Not that long ago, somewhere in Hollywood…
George Lucas’s company and story ideas were all sold to Disney, a financial move that filled the rebels, Jedis, and Sith lords among us with dread like we’d never felt before. Disney, having acquired a legendary, iconic story, decided to make the next three movies in Lucas’s epic saga (more dread happened). But then J.J. Abrams was chosen to direct Episode VII, and some fears were assuaged, but not all. Rumors of an original cast return flew about at light speed across the Internet, speculations abounding with the force of Force lightning.
And then, this week, Disney released the current casting choices, along with a photo of the whole crew, with Abrams, sitting down to read through the script in London. These are in fact the actors we are looking for.
According to every news site ever, the original cast, along with an impressive roster of newcomers and veterans, is set to appear in the new episode in the saga, and this here fan in particular is very, very excited.
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are all returning for the film, and so are Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker (it’ll be good to have someone in the R2D2 suit again). Also, to the goofy smiles of all nerds, Peter Mayhew will reprise his performance of Chewbacca. Longtime fans are pretty much having their dreams come true; Harrison Ford back in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon might be the best thing to happen this decade.
Joining the original stars of the franchise are young actors Adam Driver, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, and Domhnall Gleeson. Boyega, a British actor, is best known for a role in the sci-fi film Attack of the Block, and will probably play one of the young leads, the next generation of Jedi or something. Ridley, another British actress, is a real newcomer, but is reportedly playing a lead role. Isaac and Gleeson are both pretty seasoned, Isaac having appeared in every shot of Inside Llewyn Davis, and Gleeson having been in the Harry Potter flicks (and others apparently). Driver, who plays one of the leads in Girls, will supposedly be portraying a villain in the film, which may actually work well. There are also rumors going around about Maisie Richardson-Sellers.
Also, Andy Serkis, of Gollum and King Kong fame, and Max von Sydow, who is simply incredibly badass (just watch Minority Report and, actually, Ghostbusters II), are in the cast, rounding out a crazily exciting cast.
This group of actors seems a great stride in Episode VII being a passable or even great film. On the one hand, newer actors will play the lead roles, a move Abrams has defended because of the success of young (and kinda unknown) Hamill, Fisher, and Ford in the originals. On the flipside, the original cast gets to jump back into their most iconic roles, supported by a few extremely talented performers around their generation. Max von Sydow will hopefully play some awesome villain, as he has the scary face for it, and Andy Serkis is a cure for lifeless applications of CGI (George Lucas, you digital monster).
And with Abrams at the helm of this fleet, I have a feeling that this new installment in the Star Wars universe may bring back some of the magic of the original trilogy, while paying homage to the craft of said saga. As long as Disney keeps their greasy mitts off it for the most part, the Force may be with us again.