The casting news for the highly-anticipated “Star Wars: Episode VII” keeps right on coming. In recent weeks, sci-fi geeks around the world were thrilled to find out that the rumors of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill reprising their roles from the original trilogy were completely true. Now comes the news that the latest installment in the most successful film franchise of all time will add an Academy Award-winner to the cast. Lupita Nyong’o, who took home the movie industry’s top prize for her “12 Years A Slave” performance, has officially signed on. She is joined by a cast member of the hottest show on television. Gwendoline Christie, who “Game of Thrones” fans know as Brienne of Tarth, has also joined a cast that currently consists of Max von Sydow, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, John Boyega and Adam Driver. In addition to these people, Peter Mayhew will return as Chewbacca, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO and Kenny Baker as R2-D2.
Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, said in a statement that she could not be more excited about the additions of Christie and Nyong’o to the cast. She went on to say how thrilling it is to watch the outstanding ensemble cast take shape. The statement announcing the casting of the two women did not reveal any clues as to exactly what roles they will be playing. As with everything else regarding this movie, J.J. Abrams is keeping plot and character details tightly under wraps.
Along with adding two talented actresses to the film, the casting of the two women accomplishes another goal. Fans of the “Star Wars” series have been very vocal on social media in recent weeks regarding the lack of female characters in the cast of the film. Were these ladies cast specifically to stop the bellyaching from the gender equality portion of the fan base? It is unlikely that Disney and Abrams would make casting decisions based on the pleas of the fans, considering what is at stake for both of them.
Lucasfilm has not revealed if any more additions to the cast will be made in the coming weeks. “Star Wars: Episode VII” will open on Dec. 18, 2015.