At long last the cast for JJ Abrams’ STAR WARS EPISODE VII been revealed to the world, and I’m extremely excited about seeing this particular ensemble in action.
Aside from the expected return appearances of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher (not to mention Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker), we have final official confirmation of the involvement of the long-rumoured Adam Driver (GIRLS) and John Boyega (ATTACK THE BLOCK).
Then we have the interesting choices. Also joining the veterans and the odds-on-favourites are newcomer Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow. So it looks like Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Kathleen Kennedy and co have gone for an enticing mix of promising young talent and established genre names, much like filled out George Lucas’ original STAR WARS, and to a lesser extent the prequels. I’m particularly psyched about Max von Sydow’s involvement, as his varied and prolific career suggests he could be playing anything from an all-powerful Sith, to a wise old hermit to a politician (or all three!).
The one glaring absence is Billy Dee Williams. Unless he’s to shoot a small role at a later date, it seems a little odd that a man who’s kept his bank account fat and happy over the past decade voicing Lando Calrissian in animation is not reprising his most famous role in live-action.
Obviously, the film is still in its early days, we don’t know anything about the story apart from the equivalent real-world passage of time, and there’s lots of time yet for Abrams to disappoint when his latest Mystery Box is unwrapped. But as the situation stands at the moment, I couldn’t be happier – there’s a nice variety in the casting, John Williams and Ben Burtt are back to make the galaxy far, far away continue to sound amazing, and Lawrence Kasdan – the writer of the only great Star Wars script – is hopefully inspiring JJ Abrams to be a better filmmaker. Now, if only I could alter time, speed up 2014 or teleport to Pinewood… SSP