‘Star Wars’ Fans Want Keira Knightly to Reprise Her Role in the Franchise

The Star Wars franchise is now a sprawling web of interconnected films, live action television shows, and animated series that spans several decades. Inevitably, fans have mixed reception to some of the ways that their beloved universe has been altered in the name of creative expansion.

For every fan cheering on an innovative move, there’s another who feels it doesn’t stick closely enough to the original. Every time a new installment goes back to the source material, there’s a fan complaining that it is repetitive and boring. The show runners have to walk a fine line between the two camps of fandom, and it can be nearly impossible to please everyone. 

One request that several fans are making is a return of a particular actor who played a small part years ago. 

Keira Knightley had a small Star Wars part early in her career 

Keira Knightley on the red carpet
Keira Knightley attends the “Misbehaviour” World Premiere at The Ham Yard Hotel on March 09, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Keira Knightley is best known these days for her thriving acting career that includes major successes like the films from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Pride & PrejudiceBend it Like Beckham, and Love Actually. Before she got her big break in 2003’s first installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, Knightley was cast in a small part in 1999’s Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. 

Knightley has been open about her past academic struggles because of dyslexia and said she poured herself into the arts, which were a refuge from her troubles. The work has definitely paid off big time, and today the actor consistently gets parts in impressive films. Most often, she plays dramatic roles and parts in period pieces that take on a historic look into the past.

Recent projects include Misbehaviour — which follows a group of women who disrupt a 1970s beauty pageant —and The Aftermath — which takes place in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction. 

Keira Knightley played a handmaiden 

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Knightley was only 12 years old when she was cast in The Phantom Menace, and she says that she didn’t know what the role was when she took the part. The script was kept very secret to avoid spoilers, so Knightley recounts that she would be “shoved forward” dressed in clothing identical to Natalie Portman’s costume but that she had no idea why. It turns out that Knightley was playing the double for Portman’s character Padmé Amidala

Padmé is a young queen of Naboo, and in the film, she faces the constant threat of assassination. Knightley’s handmaiden becomes a decoy to distract would-be assassins from the queen. Interestingly, Knightley and Portman were often compared as lookalikes during this time in their youth, so the casting decision made a lot of sense to fans — many of whom had to do a double take to tell the two apart on-screen. 

Keira Knightley’s Star Wars character could return

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While the part was a tiny one in The Phantom Menace, the Star Wars franchise is looping back over well-worn ground, and that has left the potential for the character to return. The handmaiden’s name was Sabe, and she later joined the rebellion. A new casting decision for an upcoming Star Wars-related series has fans wondering if Sabe might be making a comeback. 

Adria Arjona has reportedly been cast in the upcoming series focusing on Cassian Andor.

Fans took to a Reddit thread to speculate on what her role might be, and many think she could be reprising Sabe’s part. Others were dismissive of the possibility, suggesting that it wouldn’t make sense to bring the character back with anyone other than Knightley in the role.

Still, one commenter pointed out that Knightley “doesn’t like doing things that are not period pieces,” and it’s possible that the character could come back with another actor in the part.