Why The Casting of Star Wars VII Doesn’t Matter

Apparently, we’re getting a new Star Wars movie! I’m pretty stoked about the news… well, cautiously optimistic seems to be a more appropriate regarding the way I’m taking it. It’s certainly great that we’re getting a new installment to the series and I’m definitely wondering what kind of stories JJ Abrams, who admits to be a huge fan of Star Wars, will tell of that galaxy far, far away.

If there’s one thing JJ Abrams is known for, it’s his cloak-and-dagger approach with keeping the details of his films a secret. He did try to keep the whole “big twist” about Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness a secret. It didn’t work out because it was pretty obvious. But that was only because, by looking at the trailer, die-hard Trekkers (or is it Trekkies?) could feel it was Khan. But Star Wars is a whole different thing. The new trilogy will be set after the events of Return of The Jedi. All of the books and novels during this time period are going to be stricken from the official time line and be deemed not canon.

Pity. Jaina Solo looks hot!

Pity. Jaina Solo looks hot!

The biggest news that was “leaked” out was the official cast list for the next movie. They’ll be bringing back the original cast to play their old (and familiar) parts, which is good. But they’ve also announced other people, including Andy Serkis (the professional mo-cap actor known for playing Gollum from Lord of The Rings) and Max Von Sydow (legendary actor who portrayed Ming The Merciless in Flash Gordon). However, the rest of the cast is filled out with pretty much unknowns.

I think this is brilliant because the cast doesn’t matter.

If you look back at the original Star Wars, nobody knew who these actors were. The only “popular” actor at the time was Harrison Ford whose only other big role before Star Wars was in American Graffiti but still had to work as a carpenter to make ends meet! Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher only had one movie or two under their belts before the got their big break here!

They had no idea this was going to be their big break.

They had no idea this was going to be their big break.

The same thing is being done for Episode VII. JJ Abrams made a conscious effort to cast relatively unknowns for Episode VII to give the feel of the way viewers on Episode IV felt when they saw it for the first time. They weren’t ferreted by thoughts of “Hey! I liked that guy in that show I just saw!” or bothered by thoughts like “Now where did I see that guy from before?”

We didn’t need big name actors like the ones we got from the prequel movies. Sure, I was one of the fans that got excited when they announced Ewan MacGregor as Obi-Wan (which was smart casting, by the way) and Ray Park as Darth Maul. But having big names in the film certainly didn’t save it from being a colossal disappointment.

No, Star Wars or not, we all want to see a good movie. A film can have total unknowns and still be a hit. The original Star Wars proved it before and I’m certain it can happen again. I’m actually glad I’m not cast as one of the leads since that would certainly bring a lot of stress in my life. But, hey, JJ Abrams, since you’re looking for extras, give me a call! I’ll definitely be glad to be a Stormtrooper or some creature in the background if you need me!

Good luck you new guys! You'll be needing it!

Good luck you new guys! You’ll be needing it!

What do you think of the new cast members for Episode VII? Whatever they are, leave them in the comments section below!


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