A Cast Is Revealed!
Finally we have a main cast! After months of speculation, rumors, and celebrity sightings we have a confirmed cast of actors for the upcoming Episode VII. Of course we don’t know who all of them are going to play, or if this is even a complete cast list (this is important later). What we do know is our old favorites, Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker are back. They are joined by a young, and relatively unknown cast comprised of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. You can see new and old gathered around Mr. Abrams during what appears to be a script reading and discussion, perhaps a first meeting for many of these actors.
I, myself, am glad to see a lot of fresh faces, and ones I’m not already familiar with. It will more easily allow us to accept these fantastical characters, in a world that is so alien from our own, if they are not already staples in other major franchises. We know who all the older cast are playing, and we’ve heard rumor that Adam Driver is playing a villain, but we can only speculate on the rest. We are fairly certain one of the young men will play Luke’s son and another will play Han and Leia’s. The young woman will most likely play another of the Solo kids, but that’s basing it on the extended universe books where they have twins and a third boy. There is also rumor that someone is playing a descendant of Obi Wan, and it could be a daughter. We also still have the casting call list out there that called for another young female, so it’s entirely possible that the cast isn’t yet complete. (Again, this is important later.)
Sadly there are already negative rants and speculation out there, long before the movie has even begun to give us images of the world we are likely to see. One of the articles I saw last night is over at io9 and asks, where are all the women? Right away the writer is judging an entire new movie franchise based on the image above. Why is there only one new female character? I’m sorry but does anyone really believe that these 12 people are the only actors that will be in the movie? Where are the female role models for little girls to look up to? Again, is the negative speculation necessary at this point? Of those 12 people one’s a sexless robot and the other is an androgynous android. One is, for sure, a walking carpet named Chewbacca, and the other is a villain, which in Star Wars terms means he will be an alien, deformed, or a cyborg. We can assume, but we don’t know for sure, that at least three of the other young actors will play humans and that’s it. For all we know the rest of the men in that room are going to be alien drag queens. We also know nothing about Abrams’ plans, who the people sitting in the foreground of the picture are, nor do we know if anyone else will be added.
There will always be haters, people who instantly go on the attack, or just need something to complain about. Star Wars has been a target of that for years. Whether it was bullies picking on kids who liked it in the 70’s and 80’s, bullies picking on fans who refuse to say the prequels were the worst movies in history, or people ready to pick apart and judge a movie that hasn’t even started filming yet. I, myself, want a very diverse cast of characters, it’s Star Wars afterall. I will, however, wait until they all have their makeup on, and the images of a complete story start to take shape before I start counting genitalia or skin tone.
Was I the only one that was not surprised when Disney announced that only the 6 films, their novel adaptations, and the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoons would be considered cannon? That was the announcement recently, which received a lot of flak. News flash boys and girls, the extended universe was NEVER considered cannon. At best, the novels, comics, and fiction that made up the extended universe was cannon-lite, and was always trumped by anything coming out of Lucas Film. The new books, and EU material will be printed under Star Wars Legends, which will further distinguish it from official cannon material produced in the future. Don’t take my word for it though, let’s go see what the official stance was way back before the Disney acquisition.
I don’t read that stuff. I haven’t read any of the novels. I don’t know anything about that world. That’s a different world than my world. But I do try to keep it consistent. The way I do it now is they have a Star Wars Encyclopedia. So if I come up with a name or something else, I look it up and see if it has already been used. When I said [other people] could make their own Star Wars stories, we decided that, like Star Trek, we would have two universes: My universe and then this other one. They try to make their universe as consistent with mine as possible, but obviously they get enthusiastic and want to go off in other directions. -Lucas 2005 Starlog Magazine
I’ve left pretty explicit instructions for there not to be any more features. There will definitely be no Episodes VII–IX. That’s because there isn’t any story. I mean, I never thought of anything. And now there have been novels about the events after Episode VI, which isn’t at all what I would have done with it. The Star Wars story is really the tragedy of Darth Vader. That is the story. Once Vader dies, he doesn’t come back to life, the Emperor doesn’t get cloned and Luke doesn’t get married… -Lucas 2008 Total Film Magazine
So, while Abrams and Disney are now free to actually have Vader come back, the Emperor get cloned, and Luke get married, it should not have come as a surprise that they don’t consider any of the EU to be cannon. That’s how it’s always been.
Of course none of this will matter. If there’s one thing that distinguishes Star Wars fans from any other is our ability to shell out oodles of cash for something that we complain about endlessly. Whether it’s the fan that has fourteen copies of the re-released original trilogy, but hates Lucas for ‘messing up my childhood’, or the fanboy that saw the prequels three times each, after waiting in line, dressed as a Storm Trooper and thinks they are the worst movies ever produced. People will still go see these movies and absolutely hate them, or completely love them. They will complain, rant, rave, adore, and defend them for years after. People will dress as the characters at conventions, or just at home. Little girls will create their own new characters, just like little boys do (news flash, I didn’t want to be Han or Luke, I wanted to be my own made-up sith lord, and still do), and as usual the diversity of Star Wars will be in the myriad of aliens, races, humans, animals, men, women, fighter pilots, jedi, sith, and even androgynous androids.
I’m excited, are you?
UPDATE!!!Two more actors have been added to the cast, and yes, people were judging the casting way too soon. We are excited to see Lupita Nyongo’o from 12 Years a Slave, and Gwendoline Christie from Game of Thrones added to the cast of Episode VII