Star Wars Episode VII: Onslaught of the Merchandising (working title) officially announced it’s main cast today on the Star Wars website to the collective and deafening “squee” of Star Wars fans everywhere. Here is the Geeking It Out take on the big news…
Return of the Big Three
In perhaps the worst kept secret in casting history, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are all reprising their roles as Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo. It’s nice to have the official confirmation that the three heroes will return. Unfortunately there is no word on Billy Dee Williams, meaning we probably won’t get to see Lando in the next movie, but maybe there is another Calrissian being introduced in his place?
A New New Hope
Part of the narrative for the new movies is the “passing of the torch” from one generation to the next.
That said, three actors have been cast in what we assume are the new trio of leads: Domhall Gleeson, Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Geeks may know John Boyega for his work in Attack the Block. One thing that the prequels sorely lacked was a wise-cracking, humorous character like Han Solo to give the audience someone to identify with amidst all the CGI. We hope that Boyega might fill that role in the new movies as maybe one of Lando’s kids or something. It’s a good bet that Gleeson and Ridley play some combination of Solo and/or Skywalker kids. This casting trio also maintains the classic SW formula of having one chick in a galaxy full of dudes.
The Empire Strikes Again
One of the trickier parts of picking up the story of Luke, Han and Leia will be that all of the major bad guys were killed off in Return of the Jedi. Which brings us to Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver and Max Von Sydow. Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver worked together most recently in Inside Llweyn Davis and we loved them in it. We’re guessing Issac will take the role of a “military type” described in casting call sheets, and although we are just speculating it’s rumored that Adam Driver’s tall, imposing build would lend itself to a villainous character. Given his iconic portrayal as Ming the Merciless in the camp-tacular Flash Gordon, Max Von Sydow needs no introduction. We’re hoping he plays the Big Bad in this movie. Our advice to Max, stay away from large windows and exhaust shafts.
Aliens, Droids and Other Surprises
Star Wars has always been known for its great creature designs. The biggest news today from the creature department is that Andy Serkis, best known for his work as Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies, has been cast and this pretty much guarantees we will see some motion-captured creature or alien taking a big role in the film. Hopefully this will turn out as good as his work as Gollum, but if not it better at least be better than Jar Jar Binks. It’s also been confirmed that Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker will all return to reprise their roles as Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2.
It All Comes Down To The Story…
One of the reasons the Star Wars movies have resonated so much over the years is that it is a pretty simple but strong story with compelling characters. Having said that, one of the biggest names returning to the Star Wars Episode 7 team is screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.
Kasdan wrote the screenplay for Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back (which many fans argue is the best of the Star Wars films) and finalized the Episode 7 script with JJ Abrams. Having Kasdan back on the team, along with this great lineup of actors, gives us plenty to be excited about when Star Wars Episode 7 is released in December 2016. As filming is set to begin in May, hopefully we’ll get more news soon.