There is nothing like having friends in the right places. Talent and hard work will get you places, connections will get you there faster.  Dominic Monaghan has such connections.  On a recent podcast with Distraction Pieces, Dominic stated that one day his close friend, JJ Abrams, allowed him to read the Episode IX script…

“[He told me], ‘Just be aware of the fact that there are massive sequences in Act Two, there are massive sequences in Act Three but because we’re shooting Act One first, I’ve put you in there and you seem to not be around as much in Act Two and Act Three but that’s because that’s what we’re doing first so I want you here, I want you invested.

‘So read the script but just know there won’t be long until there’ll be a re-draft of those things and we’ll see you a little bit more’.”

It took me several read-throughs to figure out what he meant, especially in the last few sentences.  Apparently, JJ saw to it that his friend made it into the opening act of the movie.  The roll does not appear to be used much in the second and third acts – for now.  The last part appears to be JJ saying that as they move into the final acts, he will make sure rewrites add more of Dominic’s character where possible.

This sounds similar to Phasma’s origins.  Phasma was to just be an ordinary stormtrooper, but when Kennedy wanted more females and Gwendoline Christie was cast, the role was expanded (somewhat) and featured more.  We do not know if we will recognize Monaghan or not yet.  He could be wearing armor and a gun belt or full prosthetics and costume similar to Simon Peg in The Force Awakens.

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JJ Abrams is known for several things, from flares to friend casting.  JJ loves to cast friends and former actors he has worked with. Keri Russell is another example of a friend/former co-worker that will be in episode IX. It is always nice to know there is someone out there that has your back and will get you into his next major project.