ByJames Buxton, writer at
Professional Nerf Herder. Twitter: @JayDBux
James Buxton

Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens is just over a month away and it's clear the hype has started to build. And with four main trailers and a brand new TV spot, it's become pretty hard to avoid it wherever you go.

When it was first announced that JJ Abrams was helming the project, he made it clear that he wanted to cast relatively unknown actors and actresses in the lead roles. For the most part, he's kept to his word, but there are also quite a few cast members with a history onscreen.

As The Force Awakens looms, I felt it was necessary to find out who'll be carrying the franchise for the next generation.

Daisy Ridley - Rey

Daisy Ridley is a British actress who was among the first few cast in The Force Awakens back in April 2014. Before Star Wars, Ridley has had mainly supporting roles, appearing in episodes of TV shows such as Casualty and Silent Witness. She made her cinema debut in The Inbetweeners 2 but was sadly cut from the final film, appearing only in the deleted scenes.

Star Wars is set to be Ridley's big break and has already brought her to the attention of other big studios. She's set to feature in the English dub of Only Yesterday in 2016, an animated Japanese movie. Ridley is also signed on for Rian Johnson's Episode VIII, meaning we're probably going to be seeing her on screen for a while to come.

John Boyega - Finn

John Boyega is a British actor who has already managed to make a name for himself in the industry before Star Wars. In 2011, Boyega starred in Attack The Block, a sci-fi indie movie that received critical acclaim upon release. Boyega was nominated for six awards and won the Black Reel Award for Best Actor that year.

As well as Attack The Block, Boyega has appeared in several TV shows such as 24: Live Another Day, Law and Order UK and Becoming Human. Additionally, it was announced that Boyega would be appearing alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks next year in a sci-fi drama, The Circle, in a lead role.

Oscar Isaac - Poe Dameron

Oscar Isaac is a Guatemalan American actor who completes our trio of heroes for The Force Awakens. Isaac is playing Poe Dameron, a hot shot pilot with skills that could rival those of Luke or Anakin Skywalker. Isaac has the most experience of the main three heroes, having appeared alongside his Star Wars costar Domhnall Gleeson in this year's Ex Machina.

In 2013, Isaac starred in Inside Llewyn Davis as the title role, for which he won a Golden Globe. He's also set to star as the title villainous role in next year's highly anticipated X-Men: Apocalypse.

Adam Driver - Kylo Ren

This generation's big bad, Kylo Ren, is being played by Adam Driver, who rose to fame after his recurring role in the HBO sitcom, Girls. For his role in the show, he's been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards.

Alongside Girls, Driver has appeared in several wide-release features in supporting roles such as Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and the previously mentioned Inside Llewyn Davis. Driver is also an established stage actor and has featured in several Broadway productions.

Domhnall Gleeson

Domhnall Gleeson is an established Irish actor that many will recognize for his portrayal of Bill Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1&2. Gleeson will be playing General Hux in The Force Awakens, a role many are comparing to Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin.

Gleeson has featured in several movies throughout his career, with some notable examples being About Time, Dredd, Anna Karenina, and True Grit. Earlier this year, he appeared as the lead role opposite Oscar Isaac in Ex Machina and next year will appear in Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Gwendoline Christie - Captain Phasma

As Kylo Ren's apparent number two, Gwendoline Christie looks set to leave a huge mark on the Star Wars legacy. I'm sure many of you will recognize the actress from her leading role as Brienne of Tarth in HBO's Game of Thrones since 2012. However, aside from Game of Thrones, Christie has had mostly minor roles on television and in film.

Aside from her work onscreen, Christie has appeared on stage many times betwen 2006 and 2010, with her performances ranging from Dr Faustus to Breakfast at Tiffany's. Looking forward, Christie is set to appear as Commander Lyme in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will hit cinemas December 18, 2015.


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