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Star Wars Episode VII Cast Revealed

Star Wars

With initial photography set to begin in days, Disney and Lucasfilm have released the most anticipated cast list in quite some time:

After months of silence, Lucasfilm finally announced the main cast of the forthcoming Star Warsrevival, Episode VII, in one explosive sentence Tuesday.

“Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film,” read the press release on Starwars.com.

You’ll recognize the names of the actors playing Han Solo, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, Chewbacca and R2-D2 (who was, up until now, the only character officially known to be returning). Ford, Fisher and Hamill’s participation has been something of an open secret for the last year and a half, ever since George Lucas accidentally mentioned they’d probably be returning.ease:

The press release doesn’t reveal character names, although we obviously know who the original cast members will be playing, but I’m sure this will lead to much speculation. It also confirms rumors that had been circulating online since the weekend that Hamill, Fisher, and Ford, all just happened to be in the United Kingdom at the same time just as filming is set to begin.

The plot will no doubt be one of the most tightly guarded secrets in Hollywood in a long time, but there may be some clues as to the direction that they’re going. Just last week, Lucasfilm had announced that the entire “Expanded Universe” of officially licensed fiction and comic books would no longer be considered canon, and that canon would be limited to the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, as well as the well received animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This essentially gives J.J. Abrams and the writers a blank slate of post-Return of the Jedi material to work with for the next three films. It also saves Lucasfilm and Disney a potential headache to the extent that they don’t necessarily have to use characters and plot elements developed by other writers, which would result in some interesting disputes over copyrights and royalties. That announcement, combined with the fact that it’s already been announced that the film will be set approximately 30 years after the end of Return of the Jedi leads to the conclusion that Luke, Leia, and Han Solo will be essentially serving the purpose of passing the baton to a new generation, perhaps their own children. This could include characters and plot elements from some parts of the Expanded Universe, or it could ignore those developments completely.

Update: Here’s the first official cast photo:

Star Wars VII Cast

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Pinky says:

    Yikes. I barely consider Episode V to be canon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  2. Riley says:

    I think that the seating here in the photo is deliberate. Looks like Daisy Ridley is seated between Ford and Fisher. Could that be a hint she will be Han and Leia’s daughter? And is Gleeson seated next to Hamill? Is that a sign he could he be Luke’s son?

    And given the LFL statement about the EU and elements of it being fully available for all new canon works (without such works having to adhere to those stories), could they be named Jaina Solo and Ben Skywalker? They certainly fit the physical descriptions of those characters and Gleeson having red hair would imply his mother was a redhead – Mara. Mind you, just because they look the same and might have the same names doesn’t mean anything about their backstories are the same as the EU.

    I’m really interested to find out exactly who Max von Sydow will be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. Riley says:

    @Pinky: Really? Episode V was “The Empire Strikes Back.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  4. Riley says:

    @Riley: Here’s the cast list for the photo —

    Writer/Director/Producer J.J Abrams (top center right) at the cast read-through of Star Wars Episode VII at Pinewood Studios with (clockwise from right) Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm President and Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Writer Lawrence Kasdan.

    So, it looks like Gleeson is next to Daniels, but that would still put him over on the Luke side.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  5. Brett says:

    Just last week, Lucasfilm had announced that the entire “Expanded Universe” of officially licensed fiction and comic books would no longer be considered canon, and that canon would be limited to the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, as well as the well received animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This essentially gives J.J. Abrams and the writers a blank slate of post-Return of the Jedi material to work with for the next three films.

    That’s probably going to hurt the sales of tie-in novels in whatever new continuity they create with the films. The EU was originally marketed as an official continuation of the films, which led them to greater sales than what they might have otherwise had (see the Star Trek novels for comparison – they sold in reasonable but small numbers and nobody cared because none of it was official).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. JR says:

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  7. I was suprised to find out Max von Sydow is still alive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. grewgills says:

    I predict the first two thirds of episode 7 will be awesome and it will go radically overboard to the point of nearly ruining the film in the final third.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Ben Wolf says:

    Perhaps these people could be paid to go away instead?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  10. Tillman says:

    A little surprised Harrison Ford agreed to a reprise. I thought he hated Han Solo.

    Just last week, Lucasfilm had announced that the entire “Expanded Universe” of officially licensed fiction and comic books would no longer be considered canon, and that canon would be limited to the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, as well as the well received animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

    They’re talking about the CGI cartoon, not the Genndy Tartakovsky cartoon shorts, right? ’cause the CGI cartoon was boilerplate. The Tartakovsky stuff was excellent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Scott says:

    I have hope since Lawrence Kasdan is the screenwriter along with JJ Abrams.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. stonetools says:

    Stuff just got real. Time for the worrying and the bickering among the Star Wars faithful to begin.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  13. Ian says:

    I had been hoping for the Thrawn Trilogy or the Yuuzahn Vong war, but I wasn’t getting my hopes up. Thrawn was too close to the original trilogy for Ford et al (ages wouldn’t work) and the Vong books were waaaaaay too dark for the newly Disney-fied SW universe. Too bad they cut those out. They were good reading.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. aFloridian says:

    Just last week, Lucasfilm had announced that the entire “Expanded Universe” of officially licensed fiction and comic books would no longer be considered canon, and that canon would be limited to the Original Trilogy, the Prequel Trilogy, as well as the well received animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

    Best thing that could happen. Most of the EU is garbage. I read some of it in the 90s when I was younger – “Tales” books about Boba Fett, etc. and then along came the “New Jedi Order” which went on and on and on and got more convoluted with every installment and by that point I had decided to spend my leisure time reading the great classics or in other more worthwhile endeavors.

    Now, that said, I don’t see how you couldn’t be excited by this news. I understand concerns about the integrity of the franchise, but I see this as an exciting chance to right the wrongs of the prequels (which I like less with every viewing). I think I would have liked the final product of say, a Joss Whedon, more than Abrams, but I still think Disney Star Wars is better than no Star Wars.

    Also, for those fans wondering whether or not some plot elements of the EU will be retained, I guess I could see the writers using some of that for inspiration, but I would really be amazed if they used much of it at all, even the names. I guess it would be a nice shout-out to those of us who, in some way, kept the Star Wars fandom alive by putting some familiar names in there: Mara, Jaina, etc., but even that may just tie them down more than they’ll allow. Although, I’ll admit, even though I never read the series, I think it would be a pretty cool shout-out to portray an Imperial rump state led by Grand Admiral Thrawn. There, that’s all the nerdiness I’ve got for one day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. Ian says:

    @aFloridian:

    …and then along came the “New Jedi Order” which went on and on and on and got more convoluted with every installment and by that point I had decided to spend my leisure time reading the great classics or in other more worthwhile endeavors.

    I don’t disagree with your comments re: NJO. I powered on through it, shunting a lot of new books into my reading queue. The way I looked at it, I had put in so much time, money and effort into it that I had to finish it.

    I believe that Scientology works along that same principle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. @Ian:

    the Vong books were waaaaaay too dark for the newly Disney-fied SW universe.

    Disney hasn’t “Disneyfied” the Marvel movies they’ve made since purchasing Marvel, so I’m not sure why everyone is assuming they’re going to do it to LucasFilm.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. Tran says:

    @aFloridian: They already incorporated elements of the EU canon. Coruscant comes from the EU, specifically the “sequel” Thrawn trilogy. Said trilogy was excellent sci-fi by the way, while I agree that “New Jedi Order” was not. The X-Wing books were good as well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  18. Matt Bernius says:

    If there was ever a thread for Jenos to participate on, here it is — just in time for his return. And still nothing yet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. Pinky says:

    @Riley:

    Episode V was “The Empire Strikes Back.”

    Yeah. I loved the original movie, thought V was okay, was really disappointed by VI, and think I sat through all of I although I don’t remember much. In terms of franchise consistency, it falls short of Nightmare on Elm Street. (OK, that last comment was pure troll, and I’m sorry.) Anyway, knowing JJ Abrams, canon will go out the window the moment a giant red liquid ball appears.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. John H says:

    Han Solo makes it past thirty? I’ll have a hard time buying that one. Perhaps we’ll finally see the Princess Leia slave bikini fantasy laid to rest. Vader’s labored breath would make sense in this context.

    Ah well, best of luck to them. Go you “Geriatrics in Spaaaaaace!!!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. @Tran: +100

    I stopped reading NJO after Michael Stackpole’s contribution (“Vector Prime” was despicable with its hype bait of killing a major character off just to create hype before its release). On occasion, I go back and reread Timothy Zahn’s trilogy and duology, along with Stackpole’s and Aaron Allston’s contribution to the pre-NJO EU (namely, the X-Wing series).

    I always thought the X-Wing series would make a create television series or miniseries. Do five or so episodes a year per book (or two books in ten episodes total a year). At least with adapting the X-Wing series, you had original characters and original storylines to work with, etc.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. wr says:

    “It also saves Lucasfilm and Disney a potential headache to the extent that they don’t necessarily have to use characters and plot elements developed by other writers, which would result in some interesting disputes over copyrights and royalties.”

    Except it wouldn’t have. All that stuff was developed as work-for-hire, and the copyrights all belonged to Lucasfilm. Just as Marvel doesn’t need to share with Jack Kirby… or anyone else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Rafer Janders says:

    Only one thing is certain: it will suck, and suck hard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Rule of thumb for the EU novels:

    Anything by Timothy Zahn is a mandatory read.

    Anything by Michael Stackpole will be superb.

    Anything by Aaron Allston will be superb, with moments of brilliant, hysterical insanity.

    The late A. C. Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy is, of course, a work of genius.

    And anything by Kevin J. Anderson will induce nausea in anyone over the age of 14.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. Tillman says:

    @Rafer Janders: …yeah. They already blew it, and I’m familiar enough with Abrams that I can kinda see how it ends up.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. MarkedMan says:

    Anyone but me disappointed that they have only one new female character? Seems they are shutting out half the demographic. It seems like such a George Lucas thing to do, not something I would have expected from Abrams.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. sam says:

    Maybe someone will have a “flash of genius” and replace Abrams with Josh Whedon. If they’re interested in a tight story, that is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  28. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @sam: Joss Whedon is tied up with the Marvel film universe right now. And while it’s true that Disney owns both now, I don’t think Joss can be spared.

    I’m still amazed that Abrams is on top of both Star Trek AND Star Wars. Talk about nerd wish fulfillment…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. al-Ameda says:

    Without more good looking young actresses I can’t imagine this movie doing well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0