Lucasfilm / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Alright everybody, you can breath a deep sigh of relief — the official Star Wars: Episode VII cast list has just been announced after months — no, years — of speculation and rumor patrol. The roster for the franchise’s newest incarnation is intriguing, if not downright spectacular.
The press release confirmed what so many already knew (especially after they were spotted cavorting around London together this week), that the saga’s original stars, the holy trilogy of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will be back in action, as will their old pals Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2).
Girls‘ resident Broadway star-slash-sad boyfriend Adam Driver is also on the list after being confirmed as the film’s villain in February. While writers Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams are still mum on the film’s plot, Driver’s villain is rumored to be “in the vein of” Darth Vader, the baddie of the original trilogy, meaning we still have absolutely nothing to work with except they’ll be fighting an intergalactic overlord who may or may not be someone’s father.
But what we’re all after is the newcomers, the people who will make this installment of the saga great — and so far they already have, because they’re not a hologram Hayden Christensen (NEVER forget). Coming on board to travel to galaxies far, far away are John Boyega (Attack the Block), Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist) and Daisy Ridley, an unknown who’s had a few small TV roles in the UK.
Here’s what their director at the helm of the Millenium Falcon (Abrams) has to say about the whole affair:
We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.
It’s a clearly diverse cast, and without knowledge of the plot, it’s hard to assign potential roles to each of the actors now involved. It seems like Abrams and Kasdan wanted to keep it that way. Will the brilliant Serkis be playing someone that he mo-caps? Like a giant, gross alien, perhaps? Will Isaac be on the dark side with his Llewyn Davis cohort (resist the urge to make an “outer!…space!” joke, resist it), or will he be a true and pure Jedi to the end?
The casting of the younger actors — Boyega, Ridley and Gleeson — indicates that maybe the production is leaning in the direction of one of the more popular rumors, that it will revolve around a younger generation of Jedi, particularly two 17-year-old twins being trained by their dear uncle Luke. Until the male twin is led astray to the dark side. God, when I was 17, kids just used to smoke if they wanted to rebel. Casting three virtual unknowns as the new trilogy (if that’s what they are; rumors are still rumors) is a smart move. If you recall, Ford, Hamill and Fisher weren’t all that famous before the original film premiered either.
For now, we’ll just have to wait for the trailer, some set photos or maybe another press release to get more details. It’s under wraps for now. Until then, that first photo of the entire cast together has been released, including R2-D2 there in the back, and they look like a happy bunch. Check back in a few months when they’re decked out in their finest robes and cinnamon buns to really get a look at what cast bonding looks like.