ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens is something of a casting chimera, with Disney bringing on big name stars, indie darlings, Star Wars alumni, and perhaps most interestingly, entirely new faces.

The Force Awakens has already made bonafide stars out of Daisy Ridley and John Boyega, the former of which appeared in her first feature film role, and it looks like they want to continue that tradition in the currently untitled Episode VIII.

On Monday, Disney released a new video announcing the start of production for the sequel destined in 2017. However, perhaps more interestingly, they also released casting information confirming the involvement of Benicio del Toro, Laura Dern and the enigmatic newcomer Kelly Marie Tran.

Who Is Kelly Marie Tran?

Much like Ridley before her, this will be Tran's first major film role. A native of San Diego, Tran graduated from UCLA and has spent the last few years honing her comic skills. Although she originally started out singing and acting in local musical productions, more recently she has cut her teeth with various improv groups, including iO West, Second City, and Upright Citizens Brigade. However, although Tran might still be an unknown, it's likely you've seen her in something — especially if you're a fan of

According to Tran's IMDB page, she has been working with the online video producer since 2014 and in that time has appeared in seven of their videos. You can her check her out in action in some of those videos below:

More recently, she also appeared in the pilot for television series Pub Quiz. Check out the trailer for that below:

Tran's credits are not limited to online videos — although this is where the majority of her career lies — and more recently she has also earned guest spots on shows such as Comedy Bang! Bang! and NBC's 2014 adaptation of About a Boy.

Currently, the jury is still out on the scale and exact details of Tran's role in Episode VIII (early speculation suggests a potential love interest for Finn). However, regardless of the scale of her role, this is clearly a major boost to Tran's career, and could perhaps turn her into a familiar face for the future.

Star Wars Episode VIII is currently due to arrive in theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.

What role do you think Kelly Marie Tran will play in 'Episode VIII'?

Source: EW


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