So you’ve seen the film, but did you know that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is full of cameos throughout its two hours and 16 minutes of intergalactic action? From Princess Leia’s daughter to director JJ Abrams’ father, and half the cast from Game of Thrones, it’s impossible to catch all the bit part voice actor roles in a single viewing!
But the roles I’m really interested in are the ‘secret’ voice actor roles you may not pick up on, no matter how many times you watch the film. These also happen to be some of the biggest characters in the movie with the highest-profile names involved. So check out the list below, if nothing else it will serve as the perfect excuse to watch the film again and again to place them all!
1. Bill Hader & an iPad – BB-8
It only seems right I start with the biggest star of JJ Abrams’ vision, the lovable BB-8 droid. So who in the galaxy could come up with the complex beeps of a football-shaped droid and turn it into a voice role?
JJ Abrams “f**king around with a sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me,” was enough, according to Bill Hader. The American actor, comedian and writer is cited along with Ben Schwartz as BB-8 “voice consultants” in the closing credits. Beep, Blop.
2. Ewan McGregor & Alec Guinness – Obi-Wan Kenobi
Unlike the loveable BB-8 droid that dominates our screens for much of TFA, you won’t catch a glimpse good old Obi-Wan Kenobi. That’s mostly because he’s long-since dead (although that hasn’t stopped him before).
You’ll only hear the late Jedi master speak in TFA, though – two versions of him, in fact – during Rey’s flashback scene. Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in the prequels, was called in to record fresh lines for the scene, while Alec Guinness had some dialogue from the original trilogy mixed into the soundtrack.
3. Simon Pegg – Unkar Plutt
After landing a role in Abrams’ Star Trek revamps, it felt somewhat inevitable Star Wars fanatic Simon Pegg would feature in The Force Awakens. More to the point, it would have been pretty cruel to exclude him, especially when half of Hollywood and beyond appears to be involved in some way.
Pegg can die a happy man, though (no time soon I hope), because he got the true Star Wars experience – donning a ruthlessly hot alien suit in the desert to play Unkar Plutt. He’s the dodgy scrap dealer that tries to buy BB-8 from Rey before she runs off with the Millennium Falcon.
4. Daniel Craig – the incredibly British Stormtrooper
News that Daniel Craig would play some part in TFA emerged before the film’s release (no marketing in that whatsoever). You won’t spot James Bond stumbling into the Star Wars universe, he switched the tux for an equally snazzy Stormtrooper suit.
So which of the countless stormtroopers did our nation’s greatest spy play? The incredibly British one, of course, who ever-so-politely unshackled Rey and left the door open for her – because she told him to.
5. Andy Serkis – Snoke
If there’s a major film with voice roles, Andy Serkis’ name is likely to make an appearance in the credits. And JJ Abrams chose to honour this code by choosing Hollywood highest-profile voice actor for the role of Snoke – the incredibly tall (possibly Sith) alient that Kylo Ren answers to throughout the film.
6. Lupita Nyong’o – Maz Kanata
Lupita Nyong’o is one of the more recently-established stars to feature in TFA and the Kenyan-Mexican actress voiced none other than Maz Kanata. She not only voiced the role, but also brought the entirely-CGI character to life. The Oscar winner’s first experience of motion capture.
7. Gwendoline Christie – Captain Phasma
And, finally, I have one of the secondary characters in The Force Awakens that has left fans reeling with anticipation. Captain Phasma’s role in the film has been celebrated by many, questioned by others and dissected by countless fan theorists who think there’s plenty more to come.
Either way, Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, who fought hard to secure the role, apparently wore down “the powers that be” until they gave in to her persistence. You have to admire that determination and I look forward to seeing how the character develops.
So those are the 7 secret voices of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I think I’ve got all the major roles down here, but let me know if I missed anyone. Check out some of our own voice-actors here: https://www.matinee.co.uk/voice-over-agency/voice-actors/