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Meet The Cast: Star Wars: Episode VII

Apr. 29, 2014by: Alex Maidy

With the official announcement of who will be headlining STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, a slew of faces old and new will now forever be associated with a galaxy far, far away. But, some of these names are brand new to not just STAR WARS but audiences in general. So, here is a rundown of all the new players announced today who will be joining Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in J.J. Abrams first foray into George Lucas' expansive universe.

DAISY RIDLEY

Daisy Ridley is by far the least known of all the actors cast in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. The British actress has appeared in several BBC productions the last couple of years, the most recognizable being the Jeremy Piven series MR. SELFRIDGE. Her big screen debut will be the British horror film SCRAWL set for release this year. STAR WARS: EPISODE VII will be her Hollywood debut. It is unknown who she will play in the film but based on her age I would say she may be playing one of the children of an original trilogy character.

DOMHNALL GLEESON

Domhnall Gleeson has already appeared in another major franchise, HARRY POTTER, where he played Bill Weasley in the final two films. He has also appeared in DREDD, FRANK, ANNA KARENINA, and recently starred opposite Rachel McAdams in the romantic scifi movie ABOUT TIME. Another solid actor who could be playing a young Jedi or a villain. Gleeson is also the son of fan favorite actor Brendan Gleeson.

OSCAR ISAAC

Oscar Isaac's career began to really take off after his supporting turn in Nicolas Winding Refn's DRIVE but it was last year's Coen Bros musical film INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS that really made audiences take notice of the 34-year old. After turns in movies like SUCKER PUNCH and Ridley Scott's ROBIN HOOD, Isaac has big parts coming up in Alex Garland's directorial debut EX MACHINA and J.C. Chandor's A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. Isaac will bring some serious gravitas to whatever role he will have in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII.

JOHN BOYEGA

Another fan favorite from his turn in ATTACK THE BLOCK, Boyega has been on everyone's radar. Long linked via rumor to STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, the young actor will next be seen as Chris Tanner in the upcoming 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY. With several British films and series under his belt, John Boyega is about to explode on screen and what better place to do it than in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII?

ADAM DRIVER

One of the oldest and longest standing rumors associated with STAR WARS: EPISODE VII has been the casting of Adam Driver as the primary villain. Driver was also linked to the role of Nightwing in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN. He is best known for playing Lena Dunham's boyfriend on the HBO series GIRLS, but Driver has acted in a range of movies that includes Clint Eastwood's J. EDGAR, Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN, and alongside Oscar Isaac in INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Driver is definitely turning heads in Hollywood as he will also appear in Martin Scorsese's SILENCE alongside Andrew Garfield. Whatever this guy has, be thankful we will see it in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII.

MAX VON SYDOW

Following in the tradition of older thespians in the STAR WARS universe including Alec Guinness, Christopher Lee, and Peter Cushing, Max Von Sydow represents an accomplished performer with decades of experience who instantly brings something powerful to STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. Whether a Sith, a Jedi, a member of the Republic or the Empire, Von Sydow can play it all. As the heroic Father Merrin in THE EXORCIST or the villains in anything from FLASH GORDON to MINORITY REPORT, Von Sydow is going to be something special in this trilogy, I can feel it.

ANDY SERKIS

Shame on you if you don't know who Andy Serkis is. The man responsible for bringing to life Gollum in THE LORD OF THE RINGS, Kong himself in Peter Jackson's KING KONG, Captain Haddock in Steven Spielberg's THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, and Caesar in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Serkis is the master of motion capture. Long robbed of awards for his performances, Serkis could be playing anything from live action to a mo-cap character in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII. Whatever it is, we should be excited he is onboard.

As more cast are announced we will bring you the news you need to learn about what is coming next. STAR WARS: EPISODE VII begins shooting soon and will hit theaters on December 18, 2015.

Source: IMDb

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3:06PM on 04/30/2014
The Star Wars universe will always be dead to me because of the abominable prequel trilogy, but I'm glad they didn't hire any big names. Give someone else a chance at being typecast like Mark Hamill ;-)
The Star Wars universe will always be dead to me because of the abominable prequel trilogy, but I'm glad they didn't hire any big names. Give someone else a chance at being typecast like Mark Hamill ;-)
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7:04AM on 04/30/2014
Dang. I still have zero interest in this movie, but I cannot argue with that cast. Isaac, Boyega , von Sydow, Gollum... I may just see this after all, if only for the cast!
Dang. I still have zero interest in this movie, but I cannot argue with that cast. Isaac, Boyega , von Sydow, Gollum... I may just see this after all, if only for the cast!
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2:15AM on 04/30/2014
These aren't household names, but I believe they will do a good job if JJ Abrams has confidence in them. And he must think they will do well if he cast them in his movie.
These aren't household names, but I believe they will do a good job if JJ Abrams has confidence in them. And he must think they will do well if he cast them in his movie.
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9:19PM on 04/29/2014
I can't argue with any of the choices. I don't know about the girl, but she has a slight resemblance to Portman and a young Carrie Fisher so she probably is a skywalker/solo child. Without knowing who will be playing a hero, villain, in a mask or a CGI character, etc. it's hard to get an idea of how they will fit into the Star Wars universe.
I can't argue with any of the choices. I don't know about the girl, but she has a slight resemblance to Portman and a young Carrie Fisher so she probably is a skywalker/solo child. Without knowing who will be playing a hero, villain, in a mask or a CGI character, etc. it's hard to get an idea of how they will fit into the Star Wars universe.
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9:08PM on 04/29/2014
I like that there aren't any distractingly huge names in the cast. It seems like a talented bunch; when A New Hope came out in 1977 Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher weren't household names. It's kinda cool that there's a semi-reunion from Inside Llewyn Davis going on with Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver!
I like that there aren't any distractingly huge names in the cast. It seems like a talented bunch; when A New Hope came out in 1977 Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher weren't household names. It's kinda cool that there's a semi-reunion from Inside Llewyn Davis going on with Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver!
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+1
8:45PM on 04/29/2014

Spoiler

I just read that Daisy Ridly may be playing a descendant of Obi Wan.
I just read that Daisy Ridly may be playing a descendant of Obi Wan.
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+1
8:24PM on 04/29/2014

Solid choices

Nice casting all the way around. Having Serkis on board is a huge plus. Given the chance he can bring a ton to the non-human characters, and could certainly play a human character as well.
Nice casting all the way around. Having Serkis on board is a huge plus. Given the chance he can bring a ton to the non-human characters, and could certainly play a human character as well.
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7:11PM on 04/29/2014

Questions ???

Seeing as how Serkis is the king of mo cap I can't see him in any other role - I wonder if there will be a villain role for him ? I have heard rumours of droids but I can't see why they wouldn't be cgi - as for Boyega could there be a link here to either Lando or Mace Windu - that'd be pretty cool. My hope for this is the stories focus on these new actors with the older actors just In the background - we've had their story it's time to let it go and not try and be too nostalgic
Seeing as how Serkis is the king of mo cap I can't see him in any other role - I wonder if there will be a villain role for him ? I have heard rumours of droids but I can't see why they wouldn't be cgi - as for Boyega could there be a link here to either Lando or Mace Windu - that'd be pretty cool. My hope for this is the stories focus on these new actors with the older actors just In the background - we've had their story it's time to let it go and not try and be too nostalgic
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6:43PM on 04/29/2014
So far I'm glad Max Von Sydow is in the movie as I'm not familiar with other casts.
So far I'm glad Max Von Sydow is in the movie as I'm not familiar with other casts.
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6:40PM on 04/29/2014
Love the casting! Surly there'll be more casting surprises and many more roles to be announced. But as far as John Boyega. His face is far to sinister looking to be a Jedi! He has sith apprentice written all over him.
Love the casting! Surly there'll be more casting surprises and many more roles to be announced. But as far as John Boyega. His face is far to sinister looking to be a Jedi! He has sith apprentice written all over him.
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8:12PM on 04/29/2014
He can go either way. In ATTACK THE BLOCK, he goes from this character you love to hate to someone you're really rooting for by the end. He reminds me of a young Denzel Washington.
He can go either way. In ATTACK THE BLOCK, he goes from this character you love to hate to someone you're really rooting for by the end. He reminds me of a young Denzel Washington.
6:01PM on 04/29/2014
Never thought I'd feel this pleased w the casting. Fingers crossed!!!
Never thought I'd feel this pleased w the casting. Fingers crossed!!!
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4:52PM on 04/29/2014

This is amazing casting

I'm aware of, and really like, nearly all the actors on this list (I don't know Daisy Ridley but she's in great company). I'm especially excited to see John Boyega, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac and Max von Sydow here. If the script is as good as the cast, we're in for an awesome EPISODE VII.
I'm aware of, and really like, nearly all the actors on this list (I don't know Daisy Ridley but she's in great company). I'm especially excited to see John Boyega, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac and Max von Sydow here. If the script is as good as the cast, we're in for an awesome EPISODE VII.
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4:19PM on 04/29/2014
I think this is going to prove to be very effective casting and, while it's going to take a while to wrap my head around it all, I'm relieved. Having a younger cast could have been a disaster (the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot is a nice example of what I'm talking about) but they've clearly gone out of their way to find a young cast who aren't just going to look good on a poster, who aren't just the flavours of the month, but who can actually act! Throw in the old guard and some film legends
I think this is going to prove to be very effective casting and, while it's going to take a while to wrap my head around it all, I'm relieved. Having a younger cast could have been a disaster (the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot is a nice example of what I'm talking about) but they've clearly gone out of their way to find a young cast who aren't just going to look good on a poster, who aren't just the flavours of the month, but who can actually act! Throw in the old guard and some film legends and you have a recipe for success.

Here we go.
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4:12PM on 04/29/2014
Look at the seating arrangement. Someone on Reddit pointed out the possibilities who they could be playing. [link]
Look at the seating arrangement. Someone on Reddit pointed out the possibilities who they could be playing. [link]
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2:59PM on 04/29/2014
Serkis should do a motion-capture performance playing Jar Jar's great great great great grandchild. ;-)
Serkis should do a motion-capture performance playing Jar Jar's great great great great grandchild. ;-)
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2:50PM on 04/29/2014

awesome but...

MAX...... JUDGE DREDD?? really??
that god awful steven King movie you did??
MAX...... JUDGE DREDD?? really??
that god awful steven King movie you did??
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2:49PM on 04/29/2014
While I like Serkis, Sydow and recognize Gleeson, overall Im not blown away by these choices
While I like Serkis, Sydow and recognize Gleeson, overall Im not blown away by these choices
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3:18PM on 04/29/2014
While I think they will all do great jobs etc etc. Same feeling for me. I was excited to read the cast article and after that I honestly thought....meh...
While I think they will all do great jobs etc etc. Same feeling for me. I was excited to read the cast article and after that I honestly thought....meh...
5:59PM on 04/29/2014
Good. The less big names the better, in my book.

Guinness & Cushing were the only known actors back in '77.
Good. The less big names the better, in my book.

Guinness & Cushing were the only known actors back in '77.
6:13PM on 04/29/2014
Well I know 99% of the actors and are extremely familiar with their work and like them (daisy being the exception). The cast underwhelms me terribly with the exception of Sydow. But thats probably for the best.
Well I know 99% of the actors and are extremely familiar with their work and like them (daisy being the exception). The cast underwhelms me terribly with the exception of Sydow. But thats probably for the best.
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