Director J.J. Abrams has finally released the official cast list for the long-anticipated seventh installment of the Star Wars franchise, which will follow George Lucas’s original trilogy. Returning from the original series are actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), as well as the droid characters Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker (C-3P0 and R2-D2), who have appeared in every Star Wars film since the original in 1977. Peter Mayhew will also reprise the role of Chewbacca, Han Solo’s Wookie co-pilot. Among the new generation of actors joining the space saga are John Boyega (Junkhearts, Half of a Yellow Sun), Daisy Ridley (Blue Season, Scrawl), Oscar Issac (Inside Llewyn Davis, Robin Hood), and Adam Driver (J. Edgar, Lincoln), although their respective roles are still unclear at this point. Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit), Domhnall Gleeson (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, True Grit), and veteran actor Max Von Sydow (The Exorcist, Shutter Island) will also be taking roles in the new film. The film is scheduled to begin shooting next month, so production is truly underway now. We’ll keep an eye out for more news.
Director J.J. Abrams is doing a pretty good job keeping Hollywood waiting on the edge for news of the new Star Wars sequel that will follow the original Star Wars trilogy from writer/director George Lucas, and while there is still not much to report on the matter, we do have a bit of good news if you’re a fan of old-school filmmaking! Actor Peter Mayhew, who portrayed the Wookie, Chewbacca, in the original Star Wars films, will be returning to the production to reprise the character. It had been rumored that the filmmakers were considering digitally creating Chewbacca for the new movie, as was the case for Yoda in the recent installments, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. We have yet to hear whether or not any other original cast members will actually be making an appearance, but if Mayhew is back I can’t imagine there will at least be a few others. Anthony Daniels has to come back to play C-3PO (there really is no appropriate substitute!) and Kenny Baker, who has rode around unseen in the body of R2-D2 for all of the Star Wars movies, should come back just for the hell of it. This is all just speculation of course. Director Abrams, who has confirmed that he has completed the screenplay with The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi writer Lawrence Kasdan, has started shooting some background shots in Iceland, but the movie is not scheduled to be in full production until next month, so we’ll look for the big announcement of the official cast. May the Force be with you!!