The Duke, the famous John Wayne, was best known for starring in Westerns throughout his career, but many don’t realize that he did have a role in the famous Star Wars saga.
His role was actually originally revealed at a Star Wars Celebration in 2007 by Ben Burtt, a legendary sound designer who worked on the original Star Wars trilogy as well as the prequels. He really is a true mastermind for being able to conceptualize and bring to life Darth Vader’s raspy voice or Chewbacca’s howl.
John Wayne was technically in ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’
Well, at the celebration event, Burtt shared some interesting information about Garindan, a character who briefly appears in the episode A New Hope. He is the character who rats out our heroes to the Empire at Mos Eisley, and that character was voiced by Wayne himself—sort of. Apparently, Burtt had taken old recordings of Wayne’s voice, processed them together, and used them for the character.
Garindan’s character sported a dark hood, goggles, and insect-eating snout, meaning that he needed more of a buzzing sound. Burtt himself didn’t even recognize the voice that was so overly-processed by the time it was in the film, and he didn’t learn it was John Wayne until he went over the tapes years later.
Even the genius behind the Star Wars saga, George Lucas, was completely unaware of Wayne’s voice being the base behind Garindan. Despite not knowing, Lucas was a huge fan of Wayne. Even some of the scenes through the Star Wars saga were inspired by Wayne’s movies.
And if you want to get real technical, this “role” of Wayne’s was actually his last film appearance. Although he was uncredited in the 1977 film, it remains a huge part of his legacy considering it truly is his final role—a voice role for one of the most influential and iconic sagas of all time.