There was one story dominating the entertainment headlines today, and rightly so. Finally, after months and months of aimless speculation, the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII was revealed. An eclectic mix of newcomers and familiar faces, the official unveiling came through a Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm press release accompanied by a photo of the cast together for the first table read. The announcement has been met with excitement by most, but has also been criticized over the cast’s apparent lack of diversity. A fact most apparent when taking in to account that of the newcomers, only one - Daisy Ridley – is a woman.
Aside from the fact Star Wars already has a rather regrettable record when it comes to female roles, this full cast reveal also goes against what was previously stated in the original casting breakdowns. While those breakdowns weren’t necessarily official, it’s uncanny how accurate they appear to be when compared to the official announcement. So why was only one woman featured among the new cast members when there were initially two female roles being sought?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the other female role simply hasn’t been cast yet. Their sources claim there is still one “substantial” part left to fill, and it will be filled by a woman. Somewhat in contrast to THR‘s report, however, is Mashable‘s Josh Dickey who adds that the second female role was not filled before the official announcement because it is, in fact, a minor one, but with a potentially larger role in forthcoming films. Either way, it appears there’s still some speculating over the cast of Episode VII left to do after all.
For those who may have missed them, the original casting breakdowns called for a “late-teen female, independent, good sense of humour, fit,” as well as a “second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and fit.” It’s a strong guess that the first female role being described is the role Ridley landed, and here’s why: In the cast photo she’s seated between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, giving argument to her playing Han and Leia’s daughter. With the breakdown calling for a young woman who is “independent” and has a “good sense of humor,” it sounds like Abrams is after an actress with the qualities any child Han Solo and Leia Organa Solo would have.
If this is indeed the case, and Ridley is playing a young Solo, then what of the second female role, described as “tough, smart and fit“? Well, there’s been another persistent rumor which claims Obi-Wan’s daughter or granddaughter could be appearing in this new trilogy, apparently seeking an actress of mixed race, with both Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o and Maisie Richardson-Sellers rumored as top choices in the past. Whether she’ll actually be directly related to Obi-Wan is uncertain, but then again, the man did live on Tatooine for years before saving Luke from those Tusken Raiders. Perhaps this second female role will reveal a whole new chapter in the old Jedi master’s life fans never knew about.
Who do you believe the second female role could be? Will she be connected to a character from the original trilogy, or someone entirely new? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments below!
Star Wars: Episode VII opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.