With no Star Wars: Episode VII announcements from Disney’s D23 Expo, the fans are left to continue theorizing what the future sequel trilogy will be about. One of my main concerns involves the cast. As we all know, the cast profiles were released in June, and since then, rumors of actors have been thrown back and forth. From Jonathan Rhys Meyers to Ryan Gosling and Zac Efron, every time I hear a casting rumor, I can’t help but think of Luke in The Empire Strikes Back:
The truth of the matter is that I would like to have a sequel trilogy with fresh new faces. In other words, the less overrated actors involved, the better. Understand that the topic of an “overrated” actor is subjective, and therefore, this is a subjective piece of writing. I believe the sequel trilogy will benefit from casting quality actors that can earn “breakthrough” status with the Star Wars franchise. Sometimes, an unfamiliar face on the silver screen is a breath of fresh air. Whereas an actor I’ve seen many, many times before can be stifling, boring and unimaginative.
I think we can all agree that Hollywood tends to rely heavily on glorified, high-paying actors because their appearance will guarantee an audience. Take Sir Ben Kingsley, for example. The man is a phenomenal actor; there’s no denying it. However, he was cast as a Maori character in the upcoming film Ender’s Game because he could pass as Maori, and he is also a familiar actor among movie-goers. Personally, I think it would have been a better choice to select an Maori actor with the same quality of performance to portray that particular character. How about Temuera Morrison? He would have been great for the part, but he doesn’t have the recognition that Sir Ben Kingsley currently possesses.
Although he had an early acting career on television, Mark Hamill was a relatively unknown and aspiring actor when he auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker. Carrie Fisher was also an up and coming actor before starring as the iconic Princess Leia. Both actors were transformed to recognizable names solely by starring in these films. The point that I am trying to get across is that Star Wars has become so common in mainstream popular culture that there is a guaranteed audience for the future films. It’s understood that fans will be present for the sequel trilogy. There is no need to have a well-known name to attract a particular group because there will be an audience present—an audience that has been growing for over the past thirty years.
I believe this is the perfect opportunity for the sequel trilogy to foster the talent of up and coming actors, like those that came before them. So who do I have in mind? Since we do not possess any details other than genders, ages and some personality traits, here’s a list of names with the matching cast profiles I would like to see in Star Wars: Episode VII.
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Hailee Steinfeld as [YOUNG WOMAN] Late teens. Physically fit, independent and with a great sense of humor.
Saoirse Ronan as [YOUNG WOMAN #2] Late teens. Tough, smart, physically fit.
Dev Patel as [YOUNG MAN] Early 20s. Not classically handsome. He is witty and smart. Physically fit.
Sinqua Walls as [MAN] Late 20s. Physically fit, handsome and confident.
Paul Bettany as [MAN – 30ISH] An intellectual.
Manu Bennett as [MAN – 40S] Physically fit, military type.
Edward James Olmos as [MAN – 65-75] Tough and opinionated.
My list has a varied cast with well-rounded actors. Even if these actors don’t appear in Star Wars: Episode VII, this is exactly what I want represented in the film: diversity and quality actors with the potential to grow professionally in front of an equally diversified audience and become part of the Star Wars universe for years to come.
Let’s open it up for discussion. Suppose it’s your job to cast for Episode VII. Who would you pick as the future actors of the Star Wars franchise?