Simon Pegg Opens up About the Joy & Pain of Being in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

As super fans, geeks, and all-around movie nerds, we’ve all dreamt of being part of the movie magic that goes into making our favorite film. George Lucas started a phenomenon in 1977 that has inspired successful film careers of generations that followed. Some people get to actually live that dream and step into iconic roles. Others, like actor Simon Pegg, get to be in the movie and also help chart the story’s future.

Pegg played Unkar Plutt in The Force Awakens and helped contribute to the script. He visited Josh Horowitz’s Happy Sad Confused podcast and shared what it was like to see his vision come to life on screen. Turns out, it was actually mildly disappointing. He can explain.

“When I saw The Force Awakens I had an odd sense of ennui during it. I felt kind of disappointed and I couldn’t figure out why. It ended at the premiere and I felt down and I was like, ‘Why do I feel down?’ And I realized it was because I’d been in it, I’d read the script, and I’d even contributed a little bit to the script here and there, so I’d been involved in it so it wasn’t a big surprise. So I watched the movie knowing everything that was gonna happen, so when that big thing happens to one of our favorite-ever characters, it wasn’t a surprise. I realized that the payoff for being in it was to have the experience of seeing it removed, and I wouldn’t swap that because it was an amazing experience, but it was a strange one.”

Maybe there is too much of a good thing and we should appreciate the delight of being movie goers. The audience plays a vital role and it is sometimes a gift just to get to watch the masters’ work.

Pegg also touched on the biggest mystery of Star Wars right now and The Last Jedi gave us a cagey answer. The Force is strong in Rey, but how did she come by it? Genetics? Love? Was she a worthy vessel that harvested it to fight the dark side? If Luke Skywalker, Jedi Master, was spawned from the darkest force in the universe, Darth Vader, then it would stand to reason that the Force is passed down through bloodline. Especially when you throw in Leia’s son, Ben Solo, wielding the same powers. Then how on Jakku did Rey get it? Not from her parents, it seems.

In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren reveals in dramatic fashion that Rey’s parents are not of any significant stature. They were junk traders who abandoned her. While we haven’t actually seen this play out (so it could still be an elaborate lie), it would change the course of Star Wars and everything we thought we knew about Jedi. Yet, this is the direction that Rian Johnson chose to take the film and it’s a bold choice. However, J.J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens and will return for Episode IX. That means he’ll be finishing Rey’s story so the big question is, do Abrams and Johnson agree? Basically, Pegg said ‘no.’

“Well I know what J.J. kind of intended, or at least what was sort of being chucked around. I think that’s kind of been undone slightly by [The Last Jedi]. I don’t know. I don’t know (laughs). I think Unkar Plutt is Rey’s real father.”

Hopefully that’s not a major spoiler. We wouldn’t want to feel let down when Abrams finally debuts the big Skywalker finale.

Featured Image: Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Rey (Daisy Ridley). Photo: Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm. ©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.


Kelle Long

Kelle has written about film and TV for The Credits since 2016. Follow her on Twitter @molaitdc for interviews with really cool film and TV artists and only occasional outbursts about Broadway, tennis, and country music. Please no talking or texting during the movie. Unless it is a musical, then sing along loudly.