Film: Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie added to ‘Star Wars’

By Meryl Gottlieb| mg986611@ohiou.edu| @buzzlightmeryl
Star Wars: Episode VII is set for release on Dec. 18, 2015

lupita-nyongo-gwendoline-christieDance like an Ewok! Lucasfilm announced today Gwendoline Christie and Lupita Nyong’o will be in Star Wars: Episode VII.

This is not only great news because they are spectacular actresses, but also because it doubles the amount of important female roles in the film. Previously, only vet Carrie Fisher and newcomer Daisy Ridley were the women announced to be in the newest installment. Traditionally, Star Wars has been sadly low on notable female characters with Leia (Fisher) and Padmé (Natalie Portman) being the only ones from the films and the rest coming from other projects like animated movies or books. Four women is still a crazy low number, but let’s hope it’s on the rise.

Christie’s strong performance as Brienne of Tarth, a bad-ass female role in itself, on Game of Thrones makes it quite easy to see why she would be picked for a role in Star Wars. There is no news as to who these women will play, but I see Christie in an authoritative role.

This announcement simply adds to Christie’s nerd star power because not only is she in Game of Thrones, but she is also playing Commander Lyme in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. She’s certainly found her niche market.

Nyong’o blazed on the screen with her breakout Academy Award winning role as Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. Rumors about Nyong’o’s involvement have been circling for months, for she apparently was in talks with director J.J. Abrams before she won her Oscar.

Many have pondered what Nyong’o would do next, and The Hollywood Reporter even said months ago that a film franchise would make her “golden.” It would be interesting if Star Wars actually helped launch Nyong’o as an actor for any role because of how much it hindered the careers of its original stars Fisher and Mark Hamill. Here’s hoping Abrams will take better care of his cast than George Lucas did.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” said Kathleen Kennedy, Lucasfilm president. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”

Previously announced, John Boyega, Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow are joining original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Fisher, Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker in Episode VII.

TMZ also released photos today from the set of Episode VII that reveal the hopes of all Star Wars fans could be true: the new installment will lean more toward creating real life effects like the original trilogy rather than relying so much on computer-generated images like the prequels. I don’t rely on TMZ, but what else could that larger rhino-looking creature be in if not Star Wars?

What are you looking forward to in the newest Star Wars installment? What roles do you want Christie and Nyong’o to play? Let me know @buzzlightmeryl

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