A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... There was a magnificent film series that spanned across the systems. Star Wars has been a household name since the late '70s. The first film launched a franchise giant that in turn launched the careers of many famous and talented performers such as Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford. These actors, of course, later went to become successful stars, but they aren't the only ones piloting the series to glory. Let's face it, not everyone can have a face like Harrison Ford, but there are certainly many well-known actors who have lent their talents to the sci-fi dynamo. Whether behind monstrous makeup or in a cameo you'd have to be a Jedi to sense, there are certain faces of Hollywood who gave Star Wars some star-power.
Most of the superstars on our list are pretty well hidden, but many have slipped the minds of many of the most seasoned of Star Wars fans. There have been some pretty big names hidden amongst the droids, Jedi, and Wookies. Though it's true that many of them play background characters like Storm Troopers, various alien creatures, and crowd members, some of them are pretty big give-aways once you realize they're there. So how many of these famous faces did you catch at your last Star Wars viewing? It should be noted that we're counting anything under the franchise, including animated series and spinoffs like Rouge One. Fear not, dear readers, there's room enough for all on this X-Wing. Prepare to use the force as we figure out fifteen actors you forgot were in Star Wars.
15 PAUL RUBENS AS CAPTAIN REX
RX-24 might not sound like a daring pilot's name, but until 2011, he took Disneyland and Walt Disney World guests across the galaxy in Star Tours. Rex was voiced by Pee-Wee Herman actor, Paul Rubens. Surprised? Don't be. It even took us a few minutes to figure out it was him.
Rex was the original pilot of the attraction when Disney worked in association with George Lucas. He was an impressive audio-animatronic who interacted with guests and essentially served as the link between the audience and the story told through the attraction. Though he's been replaced by C-3PO and R2-D2, he is still on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios and is set to make a comeback at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
14 FREDDIE PRINZE JR. AS KANAN JARRUS
Star Wars: Rebels was a fun and fascinating animated prequel to the original trilogy released shortly before The Force Awakens. The series tells the story of a rag-tag group of rebels working together to fight the Imperial Garrison with laughs and Lightsabers along the way. And because you can't have Lightsabers without a Jedi Master, we have Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan Jarrus.
This roguish rebel is the leader of the crew of the Ghost, and the master to Jedi in training and protagonist, Ezra Bridger. A strange combination of Jedi and wild-west-outlaw, he's not someone you'd typically see in the order, but a beguiling character nonetheless. This Jedi Master isn't the only animated character on our list, as you'll see in our next spot.
13 JASON ISAACS AS THE GRAND INQUISITOR
As the saying goes, a hero is only as good as his villain. Disney certainly hit the nail on the head when they brought in Jason Issacs to bring to life the insidious Grand Inquisitor. Not much is known about this pale hand of the Empire except for his prime directive: end the Jedi by order of Darth Vader.
The Inquisitor is certainly one of the most sinister of the Sith Lords. His glowing yellow eyes, pointed teeth, and whirling double-bladed Lightsaber make him a deadly enemy for even the most accomplished of Jedi Masters. The icing on the poison cake has to be the chilling performance by Isaacs, his mix of savage cruelty and classy elegance perfectly fits the Inquisitor's intimidating personality.
12 LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA
Yes, as strange as it may sound, the star from the Broadway hit, Hamilton, has found a home in a galaxy far, far away. Though he does not make a physical appearance that we can see, his voice is heard in the band theme from Maz's Castle. Both Miranda and director J.J. Abrams can be heard singing the song "Jabba Flow" while Han Solo and company seek out help from Maz.
"Jabba Flow" is one of the two songs the pair wrote and performed for the film, combining their talents for a sci-fi jam session. We certainly can't deny the catchy reggae vibe it gives the castle's atmosphere. In a way, it's very reminiscent of another certain alien band song.
11 MICHAEL GIACCHINO AS A STORMTROOPER
Speaking of music, Michael Giacchino, composer for Rouge One along with other films by Disney and Pixar, has a cameo in the opening scene of The Force Awakens. Like many others on our list, he's hidden in plain sight in full Storm Trooper armor. Guess even the creative types can be seduced by the Dark Side.
In the scene where Kylo Ren and his forces raid the village on Jakku, Giacchino's appearance can be found just after the commander captures Lor San Tekka. As the troopers bring Poe Dameron to Kylo, Giacchino is the one who forces Poe down. Though he's not a typical Hollywood actor, it's nice to see him come out of the composer role for a while.
10 WARWICK DAVIS AS VARIOUS CHARACTERS
Best known to Star Wars fans for playing Wickett the Ewok, Warwick Davis has played a slew of other characters and creatures throughout the franchise. Davis has played everything from aliens to humanoids and has even been a body double for Yoda, talk about a lengthy resume. Despite his short stature, he has certainly filled some big roles in his time in the franchise.
With a long list of characters and most of them being created by makeup, puppetry, or special effects, it's understandable how one could miss recognizing Davis's appearance. But the ability to play so many different beings and individuals is certainly incredible in our eyes. Though he's still our favorite resident of Endor, we look forward to seeing him throughout the galaxy.
9 EWAN MCGREGOR AS OBI-WAN KENOBI (VOICE)
Yes, yes, we know you've seen him in all the prequels. We have too. But Ewan Mcgregor's appearances are not limited to the first three episodes of the Star Wars saga. When the series made its triumphant return with episode seven, so did our favorite Jedi master.
When the titular awakening occurs and Rey receives force-fueled visions, Obi-Wan's voice can be heard over the cacophony of noise. Mcgregor actually recorded this new dialogue for the film and fan's loved it when they found out. This opened the door to plenty of fan theories about Obi-Wan's connection to Rey. Perhaps we'll see a connection if he ever gets his well deserved solo film.
8 SIMON PEGG AS UNKAR PLUTT
True fans were able to catch this clever cameo from Shaun of the Dead Actor, Simon Pegg. But that doesn't mean it wasn't difficult to notice. The English performer is introduced to us early in the film, but he's hidden behind some rather impressive creature effects that certainly boggled our brains.
Pegg plays Unkar Plutt, the large, alien junk boss on Jakku who came into possession of the Millenium Falcon. Sort of a successor to Watto, Unkar is a merchant who Rey depends on for rations. It's impressive to see Pegg's range as he brings the gravel-voiced trader to life through that cumbersome suit.
7 DANIEL CRAIG AS HYPNOTIZED STORMTROOPER
In the wake of Rouge One, The Last Jedi, and Solo, it's easy to forget the winks, nods, and Easter-eggs from The Force Awakens. We've mentioned one big name behind Stormtrooper armor, but fans might have forgotten a particular favorite. It's a brief cameo, but it's one from a familiar name. Specifically, Bond... James Bond.
For those late to the game, Daniel Craig has a comical cameo as the Stormtrooper in Rey's cell. It's a bit hard to pick up without that smooth British accent, but it's him. With a move Obi-Wan would be proud of, she escapes by pulling a good old-fashioned Jedi Mind Trick on 007 himself. Brief but fun, we're glad to spot this secret agent amongst the First Order.
6 TOM HARDY AS A STORMTROOPER
Okay, we're kinda cheating on this one since it's in a deleted scene, but we're going to count it since it features such a big name. Before he was possessed by an evil alien symbiote, Tom Hardy played a southern-speaking Stormtrooper in The Last Jedi. It's a bit laughable compared to his roles as Bane and Venom, but it's impressive to see him flex his comedic chops.
The scene happens aboard an elevator on Snoke's destroyer and Hardy plays a Trooper who recognizes Finn through his disguise. Instead of blowing the whistle, he believes Finn is a comrade who got promoted to captain. It's a little goofy, so we can understand why the scene was cut. Still, it's worth a watch and available on YouTube.
5 DEEP ROY AS SNIT/DROOPY MCCOOL
You may not recognize the name, but if you've ever seen Star Trek or any number of films in Tim Burton's library, you've seen Deep Roy. Similar to Warwick Davis, this performer might be small in appearance, but big on talent. Kenyan-English actor has played both character and puppeteer roles for Star Wars, but his most notable performance was as Droopy McCool for the Max Rebo Band in Jabba's Palace.
Also Known as Snit, this alien horn blower can be found amongst the monsters jamming out for Jabba in Return of The Jedi. He's a pale, vanilla ice-cream looking creature seen in the background playing a chindinkalu flute, definitely one of the less monstrous members in Jabba's den. We still think he blends right in.
4 ALAN TUDYK AS K2-SO
Can we just take a moment to applaud the voice talent of Alan Tudyk? Yes, we know he was a big name on Firefly, but he's still equally impressive behind the microphone. From Disney characters to dodo birds, the actor has had a very animated career.
Tudyk is known for his voice roles in Frozen and Zootopia, but he was also the voice of the blunt and sarcastic K2-SO in Rouge One. Though his vocal talents are laudable, he's one of those voice actors that blend in a little too seamlessly with his characters. His weird and witty performance made K2 anything but robotic. We have to give this guy props on bringing the reformed Imperial Droid to life. The captain said we had to.
3 KEIRA KNIGHTLEY AS AMIDALA'S DECOY
When one thinks of Queen Amidala, they immediately go to the beautiful visage of Natalie Portman. However, she was not the only beauty to wear the crown of Naboo. In The Phantom Menace, the queen goes undercover as Padme and leaves the throne to a handmaiden named Sabe. The decoy queen is played by none other than Keira Knightley.
Before she was sailing the high seas with Captain Jack, she was posing as planetary royalty in the first of the Star Wars prequels. There are certain tells that give her away, but the design and makeup do make it difficult to find her out on first glance. It's a different performance from Portman, but one we're glad to watch.
2 GREG PROOPS
While we're in Episode I, here's a clever cameo that flew in under even our radars. Anyone who's ever watched The Phantom Menace is familiar with the iconic pod-race scene. It's a fast-paced and exciting look into the world of young Anakin Skywalker. It's also home to a very familiar voice.
The race is commenced and given commentary by a two-headed announcer. One of the heads is voiced by Whose Line Is It Anyway cast member, Greg Proops. He can be heard as the race begins, just before Jabba the Hutt makes his entrance. It's easily one of the more missable of easter eggs, but one we just had to share.
1 BILL HADER AND BEN SCHWARTZ
Saturday Night Live alumni, Bill Hader, is certainly an actor you wouldn't associate with Star-Wars. In 2014, he made his debut along with fellow comedian Ben Schwartz as everyone's favorite soccer ball droid, BB-8. This performance was under the rug and out of sight for a good while, but once fans figured it out, it was warmly received.
While his silver and blue counterpart, R2-D2, communicates through mainly beeps, blips, and whirrs, BB-8 communicates a little more verbally. His chirps and blurbs are brought to life by none other than Hader and Schwartz. Simply put, it's another case of brilliant talent in an unlikely place.