Lord initially. See, things are always in motion…
Una Stubbs + CGI as Varish Vicly
- Initially, I wasn’t going to cast the role of (annoying) Populist Senator Varish Vicly, but I had an epiphany when watching the fourth season of Sherlock and it hit me that Una Stubbs would be perfect in the role. However, I because of Varish’s species, it would have to be a CGI / mo-cap / voice performance, which I think Stubbs is more than up to the task for. So there, we now have Varish.
Jenna Dewan-Tatus as Greer Sonnel
- Here is where I might’ve gone furthest out on a limb… Hear me out – she has the look (and then some), and I think she possesses the perfect blend of tomboy and grace that the role of Green Sonnel would demand. If you have read my Bloodline review, you know how much I love the character of Greer, so I didn’t take this casting lightly. I probably had upwards of ten actresses I was considering, but in the end I felt Jenna was the one. Here’s hoping that hypothetically she wouldn’t prove me wrong.
Rinko Kikuchi as Lady Carise Sindian
- RECAST – after sitting down and chatting with the author of Bloodline, Claudia Gray, during Supercon in Raleigh (and in related news, you can listen to our interview with her and author Kevin J Anderson on this episode of The Exhaust Port podcast), and having her strongly disagree with my casting choice for the pivotal role of Lady Carise Sindian, I’ve decided we need a recast. While I still don’t think Claudia’s choice of Jaime Chung has the chops to pull this role off, I have gone in the direction she nudged me and have opted for Rinko Kicuchi, who I believe has all the assets necessary to crush this role. The beauty and the edge. Although I would’ve love to have seen my original choice, Oona Chaplin in the role, I’m confident we will find a meaty role for her sooner rather than later in our Dork Side Canon Casting feature.
So there you have it, my Canon Casting for Star Wars Bloodline. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you. Below is a gallery of all my choices and the image I spoke of earlier with Gray’s approved choices. I like mine better. A lot better. But hey, that’s me. — although she did convince me to change one!