You Cast ‘Star Wars: Heir to the Empire’ Round Two: Talon Karrde


Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Heir to the Empire was a blockbuster and boundary breaker: It broke out of the fan underground and onto the New York Times Bestseller list, broke down the boundaries between film and written word, proving succinctly that a story is never truly over as long as someone wants to hear more, and broke through the known limits of the Star Wars universe, exploring places that the original trilogy never did. Would we have had an Expanded Universe without Heir to the Empire? Probably not.

Heir to the Empire picks up five years after Return of the Jedi. The galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war after the defeat of Darth Vader and the Emperor. Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins and Luke Skywalker is now the first in a long awaited new line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away the last of the Emperor’s warlords-the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn-has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet. He’s ready it for war and aimed it right at the heart of the fragile new republic.

Fans would love to see an Heir to the Empire movie, and we would too! To celebrate the 20th anniversary edition of Heir to the Empire, we’re going to indulge in a little game of what-if, and we’d like for you to play along. We thought it would be fun to try to cast each of the book’s major roles, and after a little email brainstorming, we came up with a list of likely candidates to portray the key characters. We’d like our readers to help narrow them down and cast the movie.

We’ll list a character each weekday and the five actors we think are right for the part. You simply vote for the actor you want to see win the role. Don’t like our choices? Cast a write-in vote using the embedded poll software! We’ll announce our final cast on September 20.

Oh, and we should mention that since it’s been decades since Return of the Jedi was filmed we’ll need to recast all of the characters, so we’ll be asking you to cast new actors in some of the saga’s most iconic roles. Controversial? Maybe. Fun to discuss? You bet!

Today’s character is Talon Karrde.


Talon Karrde: Smuggler Talon Karrde remained neutral for much of the Galactic Civil War until he rescued Luke Skywalker from the depths of outer space, enabling him to escape Grand Admiral Thrawn in the process. Thrawn placed a bounty on the smuggler’s head, forcing him to reveal a number of sensitive secrets.

Here are five actors we think might make a good Talon Karde. Click the links to view their IMDB profiles, and then vote for your choice:

Josh Brolin
Dwayne Johnson
Christian Bale
Paul Levesque
Joe Mantegna

Click here for round three: Joruus C’baoth!


  • LaneWinree

    See, I know that you had Jeff Bridges as an option for Pellaeon, but I think he’d make a far, FAR better Karrde.

  • Joe1138

    Wow way to pull Joe Mantegna out of a hat! I think he’d be a perfect Karrde!

  • Michael Fassbender. I think he could do a really good cold fish, and he certainly has the intelligence.

  • Darth Verous

    I’m sorry, but none of the above choices seem to fit right… I’m going with Viggo Mortensen.

  • I hadn’t thought of Joe Mantegna, but that would be perfect! He has never struck me as a very physically imposing person, so I can’t see a wrestler in that role.

  • Space Girl

    I first thought Joe Mantegna, but now I’m leaning toward Jeffrey Dean Morgan….

  • Jedi Taylor

    Jimmy Smits is a shoe in

  • Peter

    I had trouble with this one. I think it would be a toss up between Kevin Spacey and Oliver Platt, but I went witht he write in of Oliver Platt. I think a little bit of his Porthos character would round out Karrde well

  • Erin

    For some reason I thought of Johnny Depp. I could easily change my mind though. The options given weren’t the best. Triple H? Really? Hmph. I didn’t see Karrde as a huge, muscular man kinda guy. However, I thought Dwayne Johnson was an interesting idea. (contradiction…oh well)

  • Broian

    I agree that Jimmy Smits would be great. To bad he already got his SW role.

    I agree with Fassbender, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Oliver Platt as well. I submitted Michael Sheen (don’t hold Twilight against him)

  • Canadian Nerf Herder

    I may get some flack for this, but I think that if this was up 10 years ago, my choice for Talon Karrde would have been Jonathon Frakes. He had the look and the sarcastic wit needed for this character.

  • Sean

    I went with a write in for Damien Lewis, the actor who was the star of NBC’s Life a little while back. The cop who was framed and spent time in jail, would play a perfect smuggler like Talon Karrde.

  • lydia

    Joe Mantegna is the best choice, however, if he wasn’t available Oliver Platt will do.

  • JP

    Josh Holloway from Lost would be pretty good.

  • Ben

    For some reason, Liev Schreiber came to mind, maybe because of his role in Defiance.

  • Lass Giselle

    George Clooney. End of discussion.

  • George

    I wrote in Jeff Bridges, too. The fact that he played the Han Solo character in TRON sort of seals the deal for me.

  • Miraxian

    Thinking Nathan Fillion might give this role something special.

  • Bryce

    I agree with Viggo Mortenson and Josh Halloway was a good choice that I didn’t think of. I wrote in John Travolta. Has a lot of swagger and intensity and look (Pulp Fiction). I too thought of Jimmy Smit right away, but discounted due to Bail Organa role.

  • if they used christian bale i would NOT watch

  • nathan fillion period

  • Matt

    Bruce Campbell as Talon Karrde, with mustachios!

  • Rob

    Colin Farrell

  • Dark Father

    Sam Worthington

  • Sihaya

    Clive Owen. He’s played a few rogues, both loveable and not so much. His performance can turn on a dime.

  • Sihaya

    Rob: I like your suggestion, too.

  • porkchop

    Gerard Butler

  • hanimal

    I initially thought Josh Brolin (cause he was on the list) but Josh Holloway would dominate this role.

  • Michelle

    I like Clive Owen also. I think of Karrde as a guy with a dominant forehead, intense eyes, a certain dangerous charm… Like Lando, with not so smooth a personality, but definitely nothing like Han, who’s a hero, not a smuggler. He just happened to be a smuggler. Karrde just ends up being a hero due to association. Han is a hero because he’s a hero. Lando’s a smuggler because he’s an a snake oil salesman that could sell snow to Taun Tauns.

    BTW those captchas on the bottom are ridiculous. What next, you have to do a cartwheel on webcam?

  • Patrick

    I don’t see a Nathan Fillion anywhere on that list.

  • Bozimoto

    Jeremy Irons would be a perfect Talon Karrde.

  • Dennis Flynn III

    No way to ALL of these! The only man who can play Talon Karrde with the sophistication & badass swagger that his character deserves is the ONE & ONLY Anson Mount of Hell On Wheels fame from AMC. Tell me, would he not be absolutely PERFECT for that role? It’s like he was born for it!!!

  • zach

    antonio banderas