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Dunbar’s close encounter with a galaxy far, far away

A LONG time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a Fermanagh man had a ‘starring’ role in one of history’s greatest film franchises.

While some local sci-fi fanatics may remember it well, many in the county may not be aware that Enniskillen’s own Adrian Dunbar actually had a role in the 1999 Star War’s prequel ‘Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.’

Today, May the 4th, is unofficially Star Wars Day, and to mark the occasion here at the Herald we’ve been reminiscing on what could have been for the Line of Duty star.

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Mr Dunbar had been cast to play senator for Alderaan, Bail Antilles. A human, he represented his planet in the Galactic Senate in the waning years of Galactic Republic.

Antilles was a character who – according to ‘Wookieepedia’ – was “nominated to succeed Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum after the Galactic Senate chose to remove Valorum from the chancellery.”

It was no doubt an ‘out of this world’ performance by Mr Dunbar and it is certainly an accomplishment in itself to have been cast in such a star-studded line up that included Hollywood hotshots such as Natalie Portman, Samuel L Jackson and Liam Neeson. Sadly, though, as is often the case, when the film was released in theatres the Enniskillen man’s scenes were cut from the final version.

He wasn’t completely chopped from the film, though, and die-hard fans would have had the chance to enjoy Dunbar’s Antilles on the film’s DVD release which included bonus deleted scenes.

Mr Dunbar’s likeness and portrayal of Antilles has also been used in the Star Wars ‘Expanded Universe.’

He was later replaced in the part by actor Jimmy Smits in ‘Episode II – Attack of the Clones’ (2002) and ‘Episode III – Revenge of the Sith’ (2005).

May the fourth be with you, Mr Dunbar!

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA