Almost every nerd out there has a countdown set for the release of The Force Awakens; possibly the most anticipated movie of all time. (39 days, if you're counting!) I'm sure many of you are re-watching all six films in preparation for the release, but I'm sure others are wanting even more. In order to solve the problem of "what to watch while we wait", I thought I'd go ahead and kill two birds with one stone by also addressing the problem of "Who are all these people in this movie??" What most people don't know about The Force Awakens, is that JJ Abrams brought in some of the best talent around to take over the franchise. If you're one of those who hasn't heard many of their names, than this article is for you!
John Boyega - Finn
Finn is going to be one of the main characters of the Star Wars franchise moving forward, so his character would have to be put into very capable hands. Abrams and his casting department did just that when casting Boyega for the role. While he hasn't been in much, the kid can pack a punch. Most Americans have seen John Boyega on the mini series follow-up to 24, where he was featured in a handful of episodes. His main role, however, was in a British film that many haven't seen. Attack the Block features a story of a few teenagers trying to save their neighborhood from an alien attack. Through this movie, Boyega showed us that he can handle his own in big moments of action, provide the witty commentary needed to anchor a franchise, and he's not too shabby when it comes to kicking a little alien ass.
Daisy Ridley - Rey
Even though she hasn't been in almost anything else, Daisy Ridley landed the female lead in the new generation of Star Wars. If anything, I think that says something about how talented she is. Much like Boyega, Ridley didn't have a name to carry her. She earned the role based on nothing more than her acting chops. That says something. If you're dying to get a glimpse of Daisy in action before The Force Awakens, check out this short film she starred in a couple of years back. Unfortunately, there isn't much else in her portfolio, for now.
Adam Driver - Kylo Ren
I remember hearing the news that Adam Driver was going to be a villain in the new Star Wars. I was ecstatic! Not only is it awesome that the guy is a military veteran, but he can act with the best of em. Until the past year or two, his only featuring role has been as Adam, on the HBO Original Series Girls. While the series has gotten on my nerves at times, I've stuck with it solely to watch Adam Driver work. The guy takes over every scene he's in, and it comes to no surprise that he's getting a break in a huge franchise. I've left one of his best scenes from Girls below, but I know that show isn't for everybody. If you're looking for other ways to watch Adam, check out films like Lincoln, Frances Ha, This Is Where I Leave You, and Tracks (the latter is on Netflix). He also won Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival for his role in Hungry Hearts. You gotta follow the think to Youtube for the clip below but, trust me, it's worth it. This scene is NSFW by the way, you could even say it has a dark side?
Domhnall Gleeson - General Hux
Domhnall Gleeson is probably the face on this list most recognizable to the casual movie goer, as this isn't the first time he has been a part of a major franchise. Gleeson finally got his break when he landed the role of Bill Weasley in the final two installments of the Harry Potter franchise. Since those films, his career has taken off. While most of his movies are highly regarded indie flicks, he did nab the lead role in 2013's underrated love story About Time, alongside Rachel MacAdams. He followed that up with a costarring role in Frank, with Michael Fassbender, and starred as the lead protagonist in the 2015 sci-fi hi, Ex Machina. In this film, he got to face off against future Star Wars co-star, Oscar Isaac.
Oscar Isaac - Poe Dameron
Oscar Isaac is easily one of the best actors in Hollywood. Yes, I know it's a bold statement, but it's well deserved. Even though he's been in movies for years, it's only been the last couple that his career has really taken off. I think what makes Isaac so special, is his diversity as an actor. He can make you absolutely hate him in some films (Ex Machina, Robin Hood, Sucker Punch) and then turn around and make you feel sorry for him in others (A Most Violent Year, Inside Llewyn Davis). His most recent role, and his most profound, was as a battered New York mayor in the HBO miniseries, Show Me A Hero. Each and every role Isaac takes on, he brings just a little more to the table than anyone expects. He continues to surprise me in front of the camera, and I cant wait to see what he can do in the driver's seat of an X-Wing.