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Liam NeesonLiam Neeson (Schindler's List) will plays Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, a mentor to Kenobi and who discovers the potential in Anakin. He will get $4 million dollars and 2% of the gross. About his character:

A source states that "Neeson's character will be sort of a neutral Jedi. He will posess the powers of both sides and depending on his situation he will decide how to use the force. This is from a friend of my Uncle's whom works at ILM."

In the current Star Wars Insider, Neeson says that he is 2nd in command of the Jedi Knights behind Yoda.

  regarding the name Qui-Gon Jin. Here is what was sent to the Prequel Mailing list:

  As I was flipping through the latest issue of Martial Arts Fitness, I noticed an article on a martial art called qi-gong. I noticed the similarity in names immediately and read the article. Qi-Gong is a martial art similar to Tai-Chi. It is practiced for both its physical and spiritual benefits. If this was indeed Lucas' inspiration for naming Neeson's character, I think it was a very appropriate choice.
sent by Parveen Boora (boorps@uleth.ca)

Ian McDiarmidIan McDiarmid was the original Emperor in ROJ. Star Wars Insider confirms that he will reprise his role. In the prequels, the Emperor will still be a senator, namely Senator Palpatine. Here is a quote from "Skywalking" (The Biography of George Lucas, written by Dale Pollock):
"The Emperor is an elected official who is corrupted by power and subverts the democratic process--Lucas modeled him after Richard Nixon." p. 145.
One thing people say is that he is too old to play a chracter some 30-40 years younger. However, the fact that we never really saw the emperor's face (only prothetics) shows that this is an invalid criticisms. I tried to find some data on him, and here is what I found:

  "Late in 1989 Ian McDiarmid and Jonathan Kent became joint Artistic Directors of the Almeida Theatre. Both actors, they have a joint experience of over forty years in the theatre and a strong commitment to producing challenging, exciting and uncompromising theatre of the highest standard."   He currently works at the Almeida theatre (London).

http://www.almeida.co.uk/

One point heavily discussed in the Mailing List is: who is Darth Sidious? While I think it is Palaptine (who is trying to get power), many say he is a totally different character.

Terence Stamp (the main villain in Superman). Star Wars Insider states that Terence Stamp plays the Chancellor of the Galactic Senate called Chancellor Valorum. His role was small and took only few days to film.

Adrian Dunbar plays Bail Organa.

AICN reported that he plays Bale Oberon. Dunbar "guested on the Jack Docherty Show on Channel 5 in the UK last night (15 Jan). Apparently he only has a few lines in the film ('not enough for a toy') and appears at a conference table with some green faced pigmen also in the scene. Lucas has told him that Oberon will be 'in the next one and the next one" and "goes off to fight in the clone wars'. His scene involved sitting at some kind of conference/council meeting voting on something. All done infront of a blue screen with several other characters. Something about 3 aliens with blue pig-like heads was mentioned."

Frank Oz will provide Yoda's voice again. He will also animate the young Yoda puppet when Yoda is not walking (CG will be used for movement).

Warwick Davis (Wicket the Ewok on ROJ) is rumoured to be the owner of the Cantina in Mos Eisley (or Mos Espa).

Brian Blessed plays Boss Nass, leader of the Gungans, who live in the underwater world of Naboo (in the b trailer, you see Qui Gon and Kenobi talk to him, he is a fat blueish character). He appeared on a BBC radio show and said that he had been working on the Star Wars Prequels. He couldn't say much except that he played the king of an alien race, which was half human and half lizard. He ruled an underwater kingdom. (Credits: new version of King Lear and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)

Ralph Brown is in the BBC series "A Respectable Trade" (the doctor). He plays Ric Olie in the Prequels.


Natalie PortmanNatalie Portman will play the young Queen Amidala of Naboo (Luke and Leia's Mother).
On Rosie O'Donnell she confirmed that she has signed up for all three Episodes. Here is a short summary of what happened:

Rosie asked her who she was playing and Natalie answered, "I'm playing Princess Leia's mother." The crowd became very hushed (as though this was brand new news!). Natalie did say that she would be in all three of the prequel trilogy movies. Rosie kept pressing her for more information by saying, "Come on, tell us more about the movie" over and over. Natalie became very flustered and answered, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you anymore." Lucas has certainly made sure that his actors don't have loose lips! -- Beth Davis

Furthur more, an article on Yahoo UK cofnrims that Natalie Portman has signed on for all three new episodes:
Natalie Portman, the young actress who dropped out of Robert Redford's film The Horse Whisperer to make her stage debut in the Broadway revival of The Diary of Anne Frank, is to appear in all three Star Wars prequels. The 16-year-old Portman has already filmed her role in the first one, playing the young queen who is the mother of Princess Leia and has signed for the next two.

Click here for more info about Natalie Portman

Ewan McGregorEwan McGregor (Transpotting) will play a young Ben Kenobi, who is an apprentice of Jedi Knight Qui Gon. He seems to be in control of his powers, can handle the light sabre well and can use the "force push" (trailer b). He also seems to feel that something is wrong about Anakin, while Qui-Gon Jinn believes Anakin will fulfill a ancient phrophecy to bring balance to the force. It seems that Kenobi is very sensative to the dark side, makign you wonder how come he failed in preventing Anakin's fall.

Samuel L. JacksonSamuel L. Jackson plays jedi night Mace Windu. For the trailer, we can assume that he is a Jedi who has contact with Neeson's character. He was recently asked what role he would love to do, and he replied with "Naturally, one from Star Wars". A rumour has it that he will be a relative to Lando and will be flying the Falcon. From an interview on Rosie O'Donnell with Jackson: He was on set for 4 days ("so there was just this huge blue screen set and stuff..."). He recieved 4 pages from the script, but did not know where they fitted in.

Jake LloydJake Lloyd (Jingle all the Way) plays the 8 years old Anakin Skywalker, son to the slave Shmi Skywalker and future dark lord. Anakin's big moment comes when he participate's in a big Pod Race on Tatooine (as the driver). I guess the force is strong in this one.

Ray ParkRay Park plays Darth Maul, a dark Jedi who will be important. From the trailer, he is the guy who has his face painted black with a red fire pattern on it, small 1" ivory colored horns are protruding from his skull. One also sees him fighting Obi Wan in Trailer B. He wears low cut black boots, black trousers, black gloves and a black robe that he often wears with the hood up. He carries an orange/red double ended lightsabre that can extend one end only if required. And Park will be wearing some unusual contact lenses to complete the costume. This reminds one of the "devil" alien in the Cantina scene.
Ray Park has a background in Martial Arts, which should be handy for the fight scenes in the Prequels.

Pernilla AugustPernilla August plays Anakin's mother Shmi Skywalker, who is a slave in Mos Espa. She lets Anakin go with Qui-Gon Jinn because she believes he can help Jinn. It is unsure wether she will appear in the other movies.

Ahmed Best as Jar JarAhmed Best will plays Jar Jar (the guy from the trailers with the CG head), a GunGun a character who "will eventually require computer animation post-production work." (interview with Rick McCallum in Galaxy Magazine [see Episode I page]). McCallum also calls him his favourite character in Epsiode I. He's discovered by Liam Neeson's character and becomes his side kick.

James Earl Jones will provide Vader's voice in Episode III. On Monday, April 20, James Earl Jones held a lecture at Colorado State University. Later, in a Q&A session, he was asked "Is your voice going to be in any of the prequels?" Mr Jones replied, "I just spoke to Mr. Lucas recently, and he said there's about a 5 minute part for me in the 3rd installment." The questiona rises wether those 5 minutes will be spread out throughout the movie or only at the end.

Hugh QuarshieHugh Quarshie plays Captain Panaka, the Queen's Chief Security Officer. He was also on "A Respectable Trade" (the free black man from America).


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