Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Germain Lussier
When Return of the Jedi ends, the whole gang is there: Luke, Leia, Han, Lando, Chewbacca, C-3PO, R2-D2, even Hayden Christensen, via the “magic” of Special Editions. There’s also a very special X-Wing pilot: Wedge Antilles, played by Denis Lawson. The Rebel pilot has been with the Rebellion longer than most of the main characters, having contributed to the destruction of both Death Stars and more. Along with Luke, he’s one of the outfit’s few surviving fighter pilots.
Wedge’s tangential importance in the Star Wars universe, coupled with a huge fan following, made the character a good candidate to return in J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars Episode VII. However, a few months back, the actor said he’d only return if the role was bigger this time around. Now, it seems Lawson was approached to return for the film but turned it down. Read more about Wedge Antilles Star Wars 7 below.
You can read about Lawson’s previous sentiments here but these new quotes come from the actor himself. He was at screening of his new film, The Machine, and in a post screening Q&A said the following.
I’m not going to do that….They asked me but it just would have bored me.
Now, to play devil’s advocate, if Lawson had signed on to return, he couldn’t say so. But it sounds like he has thought long and hard about this and come to this conclusion.
In the thirty years since Return of the Jedi, Lawson has only been in a handful of movies, but has enjoyed a busy and illustrious career in television. He returned to play Wedge once, in the 2001 video game Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader. In that game though, Wedge was a main character. It seems as if he’s done doing small roles in Star Wars films.
This is a pretty crushing disappointment for Star Wars fans. You have respect Lawson’s decision, and it’s not like J.J. Abrams didn’t approach the actor. But a new Star Wars movie, without Wedge, feels a little less complete. He was never an integral part of the franchise (hence Lawson’s obvious distain towards the series) but he was a crucial part of the Rebellion. I hope, at some point, we get a canonized explanation of his demise.
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