As anyone on on the Internet is aware by now, it was announced a couple hours ago that Lupita Nyong'o, Oscar-winning actress from 12 Years A Slave, Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones, and also in the upcoming films The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2) have joined the cast of [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158). Lupita has been rumored for a while, after it was reported that that she had auditioned for the film, but as far as I've heard, the casting of Gwendoline Christie came right out of the Outer Rim.
Outer Rim or not, this announcement has only added to something we've already seen with this film: for the most part, they're not hiring big names for star power, they're adding talent. Lupita may be huge now, but this is only her fourth film as an actress. Most of us only know her from [12 Years A Slave](movie:222641), and even fewer know her from Non-Stop (let's face it, who actually saw that movie?). Christie may have a few more credits under belt, but her name isn't exactly household. She's primarily known as Brienne, or "that tall blonde from Game of Thrones," as I had to describe her to a couple people earlier today. Both, however, have proven to be rich with talent: Nyong'o with her freaking Oscar, and Christie, who currently has a Saturn nomination which, in due time, may turn into a Saturn Award.
The point here is that both of these women only add to talent factor this cast has (and variety criteria? I remember hearing people complain there wasn't enough female cast members announced back in May), and I am very excited to see them in these new roles. If I could choose a role for Lupita, it would be a Sith assassin of some kind. As for Gwendoline's role... I couldn't even guess. Speaking of which, I haven't seen last night's Game of Thrones yet, and every second more I spend on the Internet is a risk.