How Dominic Monaghan Got His 'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' Role

Dominic Monaghan is no stranger to beloved genre franchises. He trekked across Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings franchise, he battled polar bears (and boats) in Lost, and made a minor appearance as the mutant Bolt in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now he's appearing in the biggest sci-fi franchise of all time, the highly anticipated upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And it's because of a bet.

Monaghan had hundreds of people tweeting "Guys...where are we?" jokes in the aftermath of the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker final trailer, which debuted the first look at the Lost alum in the film. He appears in a scene with two familiar faces, behind Kelly-Marie Tran's Rose (in a trailer at last!), and arm-in-arm with Billie Lourd's Lieutenant Connix. But while we don't know yet who his thus-far unnamed Resistance fighter is or what his role in the film is, we can at least share with you how he got the role.

According to Inverse, Monaghan appeared as a guest on the talk podcast Distraction Pieces with Scroobius Pip in September 2018 where he revealed how he landed the part on The Rise of Skywalker. Monaghan became friends with director J.J. Abrams during their time on Lost (fittingly, over their love of Star Wars), so when the director took over directing Episode 9 from Colin Trevorrow, he promised Monaghan the possibility of a role. Monaghan told his agent to avoid other higher-paying projects so that he could be available to fly off to that galaxy far, far away.

But it didn't come down to an audition for Monaghan. Instead, he won the role through a bet over a World Cup game in which England was playing Colombia.

At the start of that game, because J.J. is a motherf***er in the best way possible, he emailed me and he said, 'I think I have a Star Wars part for you.' And I wrote back and said, 'Brilliant, I won't bother you but let me know if there's anything I can do or what I can say.' He wrote back and said, 'If England beat Colombia, you're in.' I was like, oh mate, you bastard.

England won the penalty shoot-out, and Monaghan soon received another email from Abrams: "You're in."

The role was written by Abrams for Monaghan, though that doesn't guarantee that it will be a major role. The director squeezed in a few high-profile cameos in 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens like Daniel Craig's uncredited Stormtrooper appearance. And Abrams has always had a room for a few of his Lost alums and frequent collaborators to show up in blink-or-you'll-miss-it roles.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, 2019.