By Matthew McKibben | April 29, 2014
Lucasfilm held its first read through of the Star Wars Episode VII script today and took the opportunity to officially announce the cast via a press release and an official photo captured at the read-through.
In a release, director J.J. Abrams stated: “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. 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. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”
Returning to the Star Wars Universe are Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and Kenny Baker (R2D2). Newcomers include Adam Driver (HBO’s Girls and Inside Llewyn Davis), Oscar Isaac (also Inside Llewyn Davis), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Daisy Ridley (a newcomer with a few TV credits), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and the upcoming Ex Machina), Andy Serkis (Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and King Kong), and Hollywood legend Max von Sydow (The Exorcist, Flash Gordon, Three Days of the Condor, and many more). Character descriptions were (of course) not included. I wonder if Serkis will be motion captured in this, as he was in as Gollum in Lord of the Rings, as King Kong in King Kong, and as Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes movies. Maybe a long lost relative of Jar Jar Binks. shudders
Despite being a massive Star Wars fan for most of my life, I’ve been very lukewarm (no pun intended) on this project. The prequels will do that to a person. But the other day I was browsing the web and came across a recent picture of a very fit looking Mark Hamill posing with actor Peter Serafinowicz (voice of Darth Maul) and all I could do was smile. My excitement for this movie kind of hit me all at once. Coupled with this casting announcement and accompanying picture, I’m now insanely excited about seeing the further adventures of the Solo, Skywalker, Droids, and company. Mark Hamill has always joked that not having any movies follow 1983’s Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi was like seeing James Bond become a double-oh, but not seeing him actually go out and do James Bond things. So yeah, I’m pretty pumped that we’re going to see an older, wiser Master Jedi Skywalker go on further adventures while (presumably) teaching the kids the ways of the Jedi.
Star Wars: Episode VII is due in theaters December 18, 2015, with a script by Abrams and original trilogy veteran Lawrence Kasdan.