The actor who stumbled into playing half of Star Wars


Star Wars is franchise about a massive universe full of cool aliens where roughly 4 different people matter. Something no better proven than by actor Sam Witwer, a man who has played like 5 different characters in the franchise, largely by accident. 

A self-admitted nerd of the highest order, Witwer’s career arc reads like a dork’s wet dream with the actor enjoying prominent roles in stuff like Battlestar Galactica and minor roles in everything from Star Trek to The Walking Dead. In which he rather fittingly played a corpse.

Nailed it.

However, the actor is by far best known for his work in Star Wars, in particular the video game, The Force Unleashed where he plays the title role of Galen Marek, AKA, Starkiller. A character noted in Star Wars canon as one of the singular most powerful users of the Force in history. Or at least he was until Disney decided a character capable of ripping a Star Destroyed out of orbit with his mind shouldn’t be canon anymore.

“Let’s not put something like this in a movie.” – Disney, apparently.

Now while you’d think a huge fucking nerd who adores everything about Star Wars would be a natural pick to play the character, Witwer was reportedly never initially considered for the role. However, this changed when a higher up at Lucasfilm noticed that concept art of Starkiller looked strikingly similar to Witwer whom he recognised from Battlestar Galactica and on that basis alone, he was recommended for and got the gig.

As if stumbling ass-backwards into the title role of Star Wars video game wasn’t impressive enough, during rehearsals Witwer somehow landed another role on the same project. Emperor Fucking Palpatine. Meaning in that game Witwer simultaneously voices both Darth Vader’s secret apprentice and master, both of whom are considered to be more powerful than he is. Because for anyone who hasn’t played it, The Force Unleashed spends a lot of time stomping on Vader’s balls.

Anyway, acording to Witwer the role of Palpatine was originally going to go to someone else but Witwer bugged the voice director so much about doing the voice instead that they just let him do it. Amazingly, according to people working behind the scenes on the game, Witwer kept doing the voice during early line reads and that was one of the reasons they were convinced to let him try out. Which yeah, we get because if we had the opportunity to talk like Palpatine and be paid for it, we’d sure as shit take it.

Here’s where things get silly though because in addition to voicing Starkiller and the Emperor, Witwer has also voiced Darth Maul in several Star Wars projects to the point he’s now considered the definitive voice of the character and was the guy they brought in to voice him for his cameo in Solo

By far Witwer’s best cameo though was in The Force Awakens where he voiced like 50% of the stormtroopers on screen, with the seeming exception of the one who kicks the shit out of Finn using an electro-tonfa. Then again, if Witwer voiced that character as well as Darth Maul, Palpatine and Star Killer, that would be too much power for one man.