When the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII was finally announced last month, among all the ooh’s and aah’s were some stern criticisms with its lack of gender and racial diversity. In response, Disney/Lucasfilm did their best TV informercial presenter impersonation and gave us a loud “BUT WAIT! THERE”S MORE!”.
And that “more” has just arrived in the form of recent Oscar winner and current Hollywood darling Lupita Nyong’o and fan-favourite Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie (via ComingSoon).
Nyong’o has actually been rumoured to be attached to the production for quite some time now. To be fair though, ever since she dramatically arrived on the scene with her award winning performance in 12 Years a Slave, she’s been rumoured to be attach to every single thing there out there, to the point where I wouldn’t have been surprised to see her name on a list of candidates to take over Gareth Cliff’s 5FM morning radio show.
Christie also just recently burst onto the scene, but her arrival was far more heavy-footed. As the towering warrior, Lady Brienne of Tarth, Christie’s gentle giant character has ingratiated herself with the fans through giving a performance that’s like iron-plated silk. The role has gained her quite a bit of attention, with the gymnast turned actress notching up roles in several upcoming productions, most notably the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
Just like with the previous cast announcement, Disney/Lucasfilm hasn’t revealed what roles the pair would play in Episode VII, but there was previously some talk of a mixed-raced granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi that may just fit Nyong’o if true. The actress will be joining a cast that already consists of John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow, along with the returning original trilogy stars in Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.
And if casting is about as far as you would like your knowledge on Episode VII to go, then I suggest that make a hasty exit as *waves hand in front of your face* these are not the set pics you are looking for.
This massive batch of pics from the film’s Abu Dhabi set – which is thought to be doubling for Luke Skywalker’s homeworld of Tattooine – was procured by TMZ. There’s nothing really spoilery about them, as they mainly show us alien creatures (including one massive one that supposedly was operated by 5 people inside it), exotic landscapes and folks in funny costumes (none of whom are members of the principal cast). It should give some fans some relief though, as clearly JJ Abrams is holding up his promise to return to the more gritty, practical look of the original trilogy, instead of George Lucas’ shiny, green-screen heavy “sets”.
Based on how secretive this production has been, I would suggest that if you’re going to have a look at these pics, you do so right now, because there’s no certainty that they’re going to stay up here forever.
Star Wars: Episode VII is directed by JJ Abrams who co-wrote the script with Lawrence Kasdan, and is scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.
Last Updated: June 3, 2014