Benedict Cumberbatch May Be a Sith Lord in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

Reasons and speculation as to why the actor would be perfectly cast as the villain in the new trilogy.

Benedict Cumberbatch as a Sith Lord in Star Wars 7

Darth Plaguesis? Thrawn? An unknown Sith under the control of Force Ghost Palpatine? Any of these are possible with director J.J. Abrams in control of Star Wars: Episode VII, as the first real casting news starts to come into focus. Yesterday, it broke that Benedict Cumberbatch will be the first actor announced for the upcoming sequel. At the time, it wasn't known whom he'd be playing, or if he would side with the Jedi or Sith.

More news has surfaced in regards to this leaked casting announcement today, with Badass Digest claiming that Benedict Cumberbatch is currently in talks to play the main bad guy of the entire new trilogy. While this comes from trusted sources, those sources did not say if the bad guy was a Sith, or some other unknown foe lurking about the galaxy. But most signs point to the actor being a Sith Lord, possibly Force Ghost Palpatine's apprentice?

The Benedict Cumberbatch rumor has been floating around for some time, with many major sites sitting on the news for the past week. Disney and Lucasfilm, and representatives for the actor all denied the story, which is why it wasn't revealed in a trade publication. If, and when, the news becomes official, expect to see it announced on Lucasfilm's own official website.

Benedict Cumberbatch dropped out of Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak last month, with no reason given. Most now believe that Star Wars: Episode VII was the reason for his departure. There are also other commitments the Star Trek Into Darkness actor will have to break if he does sign on. Right now, it's believed talks are still ongoing. And it may not even come together, which is another reason we haven't heard it officially announced.

A rep for the actor had this to say.

"There is no truth to the rumor Benedict has been cast in Star Wars . I think the rumors are circling because J.J. and Benedict have just recently had a wonderful time working together on Star Trek Into Darkness."

We have to take this denial with a grain of salt, as this usually happens when a story breaks too soon.

This is an important time at Disney, as casting continues to come together for their other 2015 blockbuster The Avengers: Age of Ultron. On Thursday, James Spader was announced as the voice of Ultron, the main bad guy. And we are still awaiting official confirmation that Elizabeth Olsen is Scarlet Witch. There may be more casting news in terms of characters we haven't been made aware of yet. And it's likely that Disney is trying to capitalize on the publicity of each individual casting story for full impact, especially in an age when something like Ben Affleck becoming Batman stays at the top of a news cycle for weeks after the initial announcement is made.

There have been multiple rumors that Star Wars: Episode VII is stuck in development Hell, and that its not coming together as quickly as Disney had hoped. At D23 this past August, the studio remained steadfast that we would see the first of many new Star Wars movies in 2015 as promised. Shortly after this, we began hearing that it would be a Christmas 2015 release. None of this has yet to be confirmed by the studio.

Its expected that the first real Star Wars: Episode VII casting news will drop this week, most likely on Thursday. Not only will Benedict Cumberbatch be confirmed, but so will the long awaited announcement of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams and Anthony Daniels.

It should be noted that J.J. Abrams hid Benedict Cumberbatch's true character identity leading up to the release of Star Trek Into Darkness. Many have joked that, while Thrawn has already been denied by Lucasfilm, Benedict's character will eventually be revealed as this particular villain. Whatever we hear in the coming weeks or months will likely be shrouded in some sort of mystery, and its doubtful we'll know whom exactly the actor is playing until we are in our seats watching the film.

What are your thoughts? Does Benedict Cumberbatch make for the kind of trilogy villain you want to see? Also, should J.J. Abrams be combining the worlds of Star Trek and Star Wars? Thus far, we'd been led to believe actors from either franchise wouldn't be making a crossover. With Benedict Cumberbatch possibly coming back in Star Trek 3, is this blasphemous in terms of both franchises?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.

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Comments (36)

  1. Wyatt Smith

    I know the trilogy is after the original series but Benedict would be great as Revan.

    1 year agoby @Wyatt-SmithFlag

  2. Jesús Iglesias Lókion

    Do you know the Dark Horse comic "Dark Empire"? In it you can see Palpatine resurrect sending his ghost into a young clon of himself. I can clearly see Benedict taking the role of the young clon of Palpatine, in fact I can imagine him as a young Ian MacDiarmid, don't you?

    2 years agoby @Jess-Iglesias-LkionFlag

  3. Whiskeythieves

    Good call Abrams!!

    2 years agoby @whiskeythievesFlag

  4. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    Benedict C*mberbatch as a Sith Lord would be awesome! :-)

    2 years agoby @redcameramanFlag

  5. skywise

    @ejk1 I am certain that a new Sherlock is in the works. Steven Moffat was interviewed recently and mentioned it. It is definitely coming. At least it is only 3 episodes of 2 hours each. C*mberbatch and crew should be able to work around that with little to no problems. @Brizzy

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  6. ObiWanShinobi

    It would probably affect Sherlock unfortunately. @ejk1@Brizzy

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  7. ObiWanShinobi

    No I've been meaning to watch that on Netflix but thats beside the point. The point is that he's already in Star Trek as Khan and that putting him in Star Wars wouldn't be smart. People are already uneasy about the director of Star Trek directing Star Wars, those are two different worlds with opposite tones & aesthetics. Casting the same actor would be unwise. @brady1138

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  8. Brizzy

    This is still just a rumor, even if I wish it were true.
    I just hope it doesn't Sherlock if it's true.

    2 years agoby @BrizzyFlag

  9. ejk1

    I don't know if this is true, but this I do know: As long as it doesn't affect Sherlock, I'm okay with it. Sherlock > than every Star Wars film since Empire ended.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  10. LuxoIII

    @ObiWanShinobi I don't think you're giving him enough credit. Have you seen the British show Sherlock where he plays Holmes opposite Martin Freeman (Dr. Watson)? It's a great show and really demonstrates his acting range. He's more than just "a bad guy actor."

    2 years agoby @brady1138Flag

  11. Gandoff

    I still remember the feeling I had at the opening of Star Wars Episode III. Sitting in my seat, watching Anikin, I could not help but to feel weird. Knowing he was about to become Darth Vader, and him falling to the Dark Side. Yet wanting to not see it happen. Much like watching Smallville, and the desire to see Lex stay on the path to try to be good, and never become the Evil villain to Superman. But it was not to be. While I watched Star Trek Into Darkness, I knew and felt C*mberbatch was the villain. Despite the emotional plea for his "people" as to why he did what he did, I knew the moment his Kahn names was placed on him, his path was not only set, but was never going to be a true hero. But with this news, I find it hard. If he is to become a Sith, by control on the ghost of Palpatine, then he does not truly fall to the Dark Side. As that might be a story some may want to see, I would rather see a creation of a NEW Sith Master, and no spirits of the past films used as a character. Luke, should be, the new Jedi Counsel Head, would need others to help counsel and train. And C*mberbatch would be, in my opinion, more able to fit the needs long term for a new Jedi Master leader for future films. We may see, despite in my knowledge, not happening in books, Luke being killed, and C*mberbatch taking up the new mantle. With that, I would rather see C*mberbatch be a Jedi. And despite there being novels written to continue the Star Wars universe, they may go forward with a new story as if those in the novels did not happen. Much like Incredible Hulk took elements from HULK, yet pretended the rest did not happen.

    2 years agoby @gandoffFlag

  12. MovieFan9482

    I hope its true that he has been cast, he be a great addition. But can we please get some star wars news that is official and not just rumors.

    2 years agoby @moviefan9482Flag

  13. ObiWanShinobi

    & I for damn sure hope they wouldn't try to make Benedict C*mbergffgtrfgtrfg the son of Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford. Too unbelievable. @bawnian-dexeus

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  14. ObiWanShinobi

    Him being a hero would be cool, I think that could be acceptable. Like a "secret apprentice of Yoda on Dagobah" type scenario if that was the case, but lets be honest though, the heroes & heroines are gonna be the offsprings of the original cast. @bawnian-dexeus

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  15. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ObiWanShinobi What about the Hero? Or are you against him in two established franchises entirely?

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  16. ObiWanShinobi

    Not feeling it. They should just get fresh new faces & only bring back the original cast. If Benedict hadn't already played a well known villian in another space opera I'd be totally up for him in this. These two movies already have the same director & the word "Star" in their title for gods sake. They don't need the same actor playing the villian in both movies. @bawnian-dexeus

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  17. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @ObiWanShinobi Well, it's not like saying he's going to be Khan in another movie. He isn't really synonymous to the character. If this were Hugh Jackman playing the next Batman I'd agree with you, but Benedict can play a Star Wars villain, fanboys be damned. Albeit, he would be typecast if this were true, but it would be awesome nevertheless. That's just me.

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  18. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @skywise Though I've never read the Thrawn books (I plan to) or anything outside the 6 movies, I'd be very surprised if they don't at least reference to the expanded universe that may or may not be canon to the current film series. Kind of like Marvel and DC. They create their own stories while drawing from stablished story arcs.

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  19. skywise

    @ObiWanShinobi I know. But that does not change my previous statement.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  20. ObiWanShinobi

    They are really stunt casting this movie if this is true. Benedict is already KHAN from Star Trek he can't be a villian in Star Wars as well.

    I wish Brad Bird was directing.

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  21. ObiWanShinobi

    It's going to be an ORIGINAL story so no Thrawn. @skywise

    2 years agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  22. CoreyB

    jesus the internet is a joke does this story have any validity to it at all? movieweb...u shouldnt be postin this fake sh*t

    2 years agoby @CoreyBFlag


    Even though I could tell this rumor was false, I wouldn't have a problem if he showed up in Star Wars. He's a very talented actor who could easily play a Jedi, or pirate type character like Han.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  24. LuxoIII

    C*mberbatch c*mberbatch c*mberbatch c*mberbatch!!!

    2 years agoby @brady1138Flag

  25. dannybrist

    As much as I like C*mberbatch, especially as a Sith Lord, it would be very surprising to see him in a role like this so soon after STID. Same director, same genre, another HUGE film franchise, another villain. It all just seems to similar.

    2 years agoby @dannybristFlag

  26. The Real Goku

    @themoviefanatic I honestly don't know. But I think Patrick Stewart would be dope! Lol

    2 years agoby @therealGokuFlag

  27. skywise

    He would make an excellent Thrawn.

    2 years agoby @skywiseFlag

  28. Sean

    @therealGoku If Benedict C*mberbatch plays one of the Sith Lords in Star Wars episode 7, who do you think world or could play the other one?

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

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