Nov 6, 2017

Why does Star Wars have British actors?

Mark Hamill and Peter Cushing
An American and an Englishman walk into a Death Star

Why does Star Wars have British actors?

The recent use of English actress Daisy Ridley as Rey in Star Wars raised some eyebrows when her natural English accent was used.

Actors like Christian Bale hide their natural accents when filming so they sound American in American movies. Bale even does interviews in an American accent so people don't get confused!

Not so the Star Wars universe.

As Ray’s opposite, Englishman John Boyega played Finn with his full English tone.

Many British actors feature in the original trilogy as well.

Why is this?

In terms of the original trilogy, large components of those films were made in England!

Thus when you’re in England and needing actors, your players will tend to be English or British.

Case in point, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels are all British actors.

 And let's not forget the VERY famous English actors in the film - Peter Cushing as Tarkin and Sir Alec Guiness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

They were likely more actors sort out by Lucas for being noteworthy actors in their own right - Alec Guinness, for example, was already an Oscar Winner for the war film Bridge on the River Kwai! 

Sure, George brought in American actors too but the reason why Star Wars has so many British actors is largely down to location, location location.

You'd probably have to accept that Daisy and Jon were not chosen for their roles in The Force Awakens solely because they lived in England, it likely was more they were identified as relatively unknown actors who had the potential to do the film justice and were cheap enough in a salary sense.

In a similar manner, when the Star Wars prequels were made, Australian and New Zealand actors featured heavily.

And where were those films made?

Australia. To catch some tax breaks, Star Wars prequels Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith were largely filmed Down Under.

This led to Australasian actors and actresses have some key roles

  • Keisha Castle-Hughes - Queen Apailana of Naboo
  • Temura Morrision - Jango Fett and Commander Cody
  • Daniel Logan as young Boba Fett
  • Jay Laga'aia - Captain Typho
  • Rose Byrne - Dorme
  • Joel Egerton as Owen Lars Attack of the Clones
  • Jack Thompson - Cliegg Lars in
  • Rena Owen - Taun We in Attack of the Clones

This of course not to forget The Phantom Menace which was in England which meant British actors again feature such as Terrance Stamp as Chancellor Valorum and Keira Knightly!

A notable British appearance in The Last Jedi was Adrianne Edmunson as Captain Peavey who delivered the classic line "I believe he's tooling with you, Sir". 


  1. Yes Brits were "featured" in the original films but being featured in something is different than HEADLINING the films. The British actors are featured in leading roles that may be so called "cheap to cast" (which I call b.s. on) but will obviously lead to potentially millions in earnings for those British actors as the series progresses. Stop with the excuses. Any excuse NOT to hire Americans in those leading roles. Tired of it.

  2. We should all boycott this film until they start casting American actors and actresses.