‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ to Cast One More Female Lead

Published 12 months ago by , Updated April 30th, 2014 at 5:45 am,

star wars episode 7 casting audition Star Wars: Episode VII to Cast One More Female Lead

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.

han and leia empire strikes back Star Wars: Episode VII to Cast One More Female Lead

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.

Source: THR, Josh Dickey (via /Film)

Follow Sarah Moran on Twitter @SarahThisIs
TAGS: Star wars
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Lupita would be dope. A lot of people on the interwebs were pissed she wasn’t in the cast revealed today.

  2. So I am to understand that the most important thing about Star Wars is “diversity”, not story, directing, or acting ability?

    • It’s amazing how people can take things out of context, especially consider that nobody said diversity was the number one priority.

    • I’m confused. Do you think that actors who are female, black or gay can’t act, or that they can’t fit into a fictional universe that has a history of black and (admittedly low ratio) female people? And what does directing have to do with casting choices? Diversity shouldn’t be an issue, it should be assumed.

      • @ Impish
        First, I think what TT meant is that people shouldn’t make such a big deal about diversity and just hope for a good story, no matter what gender or race the actors are. Nobody said “they can’t act” and I think you completely misinterpreted what TT said. Second, diversity should not be assumed nor should it be shoehorned into a film just because. Some of these white actors may very well have blue or green skin for the movie so I really don’t think race is really a factor. I mean, the old white guy with the pony tail is gonna be dressed like a walking carpet, and a brown and black one at that. And lastly, I’m sorry but your comment doesn’t make any sense and I sincerely hope you’re never in a position to make decisions for movies because you’ll do them a disservice.

        • So diversity shouldn’t be brought up at all for casting?

          • It should be brought up at specific times. The movie calls for a specific race and gender and its the casting crews job to fit that bill. I believe star wars has always been a little less diverse than other films, but that doesn’t mean its a bad thing. They get who the story calls for, diversity isn’t all that much brought up id imagine.

            • I don’t really understand that argument although I see it used all the time when an article brings up the issue of diversity. It seems people assume characters are white men and anything else is shoehorning diversity. Is there a reason the story can’t call for more female characters? After all Star Wars has a really pathetic number of female characters and minority characters for that matter, made even worse by the fact that this is a sci-fi not a movie about World War II or the mafia where it would make sense that women weren’t huge players.

              • It’s not that anything else is shoehorning diversity, it’s that at least 3 of these new characters are going to be children of the main 3 and they’re all white. John Boyega is probably going to be Lando’s kid but beyond that it’s probably not a good idea to add too many new characters because it could detract from the central plot, which is obviously centered on the main 3. That means less diversity, at least until the next episode or some of the standalone features. Nobody assumes characters are white men. That’s an incredibly polarizing statement and has quite literally zero basis in fact. How many non-white characters does the new X-Men movie have? Halle Berry, Bingbing Fan, Omar Sy, Booboo Stewart, Adan Canto, Thai-Hoa Le are all in the movie as principle characters and Peter Dinklage is in for more diversity. I get that people feel like Star Wars is historically (as I’ve seen it used) less diverse, but James Earl Jones was Darth Vader. He wasn’t in the suit, but he MADE Darth Vader. It’s the voice that everyone remembers and it was the voice of a black man. People act like Hollywood isn’t diverse and they cry foul when most of a cast is white, but seem to turn a blind eye to movies that star or are entirely comprised of actors of other races or movies where all the principle characters are female.
                I get why people push it so much. It’s the cool thing to do. But for those of us who were raised to be color and gender blind, pushing diversity just for the sake of having it sounds like it comes from the same line of thinking of someone who thinks that there shouldn’t be ANY diversity, just from the other end. I’ll support objective reasoning and unbiased arguments, but not forced diversity. It’s unnecessary.

                • It’s kind of weird that you focused pretty much on just the racial minority part of my post when my main point was that Star Wars has no excuse not to include female characters. Six of the seven new characters will be male, the number is a little unbalanced when you consider that 51 percent of the population is female. Canonically speaking there are only what four women with a name in the Galaxy(just including the movies, not Clone Wars which I believe is now cannon), one of whom died quickly and another only has like one scene. As for DoFP they’re bringing in characters from the comic book (a comic book that is suppose to be about diversity, which if I remember correctly started off as all white men and one white woman.) they didn’t just make those characters up off the top of their heads and if they did I would assume they would probably be white men.

                  • It’s kind of weird that, as I included as part of my argument in my previous comment, that you turned a blind eye to my mention of “movies where all the principle characters are female,” the fact that I listed 2 women who are principle characters in X-Men, and that I described myself as gender blind. It never fails that when this conversation comes, people like you make these sweeping statements about sexism and racism and ignore any facts to the contrary.
                    I focused on the race aspect because you said, “It seems people assume characters are white men.” That was my big takeaway from your comment and what I found most polarizing and harmful to the overall conversation. Your statement that, “they didn’t just make those characters up off the top of their heads and if they did I would assume they would probably be white men,” betrays your inherent bias and invalidates your opinion. I don’t think you are capable of seeing this subject objectively and, unfortunately, it’s people with your viewpoint that hurt the issue just as much as bigots. Even if they added 2 more women to the cast, I think you’d complain that they didn’t add 3 or 4, and your dissatisfaction would continue no matter what.
                    Let me be clear: I think there are plenty of female characters that could/should be added to star wars, and I do believe that many of those characters would add some awesome stuff to the story. My main point is that focusing your perspective on HAVING diversity is just as single minded and narrow sighted as the people who think there shouldn’t be ANY diversity. You’re both equally wrong. You’re 2 sides of the same coin.

                    • I didn’t turn a blind eye to your mention of movies where all the principal characters are female but how many films do you think have casts that are all men, I don’t know the number but I’m willing to bet that it’s a much higher number than the ones with all female casts so don’t act like those kinds of movies only happen with minorities or women. I don’t care if you describe yourself as gender blind you can’t tell me you don’t notice if there are no women in a movie and if you don’t notice then that’s the problem I’m talking about, some people don’t see anything weird with a cast filled to the brim with men in a movie that isn’t about male subjects. My assumption they would all be male doesn’t betray my inherent bias, it shows reality. There are far more male characters represented in all forms of media (especially video games) except for maybe books. Screen Rant had an infographic a few months ago that showed the bias against women in films and I can’t remember the exact number but males took up something like 80 percent of the speaking roles in movies. So my assumption that they would all or mostly be males would fit perfectly with the way characters are written now. Your also wrong about me never being satisfied with the amount of female characters. I would be happy if men didn’t outnumber women 10 to 1. For example The Clone Wars did a much better job of representing women than all of the movies. Women weren’t busting out of the seems in the show but they had much more representation than the movies (and it made the show better for it). Many characters in comic books, tv shows, etc… that are of a different gender or race or sexual orientation started off with a writer thinking they should maybe add something unique to this character that the rest of them don’t have, my point being , is it so wrong to be dissapointed or expect something more in terms of diversity when it comes to the media you consume.

                • Best response ive seen all day…and i’m black…i just think we liked the story regardless of race and if the story line is continuing from where it left off the offspring of the main 3 and lando should be the ones that are showcased. yes it kinda sucks that i didn’t really more of black people in those roles because sometimes its just nice to see someone that looks like you on the big screen but regardless, i’m a movie buff and i just want the story to be solid.

    • This is an article about casting, for a female part. It’s ALL about diversity.

      • What does casting a female in a film have to do with an old, old wooden ship?

        • You… I like you.

  3. I expect(ed) this to be the case. As far as connections to the original trilogy, it seems possible that Lando Calrissian might have a child, which of course would fit Lupita Nyong’o if she is indeed in the mix. The Obi-Wan thing does not make sense to me. Mon Mothma would be very, very old.

    Maybe Luke Skywalker’s wife? Maybe another Jedi, perhaps based on Tenel Ka or someone like that. Do we know what happened to Ahsoka?

    That’s a very cool group picture. I’d love to be in that room.

  4. I was kinda hoping for a Mara Jade character, but if they’re looking for a late teen actress, then that can’t be it.

  5. Where is the good looking male leader/jedi offsping?? I mean.. come on!

  6. How about adding one more male lead? The character they should add is Lando Calrissian, played by Billy Dee Williams, just saying.

      • That reasoning aren’t that strong, I am sure they could fit him in sitting down somewhere or something. Mark Hamill looks more like Jabba than he does Luke, and his voice is so broken it will be atrocious, they still found a spot for him. Honestly I wish the old cast would just stay away, I don’t want a reunion, I want a new trilogy of films to fall in love with. Just like the hobbit the additions of legolas and Frodo in the first one were just distractions. Not to mention Hamill was never a great actor nor was Carrie Fischer, nobody watched star wars for there “talent”

        • The reasoning is very sound, health is a pretty strong reason.

          Here’s a quote from US Magazine:

          Billy Dee Williams is putting away his dancing shoes. The Star Wars actor, who will be 77 on April 6, is leaving Dancing With the Stars for medical reasons, he revealed on the Monday, March 31, episode.

          “I’ve got this chronic back problem,” he said. “I’ve had a wonderful, brilliant, fantastic blast of a time…Pure joy. And I want to thank every one of you folks for your support.”

        • Hamill may loom like how he did back then, but still sounds the same. At least to me.

    • That’s why Andy Serkis is in the movie, he’ll be mo-capping Lando.

  7. Just a thought:

    After what happened to Anakin when he broke the Jedi code, fell in love with Padme and had kids do you think Obi-Wan went down the same path? Obi-Wan isn’t Luke. Obi-Wan would not have a child imo.

    • I agree. Especially after witnessing what happened to Anakin not in control of his emotions.

      • It wasn’t his lack of control, he wasn’t properly trained. Qui-gon was killed and Obi-Wan did his best. Anakin had some serious issues. Do you really fault him for losing it when he found his Mom dead?

    • Plus I don’t think he would go into hiding not far from Luke’s Uncle and Aunt, just to put him in danger by bringing a woman into his hermit life. She could have been a spy or informant, or just careless when talking to others. Plus, who would have relationship with someone who talks to dead people (force ghosts).

  8. I was just waiting for this predictable story.

    ‘Star Wars doesn’t have 50% female roles’ -it’s because everyone is sexist
    ‘James Bond isn’t a woman’ -it’s because everyone is sexist
    ‘Luke Skywalker isn’t a woman’ -it’s because everyone is sexist

    You do realise Daisy Ridley will be the lead? And we can suppose that Kennedy et al will ensure she is shown to be much smarter, tougher and ore capable than all of the token males?

    • Yes, the “token males” that make up 80% of the cast.

      As for Daisy Ridley playing the lead, it’s more likely that she’ll be joint lead with John Boyega.

  9. Nooooooooooooo!

  10. I heard they were not putting Ewoks in the film. huge epic fail it’s not alien diverse enough. need more fuzzy wuzzys.

  11. So Zac Efron IS still up for a role…

    • Haha! This^

  12. It’s amazing how the discussion of representation much needed in sci-fi cinema and film period much less the presence of even a single female character in a male dominated cast can generate enough noise for all the entitled males to come screaming to the nearest online place they can find to make comparisons of representation to random aliens, to misgender males as female for comedic effect and talk about diversity as if it’s an issue and not an assumption that we should already be working towards. I’m surprised we’re even getting Oscar and John at all, but this cast is already barely more progressive then the original star wars, even the prequel trilogy and that’s a real shame. Of course they’ll probably all be straight too. “Political correctness” should not have a negative stigma. It’s funny how people say “so we shouldn’t be going for the best actor?” when it comes to casting under represented roles but they don’t ask the same thing at all in the 9/10 white dude ratio. Star Wars is literally one of the biggest phenomenons in the world, everyone is going to go see this and it will make an astounding amount of money, they could go for as diverse of a cast as they wanted without any financial “risk” much of which is just the paranoid imaginations of hollywood executives. As a fan and a consumer I’m very disappointed. I thought that Lupita and Maisie were both reading for roles in this that suddenly disappeared in the announcement, so hopefully that means at least one more female lead, ideally two, another hero and another villain… JJ has casted into production before, but who knows at this point.

  13. Could Boyega be playing Obi-Wan’s Grandson, and this next role to be cast will be his sister?

  14. From the casting sheet it sounds like a role Shailene Wooodley could play, but she hasn’t even been mentioned.

    • I think she’s gonna be tied up with the Divergent stuff. I’d like to see Alexandra Dadarrio as a lead. She hasn’t been in anything too demanding acting wise, but I think she could fit the bill for what they’re looking for. I was still hoping for Mara Jade or whatever they’re gonna call that character because she’s EU. Looks like she might not make an appearance yet.