[INTERVIEW] Dominic Monaghan: Taking The Shire to Galaxies Far, Far Away

Sci-fi fans who have seen The Rise of Skywalker might have noticed something familiar about Beaumont Kin, Rose’s new ally in battle against Palpatine’s star destroyer fleet. Dominic Monaghan took the role for the final installment after he won a soccer bet against director JJ Abrams. While the wager makes for a fun anecdote, Dominic is no stranger to blockbuster hits or playing characters that face immeasurable odds. After all, he did stare down the monstrous armies of Sauron as Merry the hobbit in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies.

Like many others over the past three decades, Dominic grew up being infatuated with George Lucas’s brilliant world and dreamt of what it would be like to be a part of it. Disney has always claimed to make dreams come true and this is exactly what they did for Dominic. Although he only had a minor role in the Star Wars universe, it was more than enough to leave a huge impact on the actor.

"It was important for me to do my job whilst also having an out of body experience at times. It was always a thrill to go on set and see what JJ had in store for us. I think my first costume fitting and script reading was when it really soaked into my system. The premiere was emotional. Having a private moment with R2 was emotional. Hugging Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) was emotional. I felt like I’d come full circle. The 8-year-old me was in rapture."

The Star Wars universe is, indeed, full of timeless characters. The heroes, droids, villains, and dialogue have spawned decades of pop references. Even with all of the iconic names that span the cartoons, books, and eleven films, fans somehow seem to gravitate to one or two favorites that they hold dear.

"As I’ve aged it’s become more and more about Yoda, his life and teachings. As a young boy it was always Han. He’s a brilliant character, but Yoda is like Buddha and a jester all rolled into one. He has influenced my life the most." 

The sudden and mysterious arrival of Dominic’s character left many fans intrigued about his backstory. How did Beaumont Kin become such a pivotal player in the Resistance? What skills does he have? How did he know Chewbacca? It’s easy to see that the movie alludes to a much deeper understanding of Beaumont, but the amount of screen time left fans with more questions about him than answers. So, who is he?

"He’s a code breaker from a broken home. He’s smart, ambitious, and motivated. He appears in three Star Wars comics and gets a double page spread in the new Star Wars encyclopedia!"

The Rise of Skywalker was met with a division of overwhelming praise and criticism. The main complaints voiced by critics seem to revolve around underdeveloped plots and story gaps. Since the movie hit theatres, rumors have swirled that JJ Abrams’s vision was cut short to meet Disney’s run time goal. Furthermore, other rumors suggest that there is an extended “Director’s Cut” of the movie being held captive by the corporation that could potentially be released in the future. Much of this speculation has been fueled by some of Dominic’s recent interviews in which he discusses witnessing tons of pivotal scenes that didn’t make it to the final product. That aside, Dominic has not actually verified that an Abram’s cut exists.

"All I can say is, like ALL films, many scenes were left on the cutting room floor that I’m sure everyone will want to see." 

The chance to permanently be a part of the Star Wars universe is obviously treasured by Dominic, but that doesn’t mean that he has left Middle Earth behind. The Lord of the Rings series propelled his career and the years on set forged a bond between the cast that may rival that of the rings. In fact, the main actors from the series all got matching commemorative tattoos (with the exception of John Rhys-Davies).

"The Lord of the Rings was 5/6 years of on set work and premieres and press. The whole world changed for me. It was a much more immersive experience. I was happy just to be a guest on Star Wars. It was a huge pleasure, but my experience was only 3 months or so." 

Like George Lucas, J. R. R. Tolkien masterfully created magical worlds that have captivated thousands for generations. There are very few actors that have gotten to immerse themselves in both of these universes. So, which would Dominic prefer to live in if he had the opportunity?

"Simply because of more chances to explore magical worlds and abilities and experiences, I’d say Star Wars just pushes it. But, given a choice of a city, I’d choose Lothlorian first." 

It sounds like it might be a good thing he doesn’t have to choose. In a sense, he will forever live in each of them. The good news for fans in Dallas is that he will also be taking a step into our world soon. Dominic Monaghan is slated to be a guest at this year’s Fan Expo Dallas. He will join his fellow hobbits in one of the year’s most anticipated reunions. Dominic seemed almost as eager as the fans about the experience.

"I like meeting young people who love the things I’ve been involved with and watching them light up and be inspired, like I am to meet them. Also, I think the hobbits are all going to get dinner one night. It’ll be nice just to be with my brothers. The four of us haven’t been together for years." 

If you would like to be a part of this epic event, Fan Expo Dallas runs from March 27-29 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in downtown Dallas. Dominic is scheduled to be appearing on Saturday and Sunday only. To find out more information or get tickets go to fanexpodallas.com.