Gavin Gronenthal ‘16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
In the biggest casting news this side of the galaxy, the cast of the next Star Wars film has been unveiled to the public. Director J.J. Abrams broke the news, and released a picture of the cast and producers mid-discussion.
The cast contains a few newcomers to the series as well as some returning veterans.
The cast and producers are, clockwise, from top: Director J.J. Abrams, Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, producer Bryan Burk, producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and Max von Sydow.
Let’s take a closer look at the newcomers to a galaxy far, far away:
Daisy Ridley: This is actually the cast member we know the least about, as this is her first big role in cinema. However, if the above picture indicates anything, it’s that she’s getting advice from Princess Leia herself, which probably means big things for her future.
John Boyega: Another relatively unknown actor, although he does have one big credit behind him: the English critical darling Attack the Block. If all goes well, Boyega’s career is primed to skyrocket.
Domhnall Gleeson: Gleeson is another English actor, like Boyega, and his career has started to pick up speed. He was the main character in the romantic comedy About Time, and also played Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise. We’ll see what his relation with the main cast ends up being, but my money is on the side of the angels.
Oscar Isaac: The star of the recent Coen Brothers film Inside Llewyn Davis was rumored only a few days ago to have a role, and looks like those rumors came true. After receiving a Golden Globe nomination playing Llewyn Davis, Isaac is a great choice for a member of any Star Wars movie.
Adam Driver: Driver was rumored to have a role in Episode VII a few months ago, in which he was supposedly set to play the films main villain. Whether or not this is the case remains to be seen, but one of the main characters HBO’s Girls (and a small supporting role in Inside Llewyn Davis, coincidentally) is definitely a welcome cast member.
Max Von Sydow: A Swedish actor with a ton of history, Max Von Sydow is an unexpected but amazing choice for the Star Wars universe. Not only does he have a history in sci-fi films such as Minority Report and Shutter Island, but also cinema classics like The Exorcist. The actor was even up for an Oscar in 2011 for his performance in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. With that amount of experience and versatility, Sydow is quite a grab for director J.J. Abrams.
Andy Serkis: One of the most intriguing announcements of the day, Andy Serkis, also known as Gollum from Lord of the Rings, is a huge plus for Episode VII. A master of motion capture, Serkis as been Gollum in three different Tolkien films, King Kong, Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (and the upcoming sequel), and Captain Haddock in The Adventures of Tin Tin. Whether or not he’ll be using mo-cap in this film remains to be seen, but regardless, Serkis will be a welcome presence on screen.
That rounds up all the new cast members, but in addition, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew will all be reprising their legendary roles from the original trilogy: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, C-3PO, R2-D2, and Chewbacca respectively.
As filming begins in a few weeks, I’m sure we’ll hear more about Episode VII and whom these newcomers will be playing. But for now, the reveal of the principal cast is more than enough. Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters December 18th, 2015.