STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Cast Announced; Includes John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Adam Driver, and More; First Photo Released

     April 29, 2014

star-wars-episode-7-cast

So it look like we won’t have to wait until Star Wars Day (May 4th) to get the Star Wars: Episode VII cast.  After months and months of speculation, the cast has officially been announced to coincide with the table read (when the word would have leaked anyway).  Some of the names we knew, some are a complete surprise, and others are a welcome return (we knew R2-D2 would be back, but so is the original man in the can, Kenny Baker!)

Hit the jump for to see the Star Wars: Episode VII cast.  The film opens December 18, 2015.

star-wars-episode-7-castHere’s the statement from StarWars.com:

The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

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.

Director J.J. Abrams says, “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.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

For more on this cast, check out our “Meet the Cast” feature.

Looking at this cast list, it’s funny to see what all of the rumors amounted to.  Let’s break it down:

star-wars-episode-7-castHarrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew and Adam Driver (Girls) were all but officially announced before today.  While knew R2-D2 would be back, I’m glad Kenny Baker is on board because they could have gone a CG-only route.  Anthony Daniels is also a nice addition, although I assume his work as C-3P0 will be limited to voice acting.  However, he’s not a huge surprise because how can you have R2 without 3P0?  That would be sacrilege.

As far as who had previously been rumored for the movie, we had heard about John Boyega (Attack the Block) since mid-March, and yesterday his participation became highly likely since he dropped out of starring in a Jesse Owens biopic.

We also heard yesterday that Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) might be on board, although his theater commitments were a potential obstacle.  Clearly, this turned out not to be the cast, and now these two talented actors are starring.

And then there are those who flew under everyone’s radar, which is kind of hilarious when you think about how much time and effort was put into trying to uncover the cast.  Looking back through all of our Star Wars casting reports, Daisy Ridley (Mr. Selfridge), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), and Andy Serkis (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) weren’t mentioned once, and I don’t recall seeing their names pop up on the other movie websites that were constantly covering this movie.

Here are the names that did pop up:

star-wars-episode-7-castSome of these actors were seriously considered, some were been briefly considered, and some may have never had any shot at all and their mention was either complete fiction and/or their agent boosting their client’s overall profile.  As Ronan pointed out, everyone had read for this movie.  At this point, we don’t know how close any of these aforementioned actors were to signing on.  Maybe we’ll find out one day.

But as for the cast we have here and now, I like them all (except for Ridley, whom I have no opinion on because I haven’t seen any of her work).  I hope it sends the Star Wars geeks out to see Attack the Block and Inside Llewyn Davis if they haven’t already.

However, the speculation never really ends.  Will Andy Serkis be playing a role without digital makeup or do motion capture?  I would assume the latter, but who knows!  And what do we know about these new characters?  Nothing!  But that won’t stop us from trying to know every little thing about the movie before we see the movie, which is exactly what Abrams wants, because who can resist the lure of the mystery box?

I’m just glad we can stop with the casting speculation…Until the next Star Wars movie.

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