ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

The news we've all been waiting for has finally arrived - the main cast of Star Wars: Episode VII has been announced.

Which can mean only one thing: it's time to work out who they're all going to be playing.

(Note, there may be mild Expanded Universe SPOILERS below, but don't worry, they probably aren't - but might just be - canon, anyway)

First up:

John Boyega:

Where do I know his face from?

2011's Attack the Block, most likely.

Why'd he make the cut, then?

He shone in Attack the Block as the leader of a London street gang fighting aliens - so he has previous both with aliens and reluctant anti-heroism.

Who's he going to be playing?

A lot of talk has pegged him as a young Jedi, but he seems a more natural fit as a young, rogue-ish smuggler type, drawn into the plot reluctantly. So a whole new direction for the franchise, then.

So he's the new?

Han Solo. Possibly with a lightsaber.

Adam Driver:

Where do I know his face from?

Girls, mostly. He's also been in Frances Ha, Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis.

Why'd he make the cut, then?

He has the gift of being both completely unlikable and utterly compelling. Also, quite a lot of people are in love with his face.

Who's he going to be playing?

The early word has all said Sith, and just look at that adorable but sinister face. He'll be some sort of morally ambiguous antagonist. With a lightsaber.

So he's the new?

Darth Maul, without the makeup and spikes (though hopefully with the double bladed lightsaber).

Domhnall Gleeson:

Where do I know his face from?

He was Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter series, and was a stand out in True Grit, Never Let Me Go, and Anna Karenina, before starring in sci-fi comedy About Time.

Why'd he make the cut, then?

The man has range like you wouldn't believe. He can play awkward and romantic (About Time), heroic and action-y (Harry Potter) and darkly conflicted (just about everything else). He can also pull off a beard almost as well as George Lucas.

Who's he going to be playing?

Again, the temptation is to lean villainous, but Gleeson's range suggests he'll have something more interesting to do. There was a lot of talk of Jesse Plemons getting a lead heroic role - and Gleeson could well have slipped in to that (Jedi?) part.

So he's the new?

Luke Skywalker. With a ginger beard.

Oscar Isaac:

Where do I know his face from?

Inside Llewyn Davis has been his big break, but he previously impressed in Robin Hood and Drive.

Why'd he make the cut, then?

Classical good looks, serious acting chops, and a category A ability to smoulder. Like Driver he can keep you gripped to the screen while playing a villain.

Who's he going to be playing?

Everyone's hoping for Thrawn, but odds are the extended universe influence will only be in the shadows, so something in a villainous Imperial Admiral sort of line? Possibly with some shades of grey thrown in.

So he's the new?

Darth Vader, in that he's favorite to be the 'big bad'. He's unlikely to be donning the big black suit though.

Daisy Ridley:

Where do I know her face from?

Unless you're a big fan of Mr Selfridge, probably nowhere. She's the only real unknown in the main cast announced so far.

Why'd she make the cut, then?

The general consensus is that she's playing Han and Leia's daughter, which means plausability would play a role - though presumably it's also a nod to the original leads' relative anonymity.

Who's she going to be playing?

Safest bet is some sort of Junior Solo-Organa, most likely based on Jaina Solo, one of the most popular characters from the expanded universe. Which means we might just see her flirting with the dark side. And wielding a lightsaber.

So she's the new?

Princess Leia, but with a solid chunk of Anakin Skywalker in there too.

Andy Serkis:

Where do I know his face from?

Most likely from behind a pile of CGI - He's most famous for playing Gollum, King Kong, Caesar from Planet of the Apes, and Captain Haddock.

Why'd he make the cut, then?

There's no-one working in the green-screen acting world with more high level experience or industry respect than Serkis. He'll be no Jar Jar.

Who's he going to be playing?

Someone CGI seems almost guaranteed. He usually plays parts on the darker end of the spectrum, so an alien underworld boss is a good bet. Is it too out there to imagine him playing a resurrected Emperor Palpatine?

So he's the new?

Either big, big bad (Palpatine) or little big comic relief bad (Jabba the Hutt)

Max Von Sydow:

Where do I know his face from?

Pretty much everything. The Exorcist, The Seventh Seal, Minority Report, Dune. Plus, he was Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon.

Why'd he make the cut, then?

He's a Hollywood legend, and can bring gravity to a role in his sleep. Also, he was Ming the Merciless.

Who's he going to be playing?

Either a wise old rebel, or a wise (and sinister) old Imperial. It's probably too much to hope that he's playing an aged Admiral Ackbar via CGI.

So he's the new?

Obi Wan Kenobi - though whether he's on the light side or the dark is a big question.

The Original Cast:

Where do I know their faces from?

The original series, and in Harrison Ford's case, every other action movie of the 80's and 90's.

Why'd they make the cut, then?

It wouldn't be Star Wars without Ford, Hamill, Fisher, Mayhew, Daniels and Baker. Spare a thought for a so far absent Billy Dee Williams, though.

Who're they going to be playing?

Themselves, unless J.J. Abrams is planning a bigger surprise than we're currently imagining.

So they're the new?

Themselves. Though they're also likely to be a giant gang of Obi Wan Kenobis, dispensing advice and timely assistance to the younger cast from a (possibly stairlift-fitted) Millenium Falcon.

What do you guys think? Will we see the Episode VII cast end up in roles like this, or something completely different? Let me know below!


Will the cast end up playing characters something like this?


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