Dominic Monaghan on His Role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Since the epic final installment of the Star Wars Skywalker saga hit theaters December 20, responses to the film have been mixed. But one topic of agreement among all who’ve seen The Rise of Skywalker is that the movie attempts to tackle a lot. Some argue story threads are rushed. Others have expressed a desire to see more of certain characters or plot points.
A recent Reddit post referred to a conspiratorial J.J. Abrams cut that didn’t make it to the screen. This seems unlikely, since Abrams co-wrote and directed the film, but The Rise of Skywalker star Dominic Monaghan says many scenes were shot that never made it to the theatrical version.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Monaghan says “there was so much stuff!” that didn’t make the final cut. Specifically, for Monaghan’s character, he says there were battle scenes that reveal how Connix (who is seen limping in the film’s final rebel base celebration) injured her leg while on the Star Destroyer with Rose and Monaghan’s character, Beaumont Kin.
No word on how Abrams and Terrio came up with Monaghan’s unique character name, but he does indicate scenes were filmed that would have provided more depth to the role he played.
“One of the things about my character that was a little bit more established—in terms of everything that we filmed—was that he was a code-breaker, Beaumont. So, a lot of the information that had come to our heroes had come through Beaumont.”
What is not is mystery is how Monaghan landed his part in The Rise of Skywalker. The actor openly admits that he campaigned for a role in the film. Fifteen years ago, the actor worked with Abrams on ABC’s Lost and the two discovered they had a mutual love of Star Wars.
“It was just the normal stuff that you talk about as Star Wars fans: favorite character, favorite planet, favorite villain, where would you go if you had the Millennium Falcon, favorite moment… I’ve been lucky enough to be friends with J.J. for 15 years now, so I’m able to have fun with him and playfully try and convince him to put me in a movie, which he eventually did.”
The actor speaks in glowing terms of Abrams and says the director creates a “lighthearted vibe” on set, including the inclusion of imaginative creatures like Klaud and a moment during filming of the Battle of Exegol when set adjustments allowed actors downtime. To ease the boredom of waiting, J.J. played “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys “really, really loud in the studio.”
“All the Rebels and all the Stormtroopers were all dancing with each other. I don’t know if they captured that on film, but all of us were doing robot dances with Stormtroopers, Sith Troopers and Stormtroopers with jet packs.”
In contrast to the usual lightheartedness of Abrams’s sets, Monaghan says the tone was “delicate” during the filming of Leia’s death. Cast were conscious of Carrie’s daughter, Billie Lourd, being present and Monaghan says “she’s very much loved by everyone because she’s such a sweet woman.”
“When we moved into that scene, the crew became just a little quieter and maybe there was a little less movement. J.J., who’s always so hilarious, fun and anarchic, was probably a little bit more serious in that moment to capture it.”
The actor, who sports a “Luminous beings are we…” tattoo, says he had two particularly personal moments of his own outside of filming. At one point he asked castmate, Joonas Suotamo, to remain in costume a moment after filming to allow him a Chewie hug. And after shooting another scene, he had a moment with R2-D2.
“I went over and put my hand on top of R2’s dome and just silently whispered a few sentences in my brain as a way of paying tribute to how much of an influential, positive element he was in my childhood.”
While his scenes in the theatrical release of The Rise of Skywalker are minimal, Monaghan’s love of Star Wars is clear. The DVD/Blu-ray release may not feature more of his character, but many fans would welcome any deleted scenes from a film that had so much story to tackle in such a short amount of time.