Misdirection. It’s the classic technique of going “HEY LOOK OVER THERE” while secretly preparing an elaborate magic trick and/or hiding the garbage bags containing your neighbor’s corpse. But misdirection isn’t just used by magician serial killers anymore. Now, even the folks at LucasFilm have employed this tried-and-true method in the latest casting development for Star Wars: Episode VII.
Yesterday, the company put out a press release announcing to the world that the long process of holding open casting calls and scouring through millions of young actors mesmerized by the words “Star” and Wars” has paid off. Officially joining the cast are two unknowns: Crystal Clarke and Pip Andersen.
Clarke, an American acting student, will make her feature debut in next year’s The Moon and the Sun, the I-desperately-hope-it’s-true story of King Louis XIV, and how his “quest for immortality leads him to capture and steal a mermaid’s life force.” Fingers crossed on that one. Andersen, on the other hand, was a competitor on MTV’s Ultimate Parkour Challenge. Less impressive, but for all we know Ultimate Parkour Challenge had an episode where the contestants had to reenact scenes from the original Star Wars films while also flipping between a series of really tall dumpsters.
So Disney stood up and shouted, “Look! Look at these ridiculously good-looking young people! Watch as they do parkour!” (And yes, the press release did link to a Sony ad where Andersen wears a Spider-Man outfit under his clothes and does backflips in and out of various buildings.) And as we’re enraptured by the siren song of new Star Wars actors, the studio quietly announced that Star Wars: Episode VII is delaying its production for two weeks in August. In the very same press release, no less.
This little “spend five paragraphs on the new actors and one paragraph on production halting due to Harrison Ford‘s debilitating leg injury” tactic worked about as well as it could have. Any kind of Star Wars delay is bound to cause those in the upper echelons of Star Wars fandom to commit seppuku with a glowing plastic lightsaber. At least now, with the two updates shackled together in articles across the news-o-sphere, the fans will be momentarily distracted by speculation over who these new cast members might play. Thus delaying the ritual toy suicide by about 30 minutes.
The omnipresent being that is Star Wars softened its production delay devastator with phrases like “Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon,” and “shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall.” Again, probably about right, given that Ford was recently seen fully mobile, thanks to the use of a bizarre-looking future leg brace that he probably swiped from the Star Wars set.
Don’t sheath your plastic sabers just yet, though. Production on Episode VII has been slightly delayed with no major changes (as far as we know) to production — and that’s exactly what circulated through the rumor mill a few weeks back. We may be bearing witness to the crumbling of J.J.’s mystery box, once and for all.
All we need to know now is every other detail about Star Wars: Episode VII. And whether Andersen’s scenes will look anything like this: