Well, yesterday's breaking news that announced the new cast for Star Wars: Episode 7 finally gave us Star Wars fanatics something to get excited about, and the cast is positively fantastic! From all of the original cast returning, to fan favorite Andy Serkis, to unknowns Daisy Ridley and Domhnall Gleeson, everything about the cast is beyond exciting. In many ways, this cast has a very classic feel, which is enforced by the official black and white picture that was released. Today I will be detailing each of the newcomers to Episode 7 with my thoughts on what role they could be playing. Also, the screenwriters behind the film have a strong track record, so I am confident.
Andy Serkis is widely known for his motion-capture roles such as Sméagol/Gollum in the Middle Earth films as well as Caesar in the Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He has also played several live-action roles. Among the entire new cast, Serkis' casting is the one that I had me literally jumping up and down in my seat because he is one of my favorite actors in the business today! As a massive fan of The Lord of Rings and other Middle Earth works, having Serkis play a role in the new Star Wars films is incredibly exciting! Even though some say that he might play a live-action role, he really needs to work to his strength in a computer-generated motion-capture role. Casting Serkis in a CGI alien role almost guarantees the validity of having a CGI character so that we will never again have another Jar Jar Binks fiasco.
Boyeaga is a 22 year old British actor whose only notable role to date was in the film Attack the Block. While I have not seen Attack the Block, Boyega has become a hot commodity in the casting buzz as he has been rumored to play various roles from Cyborg in Justice League to the Black Panther in the Marvel-verse. My initial impression is that casting him in a possible lead role is a good idea. My guess is that he will either be playing a young Jedi, a brash young soldier in the Rebel Alliance, or even the son of Lando, any of which could be cool.
Daisy Ridley is the true wildcard here considering that she has only done a few TV series, Blue Season, Scrawl, and Youngers, none of which I have heard of before. From what I know, she is British and is around 20 years old (have not been able to confirm an age). Rumors suggest that she might be playing the daughter of Han and Leia Solo, which, if they are inspired by the EU, would be Jaina Solo. In fact, she actually looks kind of like Jaina. Other rumors suggest that she might be the lead of the entire trilogy, which I am not all that sure about since she is such a newcomer. However, Carrie Fisher was just as unknown when she was cast as Leia, so we shall see.
Driver is 30 years old and American; he is currently notable for playing a role in HBO's Girls and last year's critically acclaimed Inside Llewyn Davis. Driver was previously rumored to be playing Dick Grayson, aka Robin, aka Nightwing, in the upcoming "Man of Steel: Bring Snyder Back is a Terrible Idea," and that is undoubtedly not going to happen. Currently, the rumor has it that Driver is going to play a villain. My hope is that he is going to be an alien of some kind, preferably a Sith, as in the species, because his voice is cool.
Another actor from Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Isaac was born in Guatemala to a Guatemalan mother and a Cuban father, but he was raised in Miami, and he is 35 years old. Isaac was nominated by various awards for best actor for his role, and while I have only seen him in small roles in movies such as The Nativity Story and Robin Hood (2010), he is one of my favorite choices thus far. He seems like a great fit for the new film considering his acting prowess, yet still being a relative unknown for many viewers, myself included. In a way, I hope he plays a leading part in the film as one of the main heroes, maybe even the Han Solo type character.
Domhnall Gleeson is yet another inspired choice by Abrams and company. He is most notable for playing Bill Weasley, the eldest Weasley sibling, in the Harry Potter franchise in the last two films. Gleeson is 30 years old and Irish. Considering how low on the list he was named, my guess is that he does not play a large role in the film, but he seems to be a great choice nonetheless. The first thing that comes to mind is that he looks like Obi-Wan, which could bring validity to rumor that one of his kids will be featured in the film and I am not sure what to think of that.
Max von Sydow
Oscar nominated Max von Sydow is the veteran of the cast at the age of 85. He has been featured in movies such as The Exorcist, Flash Gordon, Three Days of the Condor, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. While I have not seen him in any leading roles, von Sydow will undoubtedly bring the needed gravitas to whatever his role entails. My guess is that he will either be playing an elderly Jedi master (Joruus C'baoth maybe?) or an ancient Sith Lord.
As a whole, these new casting choices are bold, rather than safe, which is exciting to see. Disney and Abrams could have went with some well known actors and "pretty faces," but quality definitely seems to be first and foremost. What do you think of the casting choices? Please let me know in the comments.
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