This week it was announced that there will be a Doctor Aphra audiobook, but unfortunately, it won’t be an original story but based off existing Doctor Aphra/Darth Vader material. The author, Sarah Kuhn, showed the cover of the TPB of Darth Vader #2, Shadows and Secrets and mentioned a few famous names. Luckily, I am a huge Doctor Aphra fan within the existing Star Wars universe. She’s an Indiana Jones-type archaeologist but with fluid ethics and morals. Now, no actors have been cast (that we know of) for the new audiobook. Let’s say for simplicity’s sake that certain droids (B-T1) and a certain Wookiee (Black Krrsantan) has their own manufactured voices/sound effects that can be taken care of in-house during recording. Also, Doctor Aphra would have existing classic Star Wars characters and voices. Darth Vader has a huge role in the Doctor Aphra story. It’s only right that in my own voice-acting head canon, James Earl Jones would continue to voice Lord Vader. Likewise with other Star Wars characters: Luke Skywalker and Han Solo play large roles in the storyline. The only way I would accept other actors (besides Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford) playing these roles would be having sound-alike actors playing them—Robot Chicken has always done a humorous job of doing this. Anyways, for this article, I went with who I thought would best encompass the characters that we know and love. Did I mention money would be no object for this project? Essentially, I grabbed my favorites for the article.
• Doctor Aphra: If I were casting the movie of Doctor Aphra, I would go with who the creator Kieron Gillen would cast, Scott Pilgrim’s Ellen Wong. Listen to this, I kind of dig her voice.
From what I understand, this entire project is to be told through Aphra’s point of view. I can hear Wong talking her way out of certain situations. Plus, it only seems right that you have an Asian actor not only look like Aphra, but to have her sound like Aphra.
• Triple Zero: A deadly protocol droid like C-3PO, but whose primary programming includes: “etiquette, customs, translation and torture.” Basically, he’s a droid psychopath. Since 3PO plays a small part in Aphra, you can’t use the same voice—Anthony Daniels. For Triple Zero, you need a stable, psychopathic and presumably English voice to embody him. I would have never thought of this actor for a possibility until I saw his new trailer for The Great.
Yes, it’s Nicholas Hoult – best known for playing Beast from the X-Men. Watch this trailer and tell me he doesn’t sound like a psychopath in his native British accent. He’s also about the same age as Daniels was in 1977 – around 30 years old.
• IG-90: Like his brothers IG-88 (The Empire Strikes Back) and IG-11 (The Mandalorian), this droid is also employed as a bounty hunter. Unlike his brothers, however, he’s painted RED and certainly stands out. He’s part of Aphra’s crew to rip off the Empire/Crime Syndicates. He still talks like a logical droid, although he seems to really like credits. Why not go with the only actor to actually voice one of these assassin droids? Yes, I choose Taika Waititi. He can obviously do the robot voice but perhaps with that right amount of AI sarcasm that we know he can do.
• Beebox: Like IG-90, I just found this guy intriguing. He looks like a Mandalorian but is super short, like a dwarf. He’s supremely confident in his job (until he’s killed by Darth Vader himself). He doesn’t have that big of a role, but visually these characters are powerful. In the Star Wars universe, there’s only one person that do this role any justice –Warwick Davis (Wicket and Willow himself).
• Inspector Thanoth: Logical and disciplined, this Imperial officer (with a title I’ve never heard of before) managed NOT to get killed by Vader right off the bat. He eventually did, but he had a good run. Thanoth is the Sherlock-Holmes-Archetype that is usually missing within the Star Wars universe. He also had some great facial hair. Perhaps most importantly (and most awesome), he logically determined (through reason, research and deduction) that Darth Vader was once Anakin Skywalker. Sir Ian McKellen once played an elderly Sherlock Holmes in Mr. Holmes. He can give the necessary gravitas to the role.
• Sana Starros: The Audiobook’s author Sarah Kuhn specifically mentioned Sana by name and has been a long-time presence in Aphra’s universe. A former girlfriend/frenemy, she first appeared in Star Wars by claiming to be Han Solo’s long-lost wife. She’s actually a fellow smuggler and scoundrel. With the casting of Thandie Newton in the movie Solo, many fans thought she would end up playing Sana, but she ended up playing Val and died fairly early in the movie. I don’t want to cast Newton again in such a similar role, so gotta come up with someone else. I immediately thought of Thor Ragnarok and the hard-drinking, super-tough, similar-looking Tessa Thompson. If she does the British accent or not, Thompson would be perfect in either a live-action or audio-only
• Tolvan: I have no idea if she’ll appear in the Doctor Aphra Audio, her appearance in the comic series didn’t come until Aphra’s first issue. She plays an Imperial officer turned Rebel. Disciplined, hard-ass who even found fault in her own botched execution. She’s also a cyborg, which (apart from Vader) has got to be difficult in the Empire – it’s not something she tries to hide. Most of her face and arms are chrome. What I thought was a great piece of canon was that she used to be the commanding officer at Eadu (shown during Rogue One) and Yavin Four (A New Hope). There’s only one person I thought of when describing Tolvan: Hayley Atwell from Captain America/Agent Carter fame. Yes, complete with her British accent and demeanor.
There are of course, many other characters in Aphra’s world, but who knows if any of these people will be covered in the Audiobook. Guess we’ll have to wait and see….