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Star Wars Episode VII- Casting A New Saga
The casting heard around the world. This morning we had an official casting announcement from starwars.com that the full cast of Star Wars- Episode VII was complete. This picture was posted as a roundtable screenplay reading with the majority of the cast present. Star Wars Episode VII has been widely rumored about and the only thing we knew was we were getting a movie written and directed by J.J. Abrams and being co-written by Empire Strikes Back Lawrence Kasdan. Now finally we have a full cast and I am going to go through the actors one by one. This is a typical casting for a Star Wars movie by having a few veteran actors, some actors who we have seen before, and a few newbies that are sure to be exploding google and twitter as you are reading this. But I will save you the time and trouble and try to give you a quick breakdown of who is who in this new Star Wars movie.
First we have confirmation of the returning cast from Episodes IV-VI. Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher who played Princess Leia, and Harrison Ford who played the scruffy looking nerfherder and all around badass smuggler Han Solo have all been confirmed to be portraying their iconic characters in Episode VII. Who else is back you ask? Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker will return as the droid duo of C-3PO and R2-D2 respectfully. What is unknown at this stage is if we will see other returns such as Lando Calrissian or any other classic characters who might still be alive. On to the newbies!
Adam Driver- Best known for playing Adam, Lena Dunham’s boyfriend on the hit, critically acclaimed HBO show Girls. He is a very good actor that is really showing how well he can play back and forth between crazy and hyper all while handling Lena Dunham’s insane character on Girls. I am a huge fan of the work I have seen so far and I believe he will really be huge after his role in Star Wars Episode VII is finally revealed. Adam is rumored to be one of the main villains for the movie, if not the new trilogy.
Oscar Isaac- Guatemalan born Oscar Isaac can be most recently seen in the critically acclaimed, yet Oscar snubbed Inside Llewyn Davis. He was a relatively unknown actor until he blew everyone away with his portrayal of a young folk singer in 1961 Greenwich. He was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical at the 2014 Golden Globe Awards.
Domhall Gleeson- Most recently seen in the adorable sci-fi romance movie About Time. Domhall starred opposite Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy in this fun and touching movie about what would you do if you learned you had the power to go back in time and directly effect choices you made to make your life for the better, even if there were possible consequences for those actions. Domhall was very pleasant to watch in this role and was really a movie that snuck under the radar of many fanboys because of the romance aspect, but it really was a time travel sic fi movie, without all the special effects.
John Boyega- This relatively newcomer of an actor is basically known for the 2011 british cult hit Attack of the Block. John played one of the main characters that was about a South London teenage street gang protecting their home from an alien invasion. I have personally not seen this movie, but I continue to hear about it. It has skyrocketed to the must watch list now since John has been cast in Star Wars Episode VII!
Andy Serkis- In the world of Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies, Andy Serkis is best known for his unseen acting. Andy is most known for his role in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit as Gollum. He usually portrays CGI characters and even a petition was going around to try and get him nominated for an Academy Award for his characters even though we never see his face on screen. Andy also played Caesar, the lead in the Planet of the Apes reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and the soon to be released Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. We have no idea who or what Andy will be playing in Star Wars Episode VII but we are pretty sure that it will be CGI related and we cannot wait.
Daisy Ridley- Who? Indeed! She is a complete unknown and you and everyone else is scrambling to know more about her. Imagine if the internet existed in 1976 when Carrie Fisher was announced as Princess Leia or Mark Hamill was announced to play Luke Skywalker, I can imagine that would have been the same as Daisy’s announcement. Welcome to the world Daisy Ridley, you have become probably the most searched person on the internet today. She is completely unknown and has very little information on IMDB or the internet in general. All we have to go on is a few pictures and an extremely short film reel history.
Max Von Sydow- You have seen in before. The 85 year old, 6’4″ 2 time Academy Award Nominee has been acting since 1949. Not a stranger to Sci-Fi as he was in the 1984 Dune as well as the critically acclaimed Extremely Loud and Incredible Close, which he was nominated for one of his Oscars. Max’s role in Episode VII can go one of two ways. Will he be the Alec Guinness Academy Award Nominee mentor like old Jedi? Will he play the new Sith Lord or another villain like Ian McDiarmid or Peter Cushing? Time will tell.
All in all, this is the official first step to our not so long journey to the release of Star Wars Episode VII in December 2015. Rumors have been swirling of returning the release date to May 2016 as every Star Wars movie in the past was released in May. My prediction is that May 4th, next week, we will get the title of the movie. I expect the internet to complain en masse as The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were whole heartedly hated when they were first announced. As a life long fan of Star Wars, I cannot wait to see what happens next and what journey Disney will take us on with the new trilogy. I will be one of millions who will be there on opening night no matter what day and time this movie comes out. I feel like I did when I first read about the casting of Star Wars Episode 1- The Phantom Menace and I cannot wait for more!
Photos are courtesy of Starwars.com, IMDB.com, and Heavy.com