Why General Veers' Role Was Cut From Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi

The "Star Wars" universe is stuffed with memorable baddies, and since the theatrical films have mostly been shot in London, these villains are typically from the United Kingdom. Everyone's got a favorite: Ian McDiarmid's sinister Emperor Palpatine, Peter Cushing's ruthless Grand Moff Tarkin (who was digitally resurrected for "Rogue One"), Kenneth Colley's stressed out Admiral Piett ... there's really no wrong answer here. But if I absolutely have to place one member of the Galactic Empire over all the others, I might just go with Julian Glover's delectably evil General Maximillian Veers.

Why? Even though he doesn't get much screen time in "Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back" (which, had it failed, could've ended George Lucas' career), Glover is just such a strikingly nasty piece of work during the assault on the Rebels' Hoth base of operations that I find myself wishing Lucas had found more for him to do.

No one should weep for Glover's smallish part in the best "Star Wars" movie ever made. The man has kept very busy over the last 40-plus years in film, television, and theater. But he's such an amazing actor, you can't help but wonder why Lucas didn't bring him back for "Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi."

Evidently, this was a possibility.

The near return of General Veers

In an interview with Star Wars Insider for its July 2019 issue, Glover revealed that General Veers could've been brought back for the final film in the original trilogy:

"He was written in as a possibility — although I don't know what the scenes were — but not in a very large capacity. I was working on something else and couldn't do it. I'd already been in a 'Star Wars' film, but now, looking back, it would have been nice to have been in two. That came over the backyard fence again, from Robert Watts. He said, 'We're doing Revenge of the Jedi, there could be a bit for you. Do you want to do it?' But I couldn't, and that was the end of that."

The project that kept Glover returning to the galaxy far, far away might've been James Ivory's period romantic drama "Heat and Dust." But while Glover never appeared in another "Star Wars" flick, the 89-year-old actor has turned in plenty of memorable bad guy performances over the years. He was terrific as the duplicitous Aristotle Kristatos in the James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only," and fiendishly wicked as Walter Donovan, the man who chooses very poorly in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade."

Happily, Glover is still plugging away as near the age of 90. We last saw him on the big screen in Todd Field's "Tár" and on streaming in Disney+'s "Willow" series. Here's hoping Mr. Glover keeps at it for many more years!