Star Wars isn’t exactly known for its stellar display of acting prowess. Sure, many of those involved — especially in the first trilogy — give completely convincing, well-regarded performances that reflect the franchise’s melodramatic space opera aesthetic perfectly. That being said, not everyone can be in the same league as a Harrison Ford or Ewan McGregor. Miscasting happens all the time in movies and Star Wars is no exception.
While there are not many examples of obvious miscasts in the Star Wars franchise, the ones that do exist stick out like a sore thumb. Admittedly, the blame can’t be solely placed on these actors, as they were often given material of suspect quality to work with in the first place and it isn’t exactly easy to turn garbage into gold. None of the following actors are necessarily “bad” at acting (In fact, half of them are extremely well-regarded in their field), but for whatever reason, they just weren’t right for Star Wars and arguably should have been replaced long before the final cuts were sent to theaters.
You’ll notice that this list doesn’t include any actors from the original trilogy. We didn’t intend to only single out the prequels, but there aren’t really any casting choices we would want to change in the early Star Wars films. Maybe David Prowse (have you heard how awful his Darth Vader voice is?) but James Earl Jones’ iconic voiceover improvements make make even that a moot point.
7. Liam Neeson
You’re probably surprised to see Neeson here, considering his presence is one of The Phantom Menace‘s few saving graces. If you think about it though, what distiguishing characteristic does Qui-Gon Jinn have other than the fact that Liam Neeson played him? Qui-Gon is completely devoid of charisma or even a clearly-defined belief system, recklessly undermining those around him at every turn. The simple truth of the matter is that Qui-Gon was a poorly-written character and Neeson was much too overqualified to play him. While it’s still neat to think that Liam Neeson actually appeared in Star Wars, his character was so poorly-realized that any middle-aged bloke could have played him. At least Neeson only had to suffer for one film.