Last week, J.J. Abrams and the producers of the upcoming ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ revealed a cast photo that officially confirmed both familiar and new faces who will appear in the space opera sequel. Are you pumped up with excitement for the saga to return to theater screens, or are you skeptical that this one could possibly be any good?
Finally returning to the franchise are Original Trilogy stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2-D2) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Even Harrison Ford is back, after decades of distancing himself from anything to do with ‘Star Wars’. Strangely missing is Billy Dee Williams, but his recent stint on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ strikes me as a good indication that Lando may show up as well.
New additions include Adam Driver (‘Girls’), John Boyega (‘Attack the Block’), Oscar Isaac (‘Inside Llewyn Davis’), Daisy Ridley (‘Mr. Selfridge’), Andy Serkis (pretty much any movie that has ever had a motion-capture character) and the legendary Max von Sydow. No details are yet available about what roles any of these actors will play, but it stands to reason that Serkis will probably do a motion-capture alien, and von Sydow would make a good Sith lord.
After the cast announcement was first made, some quarters of the internet erupted in a tizzy of manufactured controversy about gender inequality, because the photo only showed three women (Fisher, Ridley and new Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy) sitting amongst a big group of guys – as if there will be no other actors in the entire movie beyond those in the photo. Also, why exactly is ‘Star Wars’ suddenly the poster child for this issue, and not… oh, I don’t know… 90% of all movies made every year in world cinema? Why is this suddenly a huge problem now, and with this movie?
In any case, despite some curiosity about how the old characters can be worked into the new story, my interest in anything ‘Star Wars’ has been on the wane for years, and I just can’t build up much enthusiasm for this project. I’ve lost confidence in J.J. Abrams and his shallow style-over-substance approach to filmmaking after the dud ‘Star Trek into Darkness‘. As much as I’m glad to see George Lucas removed from the captain’s chair, I just don’t think that Abrams is the right guy for the job either.
What do you think? Is the Force still strong with ‘Star Wars’, or do you have a bad feeling about this?