Ever since that first movie came out in 1977, Star Wars has grown into a massive franchise with countless fans all over the world. It’s one of the highest-grossing film franchises, with a total value of an estimated $70 billion. The Star Wars movies have earned more than $10 billion at the box office alone.
There’s no way to tell just how many Star Wars fans are out there, but clearly, there are a lot. And with three different trilogies, a couple of anthology films, plus all the new stuff rolling out on Disney+, there is a little something for everyone.
Even celebrities are Star Wars fans. Plenty of them grew up watching epic sci-fi flicks and playing with action figures. The difference, though, is that while most fans grow up collecting Star Wars memorabilia, celebs get to grow up and make cameos in the actual films.
The franchise is actually full of famous people that you didn’t even know were there! Often hidden in plain sight behind alien masks and makeup, there are some pretty well-known Hollywood A-listers across many of the Star Wars films. From actors to royals and everyone in between, these celebs were certainly excited to step onto a Star Wars set. Even James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, has gotten in on the action.
Let’s check out some of the most notable celebrity cameos in a galaxy far, far away.
Simon Pegg Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Like many other people out there, Simon Pegg grew up a Star Wars fan. But unlike most of us, he got the ultimate opportunity of playing a role in the franchise! If you didn’t recognize him, don’t feel bad. He was actually hidden under a huge, heavy costume and some CGI, playing the junk dealer Unkar Plutt that Rey gives her scavenged junk to in return for food. Pegg went on to reprise his role as Unkar Plutt when he voiced the character for the Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game.
Kevin Smith in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Kevin Smith is a huge Star Wars fan, so I can imagine how cool he thought it was to get a role in one of the films. And he’s not silent for this role! For The Force Awakens, Smith is credited as one of the “Additional Voices.” He provided the voice for a stormtrooper at the beginning of the Battle of Takodana who says, “We have incoming at 28.6! Move!”
Kevin Smith in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
Kevin Smith also made an appearance in The Rise of Skywalker, making him the only celeb to make our list twice. This time around, he appears in the scene that takes place on Kijimi, playing a local.
Lin-Manuel Miranda in Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
Grammy Award and Academy Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda is usually behind the scenes, making some serious entertainment magic. We know him for writing hit soundtracks like the one for Encanto, or even creating entire Broadway hits like Hamilton. But for The Rise of Skywalker, Miranda stepped in front of the camera. It’s one of those brief “blink and you’ll miss it” moments. You can see him as a pilot during the Resistance’s celebration on Ajan Kloss.
George Lucas in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Although he created the Star Wars universe, writing and directing the original and prequel trilogies, it wasn’t until his sixth Star Wars film that Lucas gave himself a cameo appearance. For 2005’s Revenge of the Sith, Lucas stepped in front of the camera as Baron Notluwiski Papanoida. This blue-skinned Pantoran served as the Chairman of the moon Pantora. You can see him in the Galaxies Opera House on Coruscant, where Anakin meets with Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
*NSYNC in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Yes, you read that correctly. Boy band *NSYNC managed to snag a few spots as extras in Attack of the Clones. While Justin Timberlake and Lance Bass were too tired coming off of tour to make the trip, the rest of the band joined hundreds of extras. JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Joey Fatone were dressed as Jedi for the Battle of Geonosis. While the footage didn’t make the final cut, it was probably still a fun experience!
Clint Howard in Solo: A Star Wars Story
Clint Howard began his acting career at the very young age of two on The Andy Griffith Show. Since then, he’s played a wide variety of characters in so many projects, especially picking up roles in movies directed by his Academy Award-winning brother, Ron Howard. It comes as no surprise, then, that after Ron Howard took over Solo: A Star Wars Story, Clint Howard ended up with a cameo. He shows up in the role of Ralakili, the guy who runs a droid fighting pit on Vandor.
Princes William and Harry in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Even the royal family has gotten in on the Star Wars action. Prince William and Prince Harry have made plenty of headlines over the years, but in 2016, they made headlines for something entirely different: visiting the set of Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi. As it turns out, they did more than visit and take pics with the cast. William and Harry squeezed themselves into Stormtrooper costumes to film a scene! Unfortunately, the scene was ultimately left on the cutting room floor.
Tom Hardy in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Tom Hardy also happened to be on set for The Last Jedi while Prince William and Prince Harry were in town. You know what that means! Hardy also managed to finagle his way into a Stormtrooper uniform alongside the royal brothers. Again, the scene was ultimately cut from the film. But in it, Hardy’s Stormtrooper FN-926 recognizes Finn from his days as FN-2187. He congratulates Finn on what seemed to be a promotion to First Officer, while he’s attempting to infiltrate the First Order.
Daniel Craig in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
James Bond likes Star Wars, too. English actor Daniel Craig, who starred as Bond from 2006 to 2021, slipped into The Force Awakens for a quick cameo. Although it is uncredited in the film, Craig played Stormtrooper FN-1824. He is guarding Rey, who tests her Jedi mind tricks on him. It works, and he takes her restraints off and releases her.
Billie Lourd in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
If you already know that Billie Lourd is the daughter of the late Carrie Fisher, her cameo in a Star Wars film makes plenty of sense. While Fisher reprised her role as General Leia Organa, Lourd starred as Lt. Connix, a Resistance fighter running tactical machinery at the D’Qar Resistance base.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt made a quick cameo in The Last Jedi, but you might not have recognized him. That’s because he played Slowen Lo, an alien whose name is a riff on the Beastie Boys song “Slow & Low.” He’s the guy who is really upset about Finn and Rose illegally landing and abandoning their ship on a Canto Bight beach. He then leads the Canto Bight Police Department to the casino so they can arrest them.
Warwick Davis in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
Okay, so this one is a little different, considering Warwick Davis was already a Star Wars actor. His first acting role was in the original trilogy, playing the Ewok scout Wicket in Return of the Jedi. However, when George Lucas kicked off the prequel trilogy, he brought Davis back for The Phantom Menace. Davis got not one but three cameo roles. You can find him as the gambler Weazel watching the pod race that Anakin won; a Mos Espa citizen; and the young Rodian named Wald, one of Anakin’s friends on Tatooine.
Jeremy Bulloch in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
Jeremy Bulloch is another actor from the original trilogy that came back to make a cameo in the prequels. Some Star Wars fans may not recognize him, considering his face was hidden under a helmet in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. That’s because he was the original Boba Fett. He came back in 2005 for Revenge of the Sith, but this time he was Captain Colton, who piloted the Tantive III, the personal cruiser of Senator Bail Organa.