Wedge Antilles was always my favorite character, after Han Solo

March 15, 2011 at 11:10 am (Whatever happened to ...?) (, , , )

In the Star Wars trilogy (there are no prequels! The prequels are dead to me!), if there was one thing any of us noticed, it’s that if your name wasn’t Han, Leia, Luke or Chewbacca, things weren’t going to turn out so well for you in the end. I’d include R2-D2 and C3-PO (I can seriously never remember where the damn hyphen goes, and I can seriously never get myself to care enough to google the correct answer) in that list, but those are less “names” and more “identifying model numbers.”

Less than half this poster survived. (I'm counting the people in the space vehicles too, if you think my math is off.)

That is, except for Wedge Antilles, the only non-main character to survive the whole damn thing.

(And don’t tell me they killed him off in one of the Star Wars novels, I don’t even want to know.)

Wedge, the heroic pilot who helped blow up a Death Star or two, was played by Ewan McGregor’s uncle, Denis Lawson. I just realized it’s been so long since I cared about Ewan McGregor that I originally spelled his last name MacGregor. I am so embarrassed.

But this post isn’t about Ewan McGregor, so who cares if I spell his name wrong?

"I care."

It’s about Denis Lawson, and whatever happened to him anyway?

Well, it turns out that whatever happened to him is that he’s led a very long and successful career, and I just forgot what he looks like.

Well, he was always wearing a helmet. It was hard to tell.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s find out what got Lawson to where he is today. (Which, as I mentioned before, is successful.)

Lawson’s career began at the ripe young age of 22, with a role as Andy Donald in Dr. Finlay’s Casebook, a television show from 1969. There were other TV series and made-for-TV movies on the horizon, and Lawson took those roles like a champ. There were quite a lot of them, so please excuse me for not listing them, except for 1977’s Seven Faces of Woman, because that is a silly name.

You know what else happened in 1977? Star Wars: A New Hope happened in 1977. Also Holocaust 2000, where Lawson’s role was as “2nd journalist,” so probably nothing to really write home about, except maybe to say, “Dear Mom, thanks to my role as 2nd journalist in Holocaust 2000, I could afford to buy toilet paper this week. Love, Denis.”

"Dear Denis, If you need toilet paper, just ask. A care package is coming soon. Love, Mom."

More TV series followed, like 1978’s Armchair Thriller, leading me to realize that Lawson has been in a LOT of European television shows, so no wonder I thought he had started selling real estate or something. 1980 brought The Empire Strikes Back, and Wedge Antilles continued to earn our love by not dying horrifically, and then it was back to television, including something called The Good Companions.

God bless 'im.

In 1983, Lawson made one last trip back to the Star Wars universe for The Return of the Jedi, and then it was back to European television and off my radar forever. He did have a role in a movie called Fried Crumbed Brains in 1996, which was an Italian film, judging by everyone’s last names but his. So nobody saw that either. Maybe some Italians.

Something on this plate is brains.

Then more television, and I can’t believe America hasn’t grabbed this guy yet. What the hell? In 2006, he had a guest bit on a show called Feel the Force, which possibly had nothing to do with Star Wars. He’s also been in a TV show called Jekyll and one called The Passion, and also Mumbai Calling.

OK, I officially NEVER want to watch Mumbai Calling.

The most exciting thing for me was learning that he had a guest role on Law and Order: UK in 2009 because that means there is a Law and Order: UK.

Now, let's all laugh at British judges and their silly little ties, eh?

Lawson’s most recent effort is a little television series called Marchlands, so there you have it. Our boy Wedge continues to live, love and fight the good fight, except it’s in the UK or somewhere, so we never really knew.

I'm sorry, Mr. Lawson. Wedge 4-EVAH!

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8 Comments

  1. Jamin said,

    wow…. i’ve known you 10 years and yet i didn’t know you were a big enough Star Wars geek to be a fan of Wedge Antilles? wanna know something even cooler about him (the character, not his actor)? his brother-in-law, Baron Soontir Fel, is the Empire’s top fighter ace. he has even more kills than Wedge, and considering that TIE fighters are the Ford Pintos of outer space, that’s pretty damn cool. ok, done geeking out for now.

    ah, who am i fooling, i’m always geeking.

    • lokifire said,

      That was sooooooo geektastic, Jamin. I had no idea Wedge had a brother-in-law.

  2. NANANANANANANANANANANANA BATMAN! said,

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  3. Literary Romantic said,

    I’m a Wedge fan too, and was so surprised when I saw him in Jekyll, which is on Netflix. You never really know where his character stands, and its completely awesome. Very different part, but just shows off how even an arguably b-lister outside of britain can still be great.

  4. Robadub said,

    Check out the movie Local Hero (also stars Peter Reigert from Animal House and Burt Lancaster). He has a great supporting role as the Inn Keeper.

  5. Sammie said,

    I saw Denis Lawson for the first time in “Bleak House,” where he plays John Jarndyce, and was blown away by his performance. Agent Scully also appears in a very un-Scully-like character.

    And Carey Mulligan’s in it.

  6. Sad news x 2 | Hollywood Hates Me said,

    […] So I just learned that H.R. Giger (a.k.a. the designer of the alien from Alien, one of the best movies ever, a large part of which was due to the excellent creature design) has died, and also that Denis Lawson won’t be returning for the Star Wars sequels. […]

  7. Spoilers ahead: I saw the new Star Wars | Hollywood Hates Me said,

    […] I mean: WHERE WAS WEDGE ANTILLES? […]

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