Reminder: Don’t trust IMDB on Episode VII

Yes, Daisy Ridley is listed as playing “Jaina Solo” on IMDB at the moment. But, as Ridley herself tweeted today, “guys the world and his wife can update IMDB.” Don’t trust it. The only actors we have official character names for are our returning alumni. (And note Carrie Fisher is now listed as only “Leia,” not “Leia Solo.”)

Welcome to the madhouse: Dispatches from the Episode VII cast

The latest cast members make their debut (to us, anyway.)

Below the cut, John Boyega is no doubt happy to have two less secrets to keep, someone is now verified, and Bad Robot goes to the Eye. (Oh, and don’t forget J.J. Abrams’ master trolling.)

Continue reading “Welcome to the madhouse: Dispatches from the Episode VII cast”

Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis talk Episode VII; Who stole Simon Pegg’s parking space?

A few Episode VII tidbits floating around lately: Oscar Isaac said recently that he starts shooting at the end of May, while Andy Serkis has praised the cast and script:

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful cast, really beautiful director, great atmosphere… Star Wars was my childhood, so it’s fantastic,” he said.

The 50-year-old also said security around the script is “very tight”.

He added: “You can’t wander off with it.”

He also called Daisy Ridley “an amazing choice.” (via)

Meanwhile, at Elsetree, a familiar name has apparently stolen Simon Pegg’s parking space.

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?

Continue reading “Analysis: Thoughts on the Episode VII cast”

Where are the rest of the women in Episode VII? Just “be patient!”

Today’s casting announcement was indeed very welcome. Finally, we have a confirmed cast, or at least the biggest part of one. We have a group of familiar faces and new actors who come with glowing recommendations, and they’re not all white guys. (Just mostly.)

But there was one bit of fallout that we have mixed feelings about.

Where are the women?

Daisy Ridley
Daisy Ridley
We have Carrie Fisher, of course. But of the seven new cast members there’s only one other woman joining her. Granted, Daisy Ridley could very well be playing Episode VII’s main character. She could be the axis the entire film revolves around. Or, she may not be. We don’t know, and they’re probably not going to tell us any time soon. And there could be other women in the cast but again: We’re not seeing them today. In any case, this is the core cast. The leads will be drawn out of this group – or so we’re led to assume.

I’m not the only one who noticed this, or remembered the casting call for two new female roles. And may still be? Though two out of eight isn’t much better, depending on the size of both roles. Three female characters is still only hitting the bare minimum. In addition to the virtual stream of comments on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr, we have pieces from Annalee Newitz, Amy Ratcliffe, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, Devin Faraci, Eliza Thompson, Julie Hammerle, Bonnie Burton, Rainbow Rowell and Tricia Barr. And, from back in February, Laura Hudson’s Leia is not enough.

But, you know, “be patient.”

We’ve had two trilogies with exactly one woman each taking the lead. We had the prequel trilogy, where, finally, there were enough women that they actually talked to each other sometimes. When their scenes weren’t cut, anyway. (Sorry, Padme’s mom and sister. Sorry, Mon Mothma.) Still, Padme talked to her handmaidens, to Shmi Skywalker, to Queen Jamillia, to Beru Whitesun. And remember: The Bechdal test is (again) the bare minimum, not any sort of ultimate measure.

Outside of the movies, we’ve embraced the addition of characters like Mara Jade, Jaina Solo, Ahsoka Tano and even newcomers Hera Syndulla and Sabine Wren, whose show hasn’t even aired yet. Two women in the Rebels cast? We were enthusiastic, even if there are still some bumps in the road.

“Be patient,” they say.

They don’t seem to realize that we have been patient. We’re here. We’re fans. We’re ready. We’ve been patient for 30 years. It’s just that now, there’s enough of us visible that you can’t ignore us when we speak up.

“Be patient?”

No.

Here’s a real question for you: Why do we keep asking? It’s not because we enjoy this outrage, I’ll tell you that much. It’s because of decades of being ignored, disrespected, and of our contributions being constantly downplayed, our concerns brushed to the side. And if we don’t ask, if we go back to being “patient?” That’ll just give them more reason to go back to the status quo, no matter how many Katnisses there are.

I’m sorry this casting announcement, this moment we’ve all been waiting nearly two years for, has been clouded by complaints. But I’m not sorry for speaking up as to why. I just wish we didn’t have to.

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.