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Andy Serkis, Domnall Gleeson and Adam Driver: Our Guide to Episode VII’s Cast
There was a great disturbance felt in the force recently when the cast was finally announced – here’s our take on it.
Finally we have had some real information regarding Star Wars: Episode VII. After months of waiting we know have it confirmed that many original stars such as Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill will be returning to the franchise in order to reprise their famous roles. They will be working alongside a bunch of new faces such as Adam Driver and John Boyega.
You can see the cast together in the photo below:
We’ve decided to write a quick guide for you on all of the announced cast so far and what we are thinking about each one. Some are more obvious choices than others, and one of them is a complete mystery to us! So, in no particular order, here are the members of Episode VII‘s cast:
You will probably know this 22 year old actor from the 2011 movie Attack the Block. He really impressed us there and so we’re looking forward to seeing what he will be bringing to the franchise. There has been some discussion online that Boyega could be playing Lando’s son, and whilst we aren’t fully against that idea, we would rather see him play a completely new character. We don’t want a situation like that which they had in prequels; where every character from the original films (or their relative) had to appear on screen regardless of whether it really served the story.
Currently Daisy Ridley is an unknown although she has appeared in a few projects such as Mr Selfridge and the short film Blue Season. Due to her status as the only unknown on this list it is hard to predict who she could play or what we think of her. She does a good job in Blue Season but really that isn’t too much to go on. The predominant internet rumour that she will play a Skywalker seems plausible, most people think that she will play Han and Leia’s child as she is sitting between Ford and Fisher in the above image, but that seems a little thin as evidence. Also, it’s again not much to go on at all, but we think that there is something of a vague Natalie Portman look to her, which of course would make sense if indeed she is a Skywalker.
Driver is one of the least surprising cast members here as it was heavily rumoured weeks ago that he would be playing a Vader-esque villain in the upcoming film. We are not quite sure what to make of that. We strongly suspect that they won’t be stepping into too familiar ground with the Vader comparison but you never know. After Vader/Anakin being the dominating character of the entire franchise so far, we feel that we would rather see a very different style villain and put some freshness back into the role of the main antagonist. As much as they have all been different, all of the bad guys in the prequels were basically working in the shadow of Vader and a completely different villain could be very successful. Of course this is all just speculation so we will have to see quite who and what Driver ends up playing.
Isaac has rather quickly become a name to be reckoned with. We had seen him in films such as Drive and now all of a sudden he has found success in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and now he is appearing in the Star Wars films. The guy is clearly talented and so we look forward to seeing what kind of a role he will play in the franchise. We have nothing to go on really, but we have a feeling he would make a very good dark and potentially evil character if that were the direction they were to head in.
Serkis is a very interesting name to have come up, he could of course be playing a normal human character, but his name is now most firmly associated with creatures such as Gollum and King Kong. We are very excited to see his name attached to star; we like him as an actor if he is playing a human, and he is an excellent choice to try and reach some middle ground between the original film’s use of puppets and the prequels CGI overload. We can’t wait to see who or what he is going to play.
Now here is a choice which we are very interested in. Gleeson has been challenging himself with a real wealth of roles since the Harry Potter franchise finished with roles ranging from Levin in Anna Karenina to Jon in the unusual and interesting ,movie Frank. He has been impressing us with his range and talent for a while now and so we are excited to see him take on a role in the Star Wars universe.
Talk about acting royalty, we welcome this Ingmar Bergman regular with open arms. You will have seen him in everything from that iconic scene where he plays chess with death to The Exorcist. It seems likely that he will be playing a villain, which would be great, however we are equally excited to see him as potentially a good guy with him lending a Kenobi like presence to the cast. Whatever his role, we are excited to see it.
There are, of course, no mysteries as to who Harrison Ford is or who he will be playing in the upcoming movie. Han Solo shall be gracing our screens once again with his charisma, charm and… grey hair? Audiences have mixed feelings about Ford‘s attempt to revive a much loved character of his in the past with Indy in 2008, however we place the blame for that one on the film itself and not on Ford‘s efforts. Still, whether we need to see an older version of Han Solo is debatable, but we remain optimistic for this appearance.
Carrie Fisher will be returning in order to reprise her role as Princess Leia. It’s going to be interesting to see exactly where they plan on taking her character as there are quite a few options open. Unlike Han or Luke who seem pretty set in one direction for their life immediately after Episode VI ends, Leia has many choices including working in politics or maybe experimenting with her Skywalker blood and any potential Jedi skills she may be able to hone. That said, Leia is the character we are least excited to see back. If she is handled well then there is the room for her to be a great returning figure, but we don’t want to see much political discussion (we’ve had our fill thank you prequels), we don’t want to see her in a lightsaber battle and we don’t really want to see her reduced to purely a housewife and mother either. We shall have to wait and see quite where Leia is going to end up.
It’s going to be very interesting to see quite what they do with Luke. We are hoping that he will effectively be a younger version of Obi-Wan Kenobi, somewhere between the ages of Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor. I don’t think we really want to see him in a lightsaber battle, however some other demonstration of his power such as when Kenobi uses his Jedi mind trick on the Stormtroopers or Yoda raising the X-Wing, that could be effective. We perhaps would have rather seen an Episode VII where there was say one of the returning stars, perhaps Lando, and then build up to another couple appearing across the following two films. At the moment it seems that a focus on the new characters would have been preferable, but let’s just wait and see what they do with them next December.
Daniels was pretty much a given from the get go. After all he and Kenny Baker (R2-D2) are the only two actors to have appeared in every Star Wars movie so far. In many respects the two droids are the narrators/observers of the franchise and so it makes complete sense that he has returned.
Once you have accepted that loved characters such as Han Solo and Luke are coming back you know that Chewbacca has to be amongst them. It would just be distinctly odd to have the gang back together but without him. We are very happy to see that Mayhew could reprise his role again, he is a great guy with a real passion for the series and we are so pleased for him that he is able to return after he has undergone surgery allowing him to walk again.
Similarly to Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker was always expected to return, or at least R2-D2 was. Ever since that first on-set photo was released of R2-D2 we have known, that he at least would be returning to our screens. Here at Cinema Chords we are more than happy that Baker will be returning as the loveable droid. In many respects it doesn’t matter too much who is inside the robot as there is no voice to be heard, only beeps and whistles, but it’s nice from a fan’s perspective to know that Baker is still the one inside.
So, there’s a very interesting mixture of people up there who have been announced and we are interested to see what the film does with them all. We haven’t had any news about Billy Dee Williams (Lando), and as much as we don’t want them to overload the next series with old characters just for the sake of it, we do somewhat hope that he may show up in either Episode VIII or IX.
For now we shall leave you with a quote from J.J. Abrams: “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.” – original source here.