One of Star Wars' best pilots won't be returning in Episode VII. Denis Lawson, who played Rebel ace Wedge Antilles in the original trilogy, has confirmed that he turned down the chance to return in the upcoming Star Wars sequel. Speaking at a screening of his new movie, The Machine, Lawson said "they asked me but it just would have bored me."
Wedge — not to be confused with the Captain Antilles strangled by Darth Vader minutes into Episode IV — appeared as a hotshot pilot in all three original movies. While his part was minor, Wedge notably helped save Luke Skywalker during his attack on the first Death Star, survived the battle of Hoth, and contributed to the destruction of the second by flying into its core alongside Lando Calrissian. According to Badass Digest, Lawson suggested he might have returned if the role was increased in scope, but ultimately rejected the offer.
Wedge Antilles survived all three original movies
While his screentime in the original trilogy was limited, the Corellian ace found a greater role in Star Wars' Expanded Universe. Wedge, lest we forget as 30 years of Star Wars lore is whitewashed, was front and center in almost all of that far-off galaxy's major post-Return of the Jedi tribulations. He commanded elite Rogue and Wraith Squadrons, helped Death Star engineer Qwi Xux regain her memory, solved the bacta crisis, played an important role in beating back the Yuuzhan Vong menace, and fought for Corellia for a time against the increasingly authoritarian Galactic Alliance.
While we likely won't see an on-screen Wedge worthy of his Expanded Universe exploits, it's not yet clear whether in Lawson's absence, the role will be recast. For the sake of Episode VII's new republic, or if only to see a fan favorite back on the big screen, we can hope it is.