Dream casting the Star Wars saga: Michael Keaton as Uncle Owen
Uncle Owen is the prototypical father figure: he’s tough but fair, caring but distant, wants his child to be happy but also wants him to learn responsibility and accept his limitations. We don’t see a lot of him in Star Wars, but what we saw, we liked. It’s a shame he and his wife were burned to a crisp by Stormtroopers before the second act kicked off.
Michael Keaton, meanwhile, has had a wide-ranging career that started out in comedy (Night Shift), took a weird left turn into action stardom (Batman), and is currently situated in experimental drama (Birdman). Time for another pivot.
Keaton has the look and feel of Owen. He’s the right age, he’s got a gravelly voice, and he has a weathered face—it wouldn’t be hard to imagine him having worked long hours under the harsh sun of Tatooine for years. More importantly, he’s got the acting ability to pull off just about anything, including the gruff but hard-working patriarch. Uncle Owen (full name Owen Lars) is yet another role that’s small but crucial. His death is what prompts Luke’s journey, so in a way, his shadow hangs over the entire trilogy. You want someone with gravity in the part. Keaton has that quality.
Next: Aunt Skywalker, we hardly knew ye