Star Wars stars, new and old, out in Force as Episode 7 cast is announced
Cast for space epic's latest movie finally unveiled after months of secrecy and online speculation
Star Wars: Episode 7 finally has its stars, new and old. May the Force be with them.
After months of carefully guarded secrecy and endless speculation, the cast of the latest incarnation of the space epic was unveiled on Tuesday on the official Star Wars website by Lucasfilm and the Walt Disney Co.
Starring in J.J. Abrams' film are: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis and Domhnall Gleeson. They join returning Star Wars veterans Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). Peter Mayhew is also back as Chewbacca, while Anthony Daniels returns as C-3PO and Kenny Baker will reprise RD-D2.
Out of the original trilogy actors, Ford - who carved out the biggest career outside Star Wars - is said to the have the largest part in the new film, with one report describing his role as "gigantic".
The companies did not name the characters each of the new actors will play, though Driver, the breakout star of HBO's Girls, is tipped to play the main villain.
"It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again," director and co-writer Abrams said in a statement. "We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."
Disney will release Star Wars: Episode 7, which will be set 30 years after 1983's Return of the Jedi, in December next year. Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, and immediately put a new Star Wars trilogy into development.
The Episode 7 cast is a mix of fresh faces, up-and-comers and established names.
British actor Boyega, 22, is best known for the 2011 science fiction monster movie Attack the Block. Ridley, also British, is largely unknown, but has appeared in several British television series, including Mr Selfridge.
Like Driver, Isaac is a recent breakout star thanks to an acclaimed performance in the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis.
The 30-year-old Irish actor Gleeson has appeared in numerous films, including 2012's Anna Karenina and both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. He's acted frequently on stage, earning a Tony nomination in 2006 for his performance in The Lieutenant of Inishmore.
The British actor Serkis is famous for his digital shape-shifting, playing Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films and the chimpanzee Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. It's widely speculated that he'll again trade on his specialty of using performance capture to craft a digital character.
Von Sydow, the 85-year-old Swedish legend of The Exorcist and The Seventh Seal, will presumably add the kind of gravitas Alec Guinness brought to the 1977 original in his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi .
Scoring Episode 7 will be John Williams, who created the original trilogy's famous themes.