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Why Jay From Star Wars: Visions Sounds So Familiar

"Star Wars: Visions" is a bold, fresh anime look at the galaxy far, far away. As you can expect from a "Star Wars" property, the anthology is packed with details you might have missed, as well as great villains, and cool droids. The fans have certainly appreciated this new way to tell all sorts of "Star Wars" stories, and the excellently executed anthology has been crushing it on Rotten Tomatoes, too. 

There's no shortage of great offbeat moments in "Star Wars: Visions," and one of its more peculiar episodes is without doubt "Tatooine Rhapsody." As a young Jedi Padawan called Jay escapes a grim fate, he befriends a Hutt with musical aspirations, and ends up joining Star Waver, the franchise's greatest musical group since the Mos Eisley Cantina Band. What follows is an interesting tale of nascent rock stardom, featuring cameos from some of the biggest names in "Star Wars" history ... and through it all, you might find yourself wondering why Jay sounds so very, very familiar. Let's find out!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tommy Solomon in 3rd Rock from the Sun

Jay's voice is provided by none other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt who, apart from being a very recognizable A-lister, has taken on a number of voice roles over the years. In fact, this isn't even his first time voicing a "Star Wars" character, as he voiced the wonderfully named Canto Bight resident, Slowen Lo, in "Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi."

Gordon-Levitt rose to fame at a young age, thanks to his role as Tommy Solomon in the hit NBC sitcom "3rd Rock from the Sun." Gordon-Levitt was already a seasoned child actor when he took the role at the age of 14, having appeared in prominent roles in a number of movies, as well as TV shows like "Dark Shadows" and "The Powers that Be." However, his six-season tenure as Tommy was quite easily the breakout role of his early acting career, and the actor has fond memories of it — not least because the financial windfall from the show put him through college.

"I am really lucky that I got to be on a popular television show when I was a kid so I was able to pay for my own college, but my college was expensive," Gordon-Levitt told ET Online in 2021. "If I didn't happen to be on that show, I would have a lot of student loan debt ... I think [I] have so much to be grateful for."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Tom in 500 Days of Summer

It's not uncommon for an actor from a successful TV show to make the jump to romantic comedies, but in 2009, Joseph Gordon-Levitt exceeded all expectations with the critically acclaimed (via Rotten Tomatoes) hit, "500 Days of Summer." In a role that earned him a Golden Globe nomination, the actor plays Tom, who sorts through his jumbled memories of a recently ended relationship with his noticeably less romantic colleague, Summer (Zooey Deschanel).

Even before "500 Days of Summer," Joseph Gordon-Levitt's post-"3rd Rock from the Sun" career had already showed signs that he wanted more from his big screen career than Tommy Solomon expy characters or lantern-jawed action hero roles — a trend that the actor attributed to growing up as a person. "Well, the conscious decision was that I wanted to be in good movies,"  he told MoviesOnline in 2007. "That's what I always wanted to do, but the difference is that when I was young, I was kind of a selfish person. When I was a teenager, I mostly just cared about my own pleasure and, as I grew up, moved out of my parents' house and moved to New York, went to college and quit acting for a while, I started to feel a connection to the world around me in a way that I hadn't as a teenager. When I started acting again, I wanted the acting to engage with that connection whereas, when I was younger, I was really unnerved when anybody would recognize me for something I'd done." 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Arthur in Inception

In 2010, Christopher Nolan's "Inception" arrived, and even the people who hadn't been paying attention finally found out that Joseph Gordon-Levitt wasn't little Tommy Solomon any more. His character in the peculiar dream-heist movie, Arthur the point man, is arguably the single coolest character in the film, which is saying something when the rest of the cast includes people like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Elliot Page and Cillian Murphy. 

A lot of this has to do with Gordon-Levitt's iconic hallway scene. It ranks among the most epic movie fights out there, made all the more impressive because the physics-defying battle in the spinning hallway was a practical effect that took three weeks to shoot, and required Gordon-Levitt to prepare with two weeks of arduous stunt training. 

"It was just about the most fun I've ever had on a movie set," the actor described the experience in an interview with Collider. " It was also, probably, the most pain I've ever been in on a movie set, physically, but you know, pain in a good way, like in the way I guess athletes must get when they have to put on their pads and they tape up their ankles and they get a little beat up throughout the day, but that's just part of slamming yourself into walls and jumping around all day."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is John Blake in The Dark Knight Rises

In 2012, Joseph Gordon-Levitt reunited with Christopher Nolan for "The Dark Knight Rises," the climactic conclusion of the director's trilogy of Batman movies. Gordon-Levitt plays John Blake, a capable but seemingly ordinary beat cop who gets tangled in Gotham City's latest crisis, brought on by the terrorist Bane (played by Gordon-Levitt's "Inception" castmate Tom Hardy). At the end of the movie, however, the viewers find out that the seemingly dead Batman (Christian Bale) has set Blake up to become the city's new protector, complete with the Dark Knight's crime-fighting resources.  

In a 2016 interview with CinemaBlend, Gordon-Levitt shared his own view of this ending, and why he appreciated Blake's apparent destiny as Gotham's new superhero so much. "I know we're all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of endless series," the actor said. "They don't really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there's a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that's the perfect ending to that story."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Joe in Looper

Though Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gone for interesting roles instead of straightforward action characters, he has nevertheless become quite well-known for his portrayals of square-jawed men of action. Nowhere has this been more evident than in Rian Johnson's 2012's time travel thriller "Looper," in which he played a younger version of Bruce Willis' hitman, Joe — complete with facial prosthetics that gave him the older star's sturdy jawline.

Because Gordon-Levitt isn't exactly the spitting image of a "Die Hard"-era Willis, it's only natural that some makeup wizardry was required, and as Johnson told The Hollywood Reporter, the end result was beyond effective. "It was kind of an incredible transformation to see," the director said. "We knew we were never gonna make Joe look like a real young Bruce Willis. So what we did was pick a few key features and alter those."

Gordon-Levitt himself was also very happy with the results. "It kind of freaked Bruce out," he said. "It's my favorite thing I've ever done."