Disney and Marvel clearly have a good thing going by way of animated anthology series, with What If…? Season 3 getting confirmed the day after the Season 2 finale. Could it be so popular that the Star Wars universe could follow suit? That’s apparently something of a likelihood following a new report that indicates studio creatives are already bringing the alt-universe concept to galaxies far, far away. Whether it’s real or not, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes star Rachel Zegler already knows who she would play.
Of all the upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows that have been rumored and discussed over the years, a What If…?-esque concept sounds as wild as anything else available with a Disney+ subscription. But also completely understandable, since Lucasfilm tends to lean into projects that focus on already established characters. Weighing in excitedly on X, Zegler went so far as to pitch herself for a specific character who has yet to be introduced in live-action. In her words:
as a fan of the comics i would like to throw my hat in the ring to voice shara bey, mother of poe dameron, because her ship was an RZ-1 (my initials!) for green squadron
Shara Bey is/was a badass rebel fighter pilot who, as noted, also happens to be the mother of third trilogy hero Poe Dameron, as portrayed in live-action by Oscar Isaac. She was first conceived for the 2015 comic book miniseries Star Wars: Shattered Empire, written by Greg Rucka (who also crafted some of my all-time favorite Batman stories) and illustrated by Marco Checchetto, Emilio Laiso, and Angel Unzueta.
Beyond those origins, Shara has played most heavily in Charles Soule and Andrea Di Vito’s ongoing Star Wars coming line that debuted in 2020. Which obviously speaks to Zegler’s noted comic fandom, since presumably any actor unfamiliar with the aforementioned works likely would have pitched themselves to play characters already established on the live-action front. That alone is probably enough to warrant someone cobbling together outlines for a Shara Bey prequel.
But while her overall story no doubt deserves to be told, we’re talking about a What If…? concept here, so arguably the most obvious go-to scenario would be “What if Shara Bey didn’t die of bloodburn when Poe was a child?” That kind of story could easily start off with some of the pilot’s most impressive accomplishments, and then break from canon around the point of her demise in 10 ABY.
Chronological, They Are
His mother having a larger presence throughout his life would no doubt have a major effect on Poe's choices going forward, to the point where he may not have been specifically inspired to become a pilot. Perhaps she would have led him into another professional field that would remove him from the entirety of J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson’s Star Wars films. Which means those storylines likely would have gone very differently, with the butterfly effect continuing on.
The other alternative to that situation might be if Shara Bey died in battle before Poe was born, and how this universe’s future would have been affected. But then that wouldn’t leave very much room for Rachel Zegler’s vocal duties, so that’s far less desirable.
Speaking of far less desirable, the live-action Snow White star tweeted quite the cheeky Star Wars remark with her initial reaction to the potential for a "what if" anthology tied to this franchise.
what if somehow palpatine returned
Heaven and Hollywood forbid. Zegler, who shared with a fan that she’d she’d hang out for a day with “probably Chewbacca” of any Star Wars characters, will be a huge member of the Disney family before and after Snow White's arrival. Which theoretically means it'll be that much easier to enter any Shara Bey conversations for any future projects, even if the What If...? idea doesn't pan out.
But if this was really all just a joke about her initials being the same as the RZ-1, what are we even doing here?