Geronimo! From the TARDIS to the Palace to the Resistance, this week rocked the Whoniverse wth the news that the 55-year-old franchise would finally be directly crossing over with the 40-year-old Star Wars universe. Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith will reportedly play a "key role" in the final installment of the third Skywalker trilogy, currently known only as Episode IX. Smith heads there after a fantastic two-season turn in Netflix's The Crown as Prince Philip.
Filming for the movie began in August, with several new faces added to Star Wars roster, including Keri Russell (best known for FX drama The Americans,) Richard E. Grant (best known for roles in Downton Abbey, Gosford Park, &Withnail & I) and 2017's British Independent Film Award's most promising newcomer Naomi Ackie. They join the new trilogy's core cast of Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver, as well as holdovers from the original 1970s era films Mark Hamill and Anthony Daniels. Plus, this final film will include Billy Dee Williams, reprising his role as Lando Calrissian for the first time since 1983's Return of the Jedi, and unused footage of the late Carrie Fisher left over from director J.J. Abrams' Episode VII installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be used to finish the story arc for Leia Organa.
Last week, the first major fandom crossover arrived with the casting of Lord of the Rings' Dominic Monaghan (cue the cries of Hobbits! In! Spaaaaaace!) But the addition of Smith to the cast adds extra intrigue since Variety, which broke the news, is quoting sources who say he's in "a key role."
Sources tell Variety that “The Crown” star Matt Smith is joining “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which is currently in production in the U.K. It’s unknown at this time whether the “Doctor Who” alum will be on the side of the rebels or the evil empire.
While it is not known yet id Smith will be on the side of the Resistance or the First Order, speculation suggests it would be the latter, on the side of the bad guys. Fans, of course, would want their Doctor to be a hero, and fly in the Millenium Falcon, sure. But let's do the math. The Resistance has lost Luke Skywalker, but Mark Hamill will return as a Force Ghost in the final installment. Cut footage of Carrie Fisher will fill in her character. Plus, they have Lando Calrissian this time, not to mention Rey, Finn, Poe, and Rose. It's a crowded house in good guy land.
Meanwhile, on the side of the First Order and evil, there's General Hux, Kylo Ren, and that's it. Of course, the idea is the side of evil loses tons of bad guys except for one or two core people. But they're going to need to beef up the Empire if it's believably bad. Besides, picture this guy in a First Order uniform.
It works almost too well.
Star Wars Episode IX will arrive in theaters next holiday season, on December 20, 2019.