Aug 072020
About Denis Lawson

Wedge in ROTJ (left); Wedge in TROS (right)

How much do you know about Denis Lawson? This guy is a much lesser known actor compared to the previous three I covered. In fact Denis Lawson does not have nearly as prolific of a career as Cushing, Lee or Guinness. However, while he isn’t as distinguished as the others, he is a fan favorite of the Star Wars universe. He is known for his role as Wedge Antilles, the ace Rebel pilot. In fact his role in Star Wars is about the only thing Denis Lawson is known for among his 98 credits.

Despite all the criticism of Disney for turning the Extended Universe canon into mythology, I’m glad they kept Wedge alive. To my knowledge, Wedge was never killed in any of the EU comics and books. So to see him alive, and survive, in Rise of Skywalker is awesome.

An interesting bit of behind-the-scenes trivia about Wedge, during the Rebel briefing in A New Hope, Luke is sitting next to “Wedge”, but it isn’t Denis Lawson. The actor we see is Collin Higgins, but he constantly struggled with his lines and he was ultimately fired. Lawson was brought in to film the remainder of the scenes. Collin Higgins’ “Wedge” would colloquially become known as “Fake Wedge” among fans. Coincidentally both actors voices were overdubbed by David Ankrum, a common practice in Star Wars.

The Force Is Strong In His Family

Denis Lawson was born in 1947 in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland. He has one child, Jaime Lawson, and a sister. His sister was born Carol Lawson but would marry a man names James McGregor. They would have two children, Ewan and Colin. Whether its a little known fact, or just esoterically known by Star Wars fans, Denis Lawson is the maternal uncle of Ewan McGregor, the man that would play Obi-Wan Kenobi in the prequels. In fact his role as a pilot in Star Wars was inspiration for this nephews; Ewan to become an actor (ultimately in Star Wars) and Colin to join the Royal Air Force. If you ever listen to any of his interviews, he sounds a lot like Ewan McGregor.

I don’t want to say that Denis Lawson in unremarkable because his legacy is cemented in Star Wars canon. However, among his 98 credits, I can’t find anything that really stands out. He hasn’t portrayed any iconic characters. He’s mostly done a few TV shows that I’ve never heard of. Apparently he’s a musical comedy star in London and has even won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.

If there’s anything you’d like to share about actor Denis Lawson, please leave it in the comments.

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Confronting fear is the destiny of the Jedi.

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