You probably won't be too shocked to learn that nepotism exists in Hollywood: If Nicolas Cage hadn't gotten some of his earliest roles from his uncle Francis Ford Coppola, the world would be a sadder, less crazy place. But some blood connections between celebrities aren't so easy to spot, since they exist between people you'd probably never imagine being in the same room together, let alone getting drunk and having an argument on Thanksgiving. For instance ...
8Ewan McGregor Is the Nephew of Wedge from Star Wars
It would be unfair to reduce Ewan McGregor's career to the fact that he was cast as a young Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels: The man has demonstrated his versatility by playing everything from a junkie (Trainspotting), to a U.S. Army Ranger (Black Hawk Down), to Jim Carrey's boyfriend (I Love You Phillip Morris).
However, it turns out that McGregor's involvement in the Star Wars saga isn't a fluke in his career, but part of a family tradition: His uncle is Irish actor Denis Lawson, who played Luke Skywalker's BFF Wedge Antilles in all three movies of the original trilogy. According to Wikipedia, Wedge has the distinction of being "the only Rebel pilot to have survived both attack runs at the Death Stars." Now we know why -- he was Obi-Wan's freaking uncle and had the Force on his side all along.
"New plan: You guys wait here -- I got this."
McGregor says that his uncle was a huge influence on him, saying that "If he hadn't been an actor, I'm sure I wouldn't have thought to be one." Think about that. One of the best known actors in the world finds his inspiration in a guy who didn't even get an action figure in the original Star Wars toy series (and freakin' everyone did).
7Malcolm McDowell Is the Uncle of Dr. Bashir from Star Trek
And because we believe in equal opportunity, here's one that will make Star Trek fans' heads explode, too.
Malcolm McDowell is best known for playing lovable sociopath Alex in A Clockwork Orange before getting all wrinkly and finding his niche as "generic sci-fi villain" in places like Tank Girl, the show Heroes, and Star Trek: Generations (1994). That last movie made him infamous among Trekkies as the man who killed Captain Kirk.
The bridge that fell on him had nothing to do with it.
But while McDowell was busy murdering Kirk, his nephew Alexander Siddig was keeping the USS Enterprise's legacy alive as Dr. Bashir, one of the main characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (which ran from 1993 to 1999, meaning that Siddig's involvement in the franchise actually predates his uncle's by a year).
Alexander Siddig was born Siddig El Tahir El Fadil El Siddig Abderrahman Mohammed Ahmed Abdel Karim El Mahdi in 1965 to a Sudanese father and a British mother, who happens to be Malcolm McDowell's sister. The young man shortened his name to "Alexander" after going into show business, perhaps inspired by his uncle's most famous role, or more likely just worried that his IMDb page would look ridiculous.
It's interesting to note that, while McDowell started out in respectable films and eventually ended up doing genre parts to pay the bills, Siddig has taken the opposite course: He started in a Star Trek spinoff and went on to act in films like Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven, the critically acclaimed Syriana, and the award-wining Cairo Time. Meanwhile, his uncle recently appeared in this:
Suddenly we're not so worried about Siddig's IMDb page looking sillier.