Force Awakens cameos by Ewan McGregor, Frank Oz and Daniel Craig confirmed
Entertainment Weekly has a whole batch of inside scoops on Star Wars: The Force Awakens Easter eggs, and it goes without saying that the following contains SPOILERS, so, you know, don’t say we didn’t warn you.
First up is one of the few connections The Force Awakens shares with the prequels, namely the voice of Ewan McGregor, voice of Obi-Wan Kenobi and arguably the most popular character to emerge from that trilogy. You can hear him, along with a few other notable voices, cry out to Rey (Daisy Ridley) during the scene where she makes contact with Anakin/Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber.
“The idea of the voices was, we wanted the audience to feel – but not necessarily be presented right in your face — this idea that familiar, Force-strong voices were connecting with her. At least as well as they could,” Abrams says. “You do hear a little bit of Yoda. You hear Luke yelling out, ‘Nooo!’ from that moment in ‘Empire.’ And you hear Obi-Wan at the end say, ‘Rey … these are your first steps.’ Here’s the cool part: We asked Ewan McGregor to come in and do the line. And he was awesome and we were very grateful. He was incredibly sweet and handsome, and all that stuff. Then he rode off on his motorcycle. Literally the coolest voice over actor ever.”
Another voice you hear in the scene is that of Frank Oz, a.k.a. Yoda, who has also been lending his famously bad syntax in reprisals of the character for Disney XD’s “Star Wars Rebels.”
“He was incredibly generous and came in to Bad Robot, where we had a recording area, and he was doing Yoda, saying a number of lines we gave to him,” Abrams says of Oz’s (slight) return to the franchise. “This whole experience has been one outrageous moment after another. Just watching Frank Oz, you look at him and talk to him and his voice is very deep. I don’t know why I would have thought he sounded like Miss Piggy! He was very generous to say, ‘Whatever makes the movie better, I’m happy to help out.’”
One truly surprising cameo comes from an actor who long ago became one with the Force… Sir Alec Guinness. Turns out Bad Robot producer Bryan Burk secretly created a digital resurrection of Guinness as Kenobi saying the word “Rey,” much to Abrams’ delight.
“I said, ‘That’s cool, is that the thing from Ewan McGregor?’” Abrams recalled. “He said ‘No, we took a line from Alec Guinness saying ‘Afraid.’”
Although most enjoyed the film overall, many have complained that, much like Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek revival, The Force Awakens is filled with many plot points that either go unexplained or fall under the “insane coincidence” category. One point that would qualify for both is the fact that R2-D2 has apparently been in some kind of robotic depression coma for a decade-plus until the end when he miraculously wakes up for some reason to show everyone the rest of the map to Luke Skywalker that he had this whole time. If that sounds more like a plot convenience than solid storytelling, J.J. Abrams agrees with you!
“BB-8 comes up and says something to him, which is basically, ‘I’ve got this piece of a map, do you happen to have the rest?’” Abrams said. “The idea was, R2 who has been all over the galaxy, is still in his coma, but he hears this. And it triggers something that would ultimately wake him up. While it may seem, you know, completely lucky and an easy way out, at that point in the movie, when you’ve lost a person, desperately, and somebody you hopefully care about is unconscious, you want someone to return.”
Finally, EW confirms (albeit through an unnamed source) that despite 007 star Daniel Craig’s massive protests to the contrary, he DOES, in fact, make a cameo in Episode VII as a Stormtrooper, and a prominent one too. You’ll certainly remember the scene where Rey tries out a Jedi mind trick for the first time on her Stormtrooper guard…
“You will remove these restraints and leave this cell with the door open,” Rey commands hesitantly.
“I’ll tighten those restraints, scavenger scum,” the Stormtrooper responds.
And then Rey gets a little more assertive with her command, and the trooper follows suit. The trooper? That’s Daniel Craig.