Meet the Cast of STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – An Introduction to John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, and More

     April 29, 2014


The floodgate finally opened this morning as J.J. Abrams popped the top of his mystery box and officially unveiled his cast for Star Wars: Episode VII.  Some of the names were familiar, as they’d been making the rumored shortlist rounds for months, while some came entirely out of the blue.  Save for the fact that it would have been nice to have one or two more females in the bunch, there really aren’t many complaints to be made about this lineup.  Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy have put together a rather exciting and eclectic group of actors, and we’re all eager to see them in action.

Since some of these names might still be a tad unfamiliar to you (and since this is Star Wars), we’ve put together a handy introduction to the confirmed actors that will be kicking off this new Star Wars trilogy once Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015.  Read on after the jump.

We’ll be addressing the new Star Wars actors in the order in which they appear on the official press release from Lucasfilm, which may or may not be an indication of the size of their roles.  Hold on to your butts.

John Boyega


Where You’ve Seen Him Before: Attack the Block, Imperial Dreams

Why You Should Know Him: Boyega’s breakout role was as the lead in Joe Cornish’s excellent 2011 sci-fi film Attack the Block.  The actor proved that he could not only carry a movie, but that he had the charisma and talent necessary to launch him to the next level.  We kept wondering when Boyega’s next big break would come, and while it took three years, Star Wars is about the biggest break imaginable. 

Who He Might Be Playing: At 22 years old, Boyega is quite possibly the youngest main cast member in Episode VII.  His name is listed first on the official press release, which means he might just be our lead for this new trilogy of films.  If so, that’s an incredibly exciting prospect.  There have been indications that Episode VII would involve the offspring of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia, but it’s unclear how Boyega fits into the larger picture.  There are definitely compelling signs pointing to him being a major piece of the puzzle, though.

Daisy Ridley


Where You’ve Seen Her Before: Silent Witness, Mr. Selfridge

Why You Should Know Her: Well odds are you probably don’t.  Ridley is the most “unknown” of this new Star Wars cast, but considering Abrams and Co. auditioned pretty much every young actor in the known universe for this film, it’s a safe bet she’s got some chops.  The British actress has had supporting roles in UK TV series like Silent Witness, Youngsters, and Mr. Selfridge, and Star Wars is by far her biggest role to date.

Who She Might Be Playing: Again, since we’ve heard that Episode VII might include the offspring of the original trilogy characters, there’s certainly the possibility that one or more of these youngsters will be the daughter/son/grandchild of a character we already know.  Ridley is listed second on the press release so she may be our female lead for this new trilogy, but let’s hope she’s given more than simply “love interest” in the story.

Adam Driver


Where You’ve Seen Him Before: Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln

Why You Should Know Him: After breaking out in a big way on the HBO series Girls, Adam Driver has quickly become one of the most promising (and interesting) young talents working today.  He’s a scene-stealer in basically everything he’s in, from indie fare like Frances Ha to character-filled ensembles like Inside Llewyn Davis.  He has plenty of promising films already in the pipeline like the ensemble dramedy This Is Where I Leave You and the sci-fi pic Midnight Special, and he’s also attached to star in Martin Scorsese’s next film Silence—assuming the shooting schedule of Star Wars hasn’t forced him to drop out, that is.

Who He Might Be Playing: Beyond the original cast, Driver was basically the only actor who was solidly attached to Star Wars before today’s announcement.  When Variety broke the news that Driver was nearing a deal to join the cast a few months ago, they reported that he was in line to play the villain of the film.  That’s an excellent prospect given Driver’s unique performance style, and his role is said to perpetuate throughout this new trilogy so he’ll likely be sticking around for a while.

Click over to Page 2 for the rundown of the rest of the new Star Wars castmembers.

Continue Reading to Meet STAR WARS Cast Members Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and More

Around The Web
  • enderandrew

    Are we sure that Kenny Baker is playing R2-D2 and not another role? He could be playing some small alien.

    There is a motorized fan-made R2-D2 that Abrams promised would be the R2-D2 in Episode VII when he was impressed how movie accurate it was. Kenny Baker is 80 years old. It seems odd to think they’d have Baker crawl in a tin can again at the age of 80.

    • Doug

      I agree that it’s unlikely that they’ll shove Baker into the costume again.

      But remember that all R2 is not remote control R2. The close-ups were usually Kenny Baker wobbling around inside. Just because the director said they’d use a motorized prop doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY prop that will be used for R2.

  • Leo Spaceman

    When I watched Attack the Block, the whole time I was thinking “F**k I hate that kind of person. I hope he dies a painful death, F**k him, I hope he dies”. I truly hated his character to the extent that I was actively hoping he would die. Normally I am very passive when watching movies, but I really hated his character. By the end of the movie, I actually liked his character though. I remember almost nothing about the film, but I remember being blown away by the fact that I was able to like him by the end of the film.

  • Leo Spaceman

    So who is going to be wielding the laser slingshot?

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  • scheebles

    The thing I love about Boyega is his expressiveness, which it turns out is a common theme among all of the actors chosen for this new film. Boyega, Driver, Isaac, Von Sydow, and Serkis have all carried shows/films in which they have few lines, but emote their characters through expressions and body language. Hopefully a signal that Abrams & Kasdan will put an end to the talkiness that riddled the prequels and focus on dialogue that lands without an extra five minutes of exposition.

  • Darth Vader

    Oscar Isaac was incredible in Inside Llewyn Davis. Absolutely loved that movie, and really glad they cast him for this movie. Cannot wait!

    • Ancalagon

      Well, now we’ve got the approval of Vader himself; splendid!

      Seriously though, I agree.

  • Jedi

    I say take a look at the picture of the read thru and who is sitting next to who, as they would be associated closely as characters. Ford is sitting next to JJ, so he should have a large role. Max next to Luke and Gleeson…could be Jedi in training (Luke’s son?) Let the speculation begin.

  • …….

    NOOOO get some real people not just these PC cookie cutter looking blokes

    • scheebles

      Trolling or do you just not watch movies?

  • eternalozzie

    I thought with Disney footing the bill here we’d get a younger more interesting cast … what’s to bring in the under 40 crowd?

    • Jon

      ‘Star Wars’. That’s what’s to bring in the under 40 crowd…and the over 40 crowd.

      • eternalozzie

        There is a huge generation of younger people that could care less about Star Wars. I know tons of kids that have never seen any of the 6 movies. They are longer than 6 seconds or not on youtube.

      • Arletta Sloan

        Then, they wouldn’t be brought in by any movie, as all of them are over 6 seconds. Yet, all 6 of the movies seemed to do okay without those who have no attention span getting involved.

        It’s a weird thing to assume that all younger people find older actors to be unworthy of watching, or that the kid from Attack the Block is not young, for that matter. There were several younger people and several older people, from w hat I saw.

        But, if you don’t want to watch Star Wars movies, then, hey, the millions of other people who do won’t miss you.

  • astro

    Adam Driver gives off the “new” Han Solo vibe and Oscar seems like a villain.

    • The Flobbit

      Adam Driver gives off a vibe of, “I have a long hipster douche face that makes you want to punch me.”

      • 80sRobot

        Perfect for a bad guy you’re supposed to hate — a Sith.

      • The Flobbit

        There is no confirmation that he will play bad guy, as opposed to comic sidekick. A villain should be threatening and scary, not laughable and goofy.

      • Pk

        Granted he has a goofy looking face. There’s a chance he could be mo capping a cgi alien like character

      • Nathan

        …which makes him the perfect “Han Solo” of the group. ; )

      • The Flobbit

        Because Han Solo looked like a hipster and was extremely punchable?

      • milo

        Yeah, how dare he have a face that looks a certain way.

        I’m sure his parents’ DNA intentionally combined to be as “hipster douche” as possible.

      • The Flobbit

        Well the hipster-stache and his hangdog look certainly don’t help. I know he’s a great actor. He just looks silly.

    • Arletta Sloan

      He looks more Ferengi to me, with those ears and all. Han Solo was a sleazy guy, who held his mouth in a sleazy manner, worn down by life as he was; but, he didn’t, in and of himself, look sleazy. He was handsome and charming. Adam Driver is not handsome, nor does he look charming. Nor does there need to be a new Han Solo, since the old one isn’t dead, yet, and, alternative universes haven’t been discovered, full of ugly replicants.

      Mind you, I don’t really think Adam Driver is ugly. I just think he’s ugly compared to Harrison Ford. Yes. Even when considering them at the ages they are now, much less when they were both around the age Adam Driver is now.

    • Amra

      He does look Solo-ish. maybe he’s the son of Solo, which would evoke EU imagery, despite most of EU supposedly being out on the curb due to Lucas’s story treatments going in other directions.

      To all finding Driver beatnik in appearance, I agree that the pic here looks more Maynard Krebs than Han Solo, but there is this thing called “makeup” which can work wonders.

      The group shot of the cast, where he is clean-shaven, has him looking FAR more Solo than not.

    • Amra

      He does look Solo-ish. maybe he’s the son of Solo, which would evoke EU imagery, despite most of EU supposedly being out on the curb due to Lucas’s story treatments going in other directions.

      To all finding Driver beatnik in appearance, I agree that the pic here looks more Maynard Krebs than Han Solo, but there is this thing called “makeup” which can work wonders.

      The group shot of the cast, where he is clean-shaven, has him looking FAR more Solo than not.


    andy serkis played two roles in king kong, and one of them was kong himself

  • Royale With Cheese

    This is an excellent cast. I’m very excited about Boyega, Driver and Isaac.

  • Strong Enough

    so no obi wan black daughter?

  • 80sRobot

    My humble speculation:

    Von Sydow — A former high-ranking officer of the old Galactic Empire who hopes to restore it in his twilight years. He’s been in hiding as a war criminal and is powerless to achieve this evil goal until a mysterious stranger appears and offers to help, played by…

    Driver — A young Sith… I mean, just look at him! He’s gonna be a Sith, guys. His Sith character will have mysterious origins in the first movie, and will be the one who calls the shots over Von Sydow’s character.

    Boyega — A Jedi protege to Luke. He could be a character who has no familial connections to the original trilogy characters.

    Ridley — She’s the granddaughter of Obi Wan. (This was the role that might have gone to Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Had it gone to her, then maybe Boyega would have been passed over for one of the young white guys who was rumored to be in the running.)

    Issac — I’m gonna say that he could be playing Han’s son (though he may not be Leia’s). Thus, he could be the one who has inherited the Millennium Falcon. His character and Boyega’s may already be buddies who work, and adventure together.

    Serkis — Obviously he’s playing a small-stature non-human who will be rendered as CG. His character may also be pals with Issac’s and Boyega’s characters. I think he’s going to be a good guy because there needs to be a new Good Guy Alien For The Kids.

    Gleeson — Tough call. But he looks like he could be Luke’s son. If so, maybe his character is estranged from his father. (His red hair could hint that his mother was also a redhead… Mara Jade?, though the movie might not have this character in it.)

    Another, though far-fetched possibility I’ll say is that he could be Anakin — specifically, the actor who will play the Anakin clones created to form a new clone trooper army, though this time one based on Anakin and strong with the Force. (Will they be called Sith troopers? Imagine what Vader’s helmet might look like evolved into a trooper helmet, just as the design of Jango’s/Boba’s was supposedly evolved into the Stormtrooper’s. This has been the rumored story.)

    • 80sRobot

      Also far speculative: Episode VII reunites R2 and C3PO. They’ve spent most of the years after ROTJ apart — R2 going with Luke, and C3PO with Leia.

    • seanmanband

      My bet is that Ridley and Issac are Han and Leia’s kids (Ridley looks a bit like Fisher and also Portman) and Gleeson to be Luke’s kid.

      • 80sRobot

        I could see that too, and agree that Isaac and Ridley could be playing siblings (so they could be this trilogy’s version of the EU Solo twins, only they are not twins here). Personally, I would prefer this.

      • The Flobbit

        Does everyone have to be someone’s kid? Why can’t someone be a new, original sidekick? My bet is on either Isaac or Gleeson being a new sidekick: if it’s Isaac, he’ll be a badass, if it’s Gleeson, he’ll be comic relief.

    • The Flobbit

      My speculation: Adam Driver plays Jahn Harisyn, a terrorist with higher motives, who will be revealed to be an alien named Khon.

    • Aquartertoseven

      Apparently a black woman will be announced soon as Obi-Wan’s grand daughter or something, so Ridley will probably play someone else.

  • MJ

    They got nutty fat Fischer in this thing, but no Billy Dee??? And they add another old white guy — Van Sydow?

    I am not one to usually pull the race card, but sheesh, is Donald Sterling financing this movie or what??? Very sad. :-(

    • Ron Swanson

      Uhhhh WTF !?! John Boyega ,by all accounts, is speculated to be the lead for the new trilogy. It What world is that racist ? In fact i think its very progressive and applaud JJ and the rest of production for going with him.

      • NFP

        Ron Swanson, using a computer, typing…progressive. ….hmmm.

    • 80sRobot

      They could be saving Lando for a bigger role in Episode 8. Also, you never know — he could show up in a cameo or after credits in Episode 7. And if this happens, there would be no need to announce this at this point, and he wouldn’t need to be at the table reading (secondary and cameo speaking role actors usually are not at the table reads).

      Also, Boyega is looking like he’s a lead, and could become the next-generation character. I have been guessing he could be a Jedi, Luke’s protege. He and Ridley could in fact be the new young leads of this trilogy.

  • Spongefist

    The single best thing about that image of them doing a read through is Lucas is not there…
    This film is indeed ‘a new hope’

    • milo

      Not even mentioned in the press release.

  • Pk

    Oh we’ll here’s hoping we have a better looking younger cast in the next two films

    • Um, Sure

      Because people go to Star Wars for the pretty cast.


      • Pk

        The previous movies at least had a reasonably good looking cast. Also bear in mind these are big budget movies targeted at mainstream audiences so yeah it wouldn’t hurt for jj to cast a group of good looking actors

      • Jim

        I think they look good looking, Daisy is a very pretty young lady, not in that picture because it looks like it’s from some movie, but all of the pictures I have seen of her so far show her to be very attractive.
        The men also are pretty handsome.

      • Pk

        Adam driver is handsome?

      • scheebles

        For real. These guys don’t get it. I mean, everyone in Star Wars needs to be young and hot. Luke? Young and handsome. Leia? Young and pretty. Han? Young and handsome. Grand Moff Tarkin? Young and hot.

  • luke

    has nobody thought that luke could have followed in daddies footsteps? i personally would find the originals inclusion a lot more valid if their characters had developed over 30 odd years, and not just played happy families. luke for sith lord!!

  • diazfan209

    Who’s cast as Jar Jar?

  • Basil Nolan

    As long as Ben Affleck is not part of the cast, the balance of the force shall not be disturbed.

    • max

      It’s assholes like you who give fanboys a bad reputation. This being an internet comment section, ‘go suck a bag of docks in he’ll jerkwad.

      • Basil Nolan

        You mad, bro? Hope so.

    • max

      It’s assholes like you who give fanboys a bad reputation. This being an internet comment section, ‘go suck a bag of docks in he’ll jerkwad.

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  • Arletta Sloan

    I think the guy from Attack the Block would make a better “new Han Solo” (though, I don’t think Han Solo needs to be replaced). After all, he basically played Han Solo in Attack the Block anyway. Young, worn down by life, handsome, mercenary … runs into a lady, finds he is responsible for her when he was planning on taking advantage of her .. becomes brave, heroic and totally date-able.

  • Random man is random

    Jacen Solo. Please. That time line is good.

  • Random man is random

    Jacen Solo. Please. That time line is good.

  • Amra

    Original cast + Max Von Sydow. ‘Nuff said, imo. Oh, and some young’ins, too.

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