By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist June 12, 2014 at 9:01AM
We can't even go to sleep without some new "Star Wars" rumor hitting the internet. Yesterday brought whispers that "Empire Strikes Back" writer Lawrence Kasdan might be penning a Boba Fett movie (which in turn, means that Gareth Edwards is probably making something else for his 2016 spin-off film), but this morning there's some more tittle-tattle, suggesting that a crown prince of cinematic geekery will be cropping up in "Episode VII."
According to IGN Middle East (via Bleeding Cool), "Shaun Of The Dead" and "Star Trek" star Simon Pegg has secretly filmed a role in "Star Wars: Episode VII," which, as we all know, is helmed by Pegg's 'Trek' and "Mission: Impossible" colleague J.J. Abrams. Supposedly, Pegg has already shot his part on the film's Abu Dhabi set — which presumably makes sense of how this particular branch of IGN would get hold of the info.
Pegg has had a famously vocal and difficult relationship with the franchise: like many of his contemporaries, he grew up on the original films, but was left badly burnt by the prequels (Pegg's surrogate Tim Bisley burnt his memorabilia post-"Phantom Menace" in the second season of "Spaced"). More recently, the actor has softened a bit, voicing a character called Dengar in the "Clone Wars" animated series, but only last year, he suggested that he didn't want to be involved in the new series, telling The Independent "I don't think it would be appropriate for me to be in it, to be honest. I think J.J. should cast new faces with no stunt casting. I wouldn't want to be popped out of the film by a knowing cameo. I think it would be great to do it properly."
But Pegg also famously said that he wasn't going to go Hollywood and be in "Mission Impossible 3" before going off and doing exactly that, and given his close relationship with Abrams, it's hardly unthinkable that the director talked him into something, even if it's only a small role. Perhaps he'll be hidden under prosthetics (or even feature as a performance-capture character--he has form in that medium, having been in Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures Of Tintin"), and there's certainly a gap in his recent schedule large enough to accommodate a brief trip to Abu Dhabi.
With Abrams' mystery-box lockdown in full effect, we may not know for some time whether this rumor checks out. But in the meantime, you can take a look at Pegg as C-3PO below in a viral video he made with Nick Frost to help plug the release of "Paul."