How to Get Cast in a ‘Star Wars’ Production

Article Image
Photo Source: Courtesy Lucasfilm/Disney

George Lucas’ “Star Wars” franchise has been around for nearly 50 years—and it’s still going strong today. With a number of hit series taking Disney+ by storm, including “The Mandalorian,” the franchise keeps pumping out more content. 

If you’ve been itching to fly to a galaxy far, far away and land a role in the “Star Wars” universe, you’ve come to the right place. From audition advice to the latest on Lucas projects and sci-fi productions that are currently seeking actors, this is your guide to getting cast now.


What is “Star Wars” about?

Lucas’ original three “Star Wars” movies—1977’s “Episode IV – A New Hope,” 1980’s “Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back,” and 1983’s “Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”—follow the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. This unlikely trio leads a rebellion against the oppressive Emperor Palpatine and his right-hand man, Darth Vader, aka Anakin Skywalker. 

Lucas’ prequel trilogy—1999’s “Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” 2002’s “Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” and 2005’s “Episode III – Revenge of the Sith”—follows Anakin’s early years, chronicling his transformation from a young boy to a Jedi Knight to a powerful Sith Lord working for the dark side. 

2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which comes next chronologically, traces the exploits of young Han. Next in the timeline is “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” which follows a ragtag team led by Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) that steals the plans for the Death Star—leading into the events of “A New Hope.” Then comes the latest trilogy, spearheaded by J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson: 2015’s “Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” 2017’s “Episode VIII — The Last Jedi,” and 2019’s “Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker—which picks up with the next generation of rebels, including Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron.

Disney+’s growing collection of “Star Wars” series is continuing to expand the universe. The slate so far includes “The Mandalorian” (starring Pedro Pascal), “The Book of Boba Fett” (starring Temuera Morrison), “Obi-Wan Kenobi” (starring Ewan McGregor), and “Andor” (starring Diego Luna).

Who’s in the casts of the “Star Wars” films and TV series?

The original “Star Wars” trilogy transformed Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and the late Carrie Fisher into Hollywood royalty. The prequel series included well-known talent like Samuel L. Jackson, McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Hayden Christensen; and the most recent films starred Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver. “The Mandalorian” stars Pedro Pascal and Carl Weathers; “The Book of Boba Fett” features Temuera Morrison as the title character, along with industry veteran Ming-Na Wen; and “Obi-Wan Kenobi” saw Ewan McGregor return to the role he played in prequel films.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

How does the casting process work for “Star Wars” projects?

When Boyega spoke to us about his role as Finn, he spoke about drawing inspiration from the past. “Before my last audition,” he said, “there was a lot of pressure to come in with a good performance. And I went back and I watched Harrison Ford’s audition with Mark Hamill on YouTube for the first ‘Star Wars’ movie, and I really tapped into that energy. There’s an energy to ‘Star Wars’ that is very specific and that Finn embodies a lot,” he continued. “It’s an over-the-top, corny type of Hollywood style that worked with ‘Star Wars’ and doesn’t work with any other project.”

“The Force Awakens” lead Ridley had quite a different casting experience. She told the Guardian that she was working in a London pub when she was cast as Rey and was almost immediately thrust into the spotlight, becoming a global icon overnight. She said that Abrams wanted to tap into her newcomer status in order to create a character who was “vulnerable and tough, sweet and terrified.”


What “Star Wars” projects are currently filming?

The franchise has an array of new series and movies in the works, including “Lando,” “The Rangers of the New Republic,” “Ahsoka,” and “Skeleton Crew.” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Taika Waititi are set to direct a pair of “Star Wars” features, though details are under wraps for both

“The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” were filmed almost entirely on soundstages in L.A. using the StageCraft video wall. Other locations that have been used for the “Star Wars” universe include Tunisia, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Norway, and the U.K.

Have you ever wanted to go to Tatooine, where Luke grew up? Consider visiting Ksar Hadada in Tunisia. You might recognize Italy’s Royal Palace of Caserta as the Naboo Royal Palace, and Norway’s Hardangerjøkulen Glacier as the ice planet Hoth.

Darth Vader in 'The Empire Strikes Back'

Where can you find “Star Wars” casting calls and auditions?

While no projects in the franchise are currently casting, there are plenty of similar gigs you can explore in the meantime. This roundup inspired by “The Mandalorian” might scratch your sci-fi itch.

Scene from 'The Mandalorian'

Who are the casting directors for the “Star Wars” franchise?

The CD for “The Book of Boba Fett” and “The Mandalorian” is Sarah Finn, who’s filled out the ensembles of many of today’s most successful franchises. The industry veteran has cast Marvel blockbusters including “Avengers: Endgame” and “Black Panther,” as well as Oscar-winning films like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” A few other CDs who have worked on “Star Wars” properties include Jina Jay (“Rogue One”) and Nina Gold (“The Rise of Skywalker,” “Andor”).

The Rise of Skywalker

What are the best audition tips for landing a role in a “Star Wars” project?

In 2015, Boyega told us that there’s no single path to success in the film industry. He added that while it’s fine to admire the work of other actors, it’s dangerous to try and replicate someone else’s career. “The worst thing actors can do is listen to John Boyega and go, ‘I’m gonna walk in these footsteps,’ ” he said. 

Pascal advises actors to embrace who they are and where they come from. “Be yourself, and don’t give up. We’re past the time now where you need to sort of change your name or kind of appropriate yourself to a culture that is not your own,” he said. “I went through it as a younger person where ‘Pedro,’ the name ‘Pedro,’ didn’t really fit with my face in terms of industry standards. But I stuck to it, and I think that your own uniqueness, related to your own culture and your own upbringing, has everything to do with what you have to bring to a part. The very essence of yourself is what people are going to want to see.”

Looking for remote work? Backstage has got you covered! Click here for auditions you can do from home!