The “Star Wars” franchise — now just about 43 years old — is full of secret cameos, soon-to-be-famous actors in small bit parts, and well-known faces behind alien masks and makeup. Here are 34 big names hidden throughout the franchise you might not have known about, up to and including “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
Treat Williams (“The Empire Strikes Back”)
When you’re Treat Williams, you can wander onto the set of “The Empire Strikes Back” and find yourself in the movie. Williams reportedly dropped by England’s Elstree Studios set, where the movie was being filmed, to visit Carrie Fisher. Apparently one thing led to another, and now Williams plays one of the Rebel troops running around Echo Base on Hoth.
Keira Knightley (“The Phantom Menace”)
Knightley wasn’t just any handmaiden in “The Phantom Menace” — she was the handmaiden. Serving as the decoy for the real queen, Knightley was the actress people thought was Amidala for half the movie, before Natalie Portman’s Padmé revealed her true identity.
Peter Serafinowicz (“The Phantom Menace”)
Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will recognize Peter Seafinowicz for his turn as untrusting Nova Corps officer Garthan Saal in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” He didn’t appear in “The Phantom Menace,” but provided the gravely, frightening voice of Darth Maul (the rest of whom was played by Ray Park), as well as for a gungan warrior and a battle droid.
Richard Armitage (“The Phantom Menace”)
Blink and you’d miss Richard Armitage’s small background role (second from the right in the background) among the guards on Naboo. Although, it’s tough to recognize him without the lustrous locks Armitage sported in “The Hobbit” as Thorin Oakenshield, or the creepy teeth from his turn as killer Francis Dolarhyde in “Hannibal” Season 3 on NBC.
Bai Ling (“Revenge of the Sith”)
Bai Ling actually doesn’t appear in “Revenge of the Sith,” but she was supposed to. Her scene as Senator Bana Breemu was cut from the film. But there are things you definitely have seen her in, including “Crank: High Voltage,” “The Crow” and “Entourage.”
Simon Pegg (“The Force Awakens”)
Another secret cameo, Pegg is covered in alien costume work as the junk dealer Unkar Plutt on Jakku. He’s the guy who gives Rei less than what her salvage is probably worth.
Daniel Craig (“The Force Awakens”)
It was something of a news item at the time, but James Bond slipped in a secret cameo in the first “Star Wars” film in a decade — as a stormtrooper. He’s the guard that Rei manages to Jedi mind trick into releasing her.
Harriet Walter (“The Force Awakens”)
Playing a Resistance medic who helps out Chewbacca, “Downton Abbey” alumna Harriet Walter gets a short but sweet cameo in “The Force Awakens.” She actually has one of the movie’s funnier moments as she talks to Chewie about how scary his ordeal must have been.
Rian Johnson (“Rogue One”)
The director of 2017’s “The Last Jedi” actually made a cameo in 2016’s “Rogue One” along with producer Ram Bergman as members of the gunner crew of the Death Star.
Tom Hardy (“The Last Jedi”)
Taking a page from Daniel Craig’s cameo in “The Force Awakens,” Tom Hardy grabbed a stormtrooper uniform to appear in “The Last Jedi.” His scene (which also featured Princes William and Harry) was deleted, unfortunately, but it finds him in an elevator with an incognito Finn, Rose and DJ as they sneak around the First Order ship midway through the movie. Hardy’s trooper recognizes Finn and congratulates him on the promotion his uniform suggests, even giving him a supportive smack on the butt.
Ralph Ineson (“The Last Jedi”)
Another famous face appearing in the deleted sequence aboard the First Order ship is Ralph Ineson, star of “The Witch.” He plays an officer who immediately recognizes that Finn and Rose don’t belong. He pops up later with a detachment of stormtroopers to catch the impostors for real.
Gareth Edwards (“The Last Jedi”)
Edwards gave Rian Johnson a cameo in “Rogue One,” so the director repaid the favor by making Edwards one of the Resistance troopers standing their ground on Crait. He’s the guy who looks incredulously at the trooper who decided to taste the ground.
Jodie Comer (“The Rise of Skywalker”)
Comer, of “Killing Eve” fame, made a very surprising appearance in flashbacks as Rey’s mom.
John Williams (“The Rise of Skywalker”)
Williams has provided the score for every main series “Star Wars” film, but he’d never done a cameo in any of them until he popped up in the bar on Kijimi where our heroes meet Babu Frik.