Back when Matthew Vaughn was tipped to direct Star Wars: Episode VII (before J.J. Abrams took the job), there was a rumor going around that he had pitched a version where Chloë Moretz – star of Vaughn’s Kick-Ass comic book movie – would portray the protagonist; most likely, a young Jedi and daughter to Han Solo and Leia Skywalker (i.e. some variation of the character named Jaina in the Star Wars “Expanded Universe” books that take place post-Return of the Jedi).
Moretz is in the middle of a promotional tour for the upcoming Kick-Ass 2 (where she reprises as Mindy Macready a.k.a. Hit-Girl), which has provided reporters with the chance to ask her about the possible Episode VII casting. No surprise, Moretz told MTV that she’s interested in joining the Star Wars franchise, but neither confirmed nor denied the Vaughn story. Then again, the rumor – assuming it’s true – never said that Moretz spoke to Vaughn or Lucasfilm/Disney about Episode VII.
The leaked Episode VII casting breakdown called for two actresses to play female characters in their late teens, while using terms like “fit” “independent” and “tough” to suggest what career type they might have (see: fighter pilot, Jedi, etc.). It’s not yet apparent which one of the young people that will be introduced in Abrams’ Star Wars movie is going to serve as the film’s central protagonist – like Anakin Skywalker in the prequel trilogy and then his son Luke in Episodes IV-VII. However, there is a reasonable chance that the Episode VII script by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Oblivion) could revolve around one of the new non-male players – with additional supporting roles for the returning Star Wars cast members.
Moretz has proven that she can play the hard-hitting fighter archetype in the Kick-Ass movies. In addition, she has demonstrated the range of her dramatic chops in films like Let Me In, Hugo, and Hick, while her upcoming role in the new Carrie adaptation will allow Moretz to cut her teeth by playing a different kind of dark and emotionally-challenging protagonist. Suffice it to say, if there’s a substantial part for a young actress in Episode VII, then Moretz would be an excellent choice to tackle the role – especially if the storyline takes its cues from the “Legacy of the Force” arc from the E.U. (wherein the Jaina character must battle her twin brother Jacen, who has fallen to the Dark Side).
As for the prospect of a Star Wars movie featuring a female protagonist: Lucasfilm President and Episode VII executive producer Kathleen Kennedy has addressed the need to respect tradition – which includes using a healthy mix of practical and digital effects in Episode VII – and to provide the masses with new complicated stories and characters that are not cookie-cutter versions of their predecessors – which is to say, having a female lead would be one way of accomplishing just that.
Moreover, both the Star Wars movies and E.U. examine personal relationships between family members in a Shakespearean fashion (no Luke/Leia jokes now…), especially those between children and their parents; for example, Anakin and his mother in the prequel trilogy, followed by Luke and his father in the original trilogy, and so on. There is no reason to believe that storytelling practice has to change or be lost, just because an actress such as Moretz could wind up leading the sci-fi juggernaut forward at this point.
What do you think – do you want to see Moretz play the protagonist or some other important character in Star Wars: Episode VII?
Star Wars: Episode VII begins filming in the UK in early 2014, for a Summer 2015 release date.