Casual Thoughts on the Star Wars: Episode VII Casting

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With today being Star Wars Day, I couldn't help but write this. I spent the last two days watching all the films (only the action from the prequels), and yesterday I watched Star Trek Into Darkness to get my J.J. Abrams groove on. Today I was going to relax, and look into Star Wars news further. With not much news today, (The only thing was a short trailer for Star War Rebels) something needed to be done.

Before I begin, I would like to let you know my fan level for Star Wars. The best way I could describe it is that I am two steps behind the ultra Star Wars Fanatics and two steps ahead of the average, casual fan. I have read almost none of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, though I have researched into it online, and I don't know the name of every alien species, planet, and ships. Though, that being said, I own all of the movies on Blu Ray DVD Combo pack, my family owns Star Wars Trivial Pursuit which I have played countless times, and I have been obsessed about being a Jedi almost my entire life.

Part of my inspiration for writing this was due to all of the backlash that came forth from the filth of the web. The biggest argument that came out was the lack of the female actors in the cast. In the original trilogy which we all love so much, can you count how many lead female characters there were besides Princess Leia? The answer is a resounding no. Sure there were side female characters like Mon Monthma, but in the end Star Wars is a space opera that is more driven by epic story than appeasing stereotypical gender and racial quotas. You can go to other movies for political statements (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire or Gravity which I both love are a good place to start). Furthermore, there is even strong talk of another female character being added to the cast so everyone can we just calm down? Plus, there is already Carrie Fisher back as Princess Leia so that doubles the females from the original trilogy.

With that out of the way, lets look deeper into the new cast member. The old cast members we all pretty much assumed would be in it. The only surprise was that Lando Calrissian played by Billy Dee Williams was not under the names mentioned. Who knows, his name may be heard later down the line.

I am going to go by the names listed in order in the press statement. Grace Randolph from Beyond The Trailer, believes that this may hint at who will be important in the upcoming films. I am also going to write with wild guessing as to who the actors might play. This speculation might come from the expanded universe, now called legends. I know this is more or less scrapped for the upcoming films, but J. J. Abrams has the ability to pull from that lore if he so chooses.

First off is John Boyega.

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What I know about him:

The only thing I had seen him from was Attack the Block in 2011. While I didn't see his performance as spectacular, it was solid. He is a promising actor and I like how he is not a recognizable name, hearkening back to the original trilogy where the only recognizable star at the time was Alec Guinness. He is also of another ethnic coloring, so there you go online haters. Now you can say that J.J Abrams isn't completely racist. Though in all seriousness, it is cool that they have an black actor (african british to be exact) having a main role, if not the lead, in such a big Hollywood blockbuster trilogy. There is something to be said there, and I'm happy about that.

Guess as to who he might play:

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It would be interesting if he was Lando Calrissian's son, but with Billy Dee Williams missing from the cast statement that is probably unlikely. He possibly could be a young Jedi that the crew picks up. Daisy Ridley

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What I know about her:

Nothing. That is how much I know about her and I like that. No one really know who this girl is other than she has a pretty face; and this is exciting. It is so similar to the original cast of throwing out new faces that it gives me a new hope (pun intended). This brings up the obvious concern of whether she can act or not. For me personally, if she is good enough for J.J., she is good enough for me.

Guess as to who she might play:

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Odds are she'll be playing Han and Leia's daughter. In the expanded universe/legends her name is Jaina Solo and she becomes a formidable Jedi.

 

Adam Driver

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What I know about him:

His name had been thrown around quite a bit that he would play the villain. Now that he's officially part of the cast, it's not that big of a surprise. I've never seen him in Girls the television show he has a reoccurring role on, but apparently he is really good. The only thing I've seen him in was Inside Llewyn Davis and he was entertaining for the little screen time he did have.

Guess as to who he might play:

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Well, obviously the safest bet is he is the villain. He is probably a sith or sith apprentice. Though, who knows. J.J. Abrams likes to play with peoples minds from time to time. Oscar Isaac

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What I know about him:

I've seen him in Sucker Punch, Drive, and Inside Llewyn Davis. Every single one of those films he was really good. While I wouldn't consider his performance in Inside Llewyn Davis oscar worthy (at least for last year), his performance was nevertheless very impressive. A special part of that film is that he has the voice of an angel. One can only wonder if they will implement some of his singing in the next film, on screen or off. I strongly doubt it, but that would be interesting and would be coupled well with the masterful music of John Williams.

Guess as to who he might play:

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I don't know what it is about him, but he reminds me a great deal of Han Solo. He doesn't quite look like his son, but maybe he could be the handsome scoundrel of the next film. Whatever the role is, I'm guessing it is going to involve quite a bit of range, due to Oscar Isaac's acting ability alone.

Domhnall Gleeson

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When I saw this likeable fellow in was the 2013 film About Time with Rachel McAdams I was impressed. He was charming while at the same time playing the clumsy geek. This may or may not be the type of role he plays in Star Wars. Either way, he has demonstrated acting talent and the ability to show emotional depth.

Guess as to who he might play:

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He has the appearance, of a young Skywalker and a Jedi in my estimation. So maybe he is Ben Skywalker, Luke Skywalker's son in the expanded universe/legends. There is also the possibility of him playing Jacen Solo, one of the Solo twins in the expanded universe/legends, or something along those lines. He appears to be about the same age as Daisy Ridley. Andy Serkis

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What I know about him:

I would consider him the most exciting name to come out of the casting. We all know him as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings. He is the god of motion capture acting. His resume is more than impressive. Andy Serkis has had his hands in The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, Planet of The Apes films, and more recently he has done work on the creatures in Godzilla, as well as helping Mark Ruffalo out as Hulk on the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. Motion capture aside, he is also a fine actor and up and coming director.

Guess as to who he might play:

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Well, we're all pretty much speculating he will be playing an alien. Now we can only guess what alien species of the countless alien species in Star Wars Universe he could play. My guess is that it will be one of the aliens that have expressive faces to make the most of Andy's facial and acting ability. Maybe the new Lasat species in the new Star Wars Rebels is not a bad bet. Max Von Sydow

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What I know about him:

There is little I know about this actor other than he has an extensive resume in film, starring in Minority Report, The Exorcist, Shutter Island, and Robin Hood by Ridley Scott among other things. The only thing I can remember seeing him in was Shutter Island. I don't remember much about him, other than he did solid job at playing a creepy doctor.

Guess as to who he might play:

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There is fan speculation that he could play Kanan Jarus, a a rogue jedi that is going to be in the new animated series Star Wars Rebels which will be in the Star Wars Canon. He has a very similar face and this would put him at about the right age for Episode VII. This would be interesting and would give him a great story arc for the upcoming films. Though, the majority of the rumors surround him playing a villain, whether it is a sith or old imperial officer. Final thoughts:

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The cast is exciting. The only slight disappointment for me was that Bendedict Cumberbatch wasn't on the list. I can understand this would be sacrilege and an abomination intermixing the Star War and Star Trek Universe, but it would be cool for me. Cumberbatch is such and incredible actor with phenomenal presence on screen. He would make a wonderfully terrifying sith. Who knows, he might be in later films or one of the spin offs. With that out of the way, I am more than satisfied. I love how many of the name are not well known to the general public even though they are all great acting talents. I know Daisy Ridley is a complete unknown and a wild card, but in J.J. Abrams I trust. At the end of the day we can only hope that these films will be on par with the originals. Here's to a new hope. May the force (or fourth) be with you.