Dream casting the Star Wars saga: Maggie Smith as Jocasta Nu
When you need an older British woman to be prickly and difficult, accept no substitutes.
Jocasta Nu is a minor character, but she has a fun little scene in Attack of the Clones where she gently berates Obi-Wan Kenobi for suggesting that a fancy library on Coruscant might not have the information he’s looking for. “If an item does not appear in our records, it does not exist,” she says, leaving off “you utter simpleton.” It’s one of only a few funny moments from the prequel trilogy where the producers didn’t seem like they were trying too hard, so it’d be a shame to ruin it by casting the wrong person.
Maggie Smith is the perfect choice for this role. She’s been turning her nose up at crass members of the peasantry for decades, most recently as the Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey, but also as Constance Trentham in Gosford Park, Mother Superior in Sister Act, and quite a few more. Her most widely known role is probably Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter movies. Smith specializes in playing characters who are prim, vaguely haughty, and very, very British. She’d hit exactly the right note for this scene.
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