When the cast picture and names were released for the central roles in Star Wars: Episode VII, there was a lot of excitement from fans eager for any morsel of information about the sure-to-be-kept-secret film. However, there was also an air of disappointment, as while about 50% of Star Wars fans who attend the official “Celebration” conventions are women, there were only two female cast members, with only one being new (Daisy Ridley, added to Carrie Fisher).
Now that number doubles to four, and with two high-profile and fan-favorite actors adding to the mix. This years’s Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong’o, has officially joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII in an unnamed role (in fact, none of the roles have been officially named outside of the returnees). The actress was rumored for a role in the film for several months, and many fan sites and industry watchers were surprised to see her left off the original announcement.
In addition, Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones has also joined the film’s cast, also in an unnamed role.
“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII," says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in a press release. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”
The two high-profile castings are added to a cast that includes newcomers to Star Wars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max Von Sydow. For those keeping score, that means we now have three new female principal characters, and six new males. They are added to the original saga stars, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, as well as droids Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker and their Wookiee companion Peter Mayhew.
Star Wars: Episode VII, which has no official subtitle as of yet, is filming now for a December 18, 2015 release from director J.J. Abrams and a script by Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.