Star Wars IV: A New Hope recast with 30’s actors.

Of course I should have posted this yesterday, but I was busy making stew and knitting the ugliest scarf in history.

You see, yesterday was May the 4th, and the whole internet was awash with amusing Star Wars memes to celebrate. So, as my tribute, I have decided to recast, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, with actors from the glorious 30’s and 40’s, and to imagine what it would have been like had it been made back then. You know? Just ‘cos.

Who cares if I’m a day late? Star Wars ain’t going anywhere.

Ok, first up,

Luke Skywalker:

Image

Sir John Mills.

Perfect for the job. Small, plucky and thoroughly decent. Full of quiet courage and a longing to discover his true destiny. I just hope they serve ice-cold Heineken at The Mos Eisley Cantina.

Leia Organa:

Image

Margaret Lockwood.

This feisty lady was ALWAYS getting tangled up with Nazis and other sinister types, generally on trains running through Europe. She was also very handy in a fight.

I have no idea why she has fluffy, rabbit testicles around her neck in this picture. Or why the hearts on her jacket are positioned directly over her bosoms, in a slightly naughty way. I can only think she may have made an enemy in the wardrobe department.

Darth Vader:

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Boris Karloff.

This picture explains it enough.  Brrrr. Boris wouldn’t have needed a peculiar, mullet shaped, plastic helmet to provide the required menace. He oozed it from every pore. I can imagine him ‘Sithing’ someone with just a glance of those hooded eyes. Another big bonus, he wouldn’t have required his voice to be overdubbed, because he didn’t sound like a West Country farmer. This would have saved a few production pennies.

Han Solo:

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Leslie Howard.

I’ve chosen Leslie mainly because I love him, quite a lot. If you can get over the general, ‘ice creamy’ nature of his swirly, blond hair he was pretty awesome at this kind of role. Splendid at playing arrogant, conceited men, whom you still adore to the hilt, and quite marvellous at bickering, wittily, with spirited young ladies. An intelligent, modern actor who died far too young. And rest assured, in my version, Han certainly would have shot Greedo first.

Greedo:

peter

Peter Lorre.

And just who wouldn’t have felt entitled to shoot Greedo first, if he were being played to perfection by Pete here? This guy’s performance would have dripped with avarice, sly menace, and an unctuous civility that would have made your skin crawl.

Chewbacca:

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Johnny Weissmuller.

Sure, he’s not nearly hairy enough. But since Leia isn’t likely to get to wear her metal bikini in my version, we may as well have someone showing off the flesh. (I’m pretty sure she’d have harem pants and wispy, wispy veil, if you’re wondering.)

Anyway, who said you can’t have a bald wookie? Also,  seeing that Weissmuller always insisted he’d performed the trademark Tarzan ‘cry’,  there would have been no problem for him producing the famous Chewie growl?

Obi-wan Kenobi:

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Sir Noel Coward.

Mainly because it would have been much funnier to see Ewan McGregor attempt to impersonate Sir Noel in the prequels. And because, personally, I think a Jedi in a smoking jacket is a really good thing.  I can’t see why ‘May the Force be with you‘, couldn’t be the title of a witty piano ditty.

May the force be with you

If you can’t  be somewhere nice

Sipping cocktails in Mos Eisley

In a scene of scum and vice.

May the force be with you

For it could be anywhere

On the Moon of Endor

Or in Leia’s underwear…

You get the idea.

Moff Tarkin:

Image

Basil Rathbone.

Because when he wasn’t being Sherlock he was pretty much playing all the bad guys around. With his aloof, haughty manner and severe delivery he would have  been a perfect accompaniment to Karloff’s dark, brooding Sith Lord. Did this the guy EVER smile? He’s not even smiling in this picture AND he’s wearing spats and crisp white slacks. What a badass!

C3P0:

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Jack Haley.

With his experience of playing tin men, he’d have had no problem being the human-cyborg relations protocol droid. He was could also be totally camp, which is essential, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, I can’t see why there couldn’t be some vaudevillian dance numbers in the opening scenes. Especially when you see who I have in mind for…

R2D2:

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Shirley Temple.

Seriously might have to change the part where Luke removes her ‘restraining bolt’, but apart from that, I think Shirl would be perfect. Can you imagine her curly mop popping out of the top of the X-Wing fighter? Actually, that image is probably a little bit too close to Jake Lloyd’s performance in A Phantom Menace, but by the time you’re really getting annoyed with her, in the climatic shoot out, she’ll have copped a direct hit and have hushed up. (It’s alright, they fix her in time for the smiley medal ceremony.)

Splodge

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About oddboggle

Here are the letters I write to Sarah, aka Sarge, who will be sadly missed but never forgotten.
This entry was posted in Letters to Sarah and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Star Wars IV: A New Hope recast with 30’s actors.

  1. gregory moss says:

    Good choice of Johnny Weissmuller to play Chewbacca – the ‘big walking carpet’ mimicked Tarzan’s cry while swinging from a vine in ‘Jedi’. Nice post! 🙂

  2. Val Clayton says:

    Oh if it could only be made. Such brilliant casting, maybe you should take that up as a career

  3. joeteevee says:

    Dear Writer of Letters to Sarah,
    Happy Revenge of the Fifth.
    – I love what you’ve done here. Funny! 🙂

    Although (and, it’s possible, this may totally *kill* the joke – not that this post is a joke, it’s really funny and clever and well-considered.)
    ie – I actually don’t think it’s fair to kill jokes. (What did jokes ever do to us?)

    Anyway – Tell me what you think of this…

    Star Wars (1977) – maybe ironically – didn’t have any `Stars’ in it.
    (ie The biggest `name’ actor was Sir Alec Guinness… but: was he a star?)

    I only raise this as – my doctoral thesis is about the Top 20 ROI Films (and one thing I find in the research is how, none of the films had Stars. ie – There is a common misconception [ie faulty assumption] in the film industry that Stars make a film go viral… but De Vany (et al in `Hollywood Economics’) scientifically and mathematically proved, the opposite is the case. Stars make a movie lose money, LOL. Also it kinda makes sense as Star Wars 77 was (comparatively) a low-budget film ($11m, low for a sci fi blockbuster, not that there were any sci fi blockbusters before it) so, they (when I say THEY I mean Lucas I guess) didn’t spend the money on: big-name Stars.

    So technically this fascinating and funny thought experiment (maybe) wouldn’t have worked.
    Then again Weismuller is just like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Crabbe who also played Tarzan. And Star Wars was a mashup of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers (both of which starred Buster Crabbe, oddly) and both Weismuller and Crabbe are sort of the same thing: a real life physical hero (swimmer or whatever). Coincidence? Yes.

    But Lucas couldn’t afford the rights to Flash Gordon – so he made his own damn Flash Gordon right? (ie Everything `matches up’ perfectly. Characters, names, scenarios, the Rebels vs Evil Empire. eg Ming = Darth etc etc). The only real diff is in the B&W vs Colour and the coolness of the spaceship sequences. (See: a toy spaceship with crummy smoke FX in old B&W `Crabbe’ Flash Gordon)

    Anyways – my doctoral research on all that (Star Wars 77, the top 20 ROI Films, etc) is at: http://storyality.wordpress.com/

    Anyway – your post is genius.

    And I feel like, this Comment unintentionally takes all the fun out of what you’re doing here.
    So, that sucks. – I totes hate film nerds, like me, who take everything so seriously. It’s like we’re missing the whole point. Cmon man – It’s *funny* to re-cast 30’s actors in Star Wars 1977.
    Sheesh, Don’t you GET IT? (*sigh*)
    Some people have no sense of humour.
    Why isn’t humour allowed in academia?
    What did jokes ever do to us?
    (See: `Circular Argument’)

    Cheers & that post was awesome, and my Comment is “meh”

    Best
    JT
    PS – Sorry about the formal way I addressed you at the start of this post, I checked the ABOUT page but it seemed kinda generic. But what you have done here is empirically Creative. ie Take 2 old things and put em together in a new way. I love it for that.

    • oddboggle says:

      I agree, it probably wouldn’t have worked, and I doubt Sir Noel would have ever appeared next to Shirley Temple in anything, but like you say, I was just mixing things up a bit.

      Star Wars is, as you mentioned, based on the pulp adventures beloved of the 30’s. But it also cast British character actors in small, but important roles. We’d have seen them playing The Scarlet Pimpernel or The Sheriff of Nottingham, but never an intergalactic knight with a sabre made entirely of light. This, I think, is the reason why Star Wars works so well. At it’s heart, it is pure American pulp, with some classy actors who bring a deeper quality of fantasy. The combination is perfect. Flash Gordon mixed with King Arthur. Awesome.
      In fact, it wasn’t until the 90’s, when Lucas tried to make it proper Science Fiction, did Star Wars fall apart. Mitochlorions indeed.
      Thanks for your comment, it certainly made me think.

      • joeteevee says:

        Thanks oddboggle 🙂
        I loved your post. Pls Don’t get me wrong. its really clever and funny and smart.

        And I too was annoyed at the midichlorians at first, but – now I actually think it’s a good thing.

        Mainly as I prefer the idea that Science rather than Religion explains stuff (but that’s just me).

        Anyway thanks again, and awesome work

        JT

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