Just announced is a bit of news that the start of filming for Bond 25 will be slightly delayed due to some re-shoots being done for Han Solo: A Star Wars Story. This news, and the use of Pinewood Studios, located a bit outside of London, by both franchises is not the only relationship the two franchises share (Pinewood actually has a stage named the 007 Stage – one of the largest sound stages in the world – in which many Bond films and some Star Wars films have been shot). With the size, popularity, and longevity of both franchises, I’m sure to miss some connections between the two, but here are some examples of how 007 and the galaxy far, far away are connected:
- Many people know that Daniel Craig, our current Bond, played a First Order Stormtrooper in The Force Awakens. Lucky enough for Rey, she was able to convince him to let her out of her restraints and to leave his blaster behind for her.
- Star Wars was released on May 25, 1977. The Spy Who Loved Me was released on July 13, 1977. At the end of The Spy Who Loved Me, it was announced that James Bond would return in For Your Eyes Only. Bond producers, however, saw the huge success of Star Wars and wanted to capitalize on it, so they changed plans and released Moonraker as the next Bond film in 1979. Despite this space-based 007 film being considered a sub-par Bond film, the gamble paid off. Moonraker currently holds the #9 spot in the US box office take for the franchise. All 8 spots above it are Bond films from 1995 to present (Brosnan and Craig films). For Your Eyes Only, by the way, holds spot #13.
- Most people know that Jeremy Bulloch played Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but it’s not so well known that Bulloch also appeared in The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, and Octopussy. His role in The Spy Who Loved me was a one off character, but in For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy he played the character Smithers, one of Q’s lab assistants.
- David Prowse, famous for his role in costume as Darth Vader in the original trilogy of Star Wars, played a Frankenstein’s monster character in the 1967 Casino Royale spoof.
- Irvin Kershner, the director of Empire Strikes Back, also directed Never Say Never Again.
- It’s rumored that Liam Neeson, who played Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace, was one of the actors asked to play the role of 007 before Pierce Brosnan was finally able to take the role. Interestingly enough, Ewan McGregor, who played QuiGon’s famous padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, was one of the actors apparently offered the role at the end of Brosnan’s run.
- Julian Glover continues to have an incredible career, starring in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Walter Donovan), The Empire Strikes Back (General Veers), For Your Eyes Only (Kristatos), and even Game of Thrones (Grand Maester Pycelle).
- The late, great Christopher Lee has an incredible filmography, which includes Count Dooku from Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, and the Clone Wars animated series (voice); as well as Francisco Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun.
- John Hollis, credited as ‘Lando’s Aide’ in Empire Strikes Back, but known to fans as Lobot, had an uncredited cameo as Bond’s famous antagonist Ernst Stavro Blofeld in For Your Eyes Only as well as an uncredited role in the 1967 Casino Royale.
So there you have the connections that I’ve managed to come up with between two of my favorite franchises – James Bond and Star Wars. It’s pretty fascinating what a small world it truly is. What have I missed?
Enjoy your Force – shaken, not stirred.