Analysis: Thoughts on the Episode VII cast

cast-daisyA few days late on this, perhaps, but this has been quite a slog, hasn’t it? In any case, we have our cast – or at least the better part of it.

In short, there are a lot of interesting possibilities here for everyone, and while many of us may have qualms about the gender diversity of the overall group, you certainly can’t say any of them are boring.

Let’s see what we can unpack here.

And yes, of course I’m guessing. Aren’t we all?

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Episode VII cast confirmed: Hamill, Ford, Fisher joined by Boyega, Driver, Isaac, Serkis and more

star-wars-episode-7-cast-announce2

StarWars.com has announced the official cast for Episode VII. Star Wars alumni Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will be joined by John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.

That is… A lot of guys. Sigh. The Wrap has a bit more on our new lady, Daisy Ridley, while The Hollywood Reporter has a breakdown of all the new-to-us folks.

And that second new female role? They may still be looking, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Rumor: Downton Abbey, Attack the Block actors among 5 up for an Episode VII lead

Four Episode VII contenders, per Variety: Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Jesse Plemons, and Matthew James Thomas
Four Episode VII contenders, per Variety: Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Jesse Plemons, and Matthew James Thomas

Variety today reports that Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey, Eragon) John Boyega (Attack the Block,) and theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher are in contention for a lead role in Episode VII. The earlier rumored Jesse Plemons was sort of confirmed to be up for something by J.J. Abrams. UPDATE: Apparently Abrams visited the Downton set last year. As a fan, or on a scouting mission?

Ray Fisher
Ray Fisher played Muhammad Ali in the play ‘Fetch Clay, Make Man’ at the New York Theater Workshop last year.
Variety says the character is a Jedi apprentice, and they go on to say:

Sources also indicate the reason for the delay has to do whether execs and creatives want someone of a different ethnicity from the previous Caucasian leads. Abrams has said on numerous occasions that he wants to have a diversified cast, which is why actors like David Oyewolo and Michael B. Jordan tested early on.

…Yay? Of course fans have already jumped on this character being a possible (biracial? adopted?) Skywalker, which would probably warrant more discussion than an unrelated apprentice.

While it’s nice to have some names, it’s hard to really get excited about any of these folks yet. (Particularly Speleers, the only one I’ve actually seen act, because… Eragon. I said back then that he looked like “the unnatural offspring of Hayden Christenson and Mark Hamill.” Not exactly the ‘I called it’ that I’m hoping for.) I admit I’m hoping that Episode VII will have a female lead – and it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything on that front from the trades. Sigh.