"I'm very thrilled," she grins. "I was panicking a bit thinking that she may not be back this film." About 90 minutes of makeup transforms Finlay into Moore, with a set of uncomfortable and vision-reducing contact lenses completing the look. "They're like glass in your eyes," she groans, "but I love dressing up. I think all actors are big kids that just like to dress up. It's a lot of fun."
The makeup and eyes may be Moore, but the shaved head is all Finlay. "I've been bald for about nine years now. I love it. You can be beautiful with hair, but you have to be damn gorgeous without it!" she laughs.
Her return to Star Wars will reunite her with her on-screen boss, the man who runs the galaxy, Chancellor Palpatine. "I'm very much looking forward to working with Ian McDiarmid again," she says. "He's great. He said to me, 'if you're ever in London come to my theater and stay at my house.' I found the Star Wars family really, really bonding. Even if you're involved with them just a little bit; they're just so cool."
A founding member of this family joining Episode III is Peter Mayhew, the mighty Chewbacca. Finlay has met Mayhew during her convention appearances. "Oh, I love him," she laughs. "When I first met him a couple of years ago, I walked to him in the green room and I just said, 'Can I cuddle with you? I love Chewie! I love Chewbacca!' And we had this great big cuddle, and Angie, Peter's wife, joined in and welcomed me to the Star Wars family. There were just tears everywhere. We went out to dinner, and I hung out with him quite a bit actually. He's a beautiful, beautiful man."
Now having appeared at several conventions, Finlay continues to be amazed by the passion of Star Wars fans, particularly when it comes to her character. "I've had a big response from the fans about Sly Moore, which has been really cool," she says. "I have fans telling me all about Sly Moore and where she's from, and my powers, and they go right into my history. It's pretty wild, actually. I've been in so many different movies, and I've never had this response. This is just outrageous."
This story originally appeared in issue #88 of the StarWars.com Homing Beacon email newsletter.