Lupita Nyong’o and ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Gwendoline Christie Join ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

By June 2, 2014
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As soon as the first round of casting was announced for JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, a lot of the discussion turned to a seeming lack of female roles. After all, relative unknown Daisy Ridley was the only woman announced in that first batch. But Abrams said there were a few more female roles yet to be cast, and now the galaxy far, far away has been injected with a duo of awesome ladies who will certainly make fans even more excited about the long-awaited return to the Star Wars universe.

StarWars.com announces that Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave) and “Game of Thrones” star Gwendoline Christie (who plays the awesome Brienne of Tarth) have both joined the cast, but their roles are – naturally – being kept under wraps at this point. Nyong’o has been rumored for a role for a few months now, but this is the first we’re hearing of Christie’s name being in the mix. Leave it to JJ Abrams to keep things secretive…

Gwendoline Christie

Even though we’re not sure exactly who these ladies will play, I’m thrilled with this casting. These actresses are fantastic, and they can both convincingly wield a lightsaber should their characters be called on to do so. Bringing strong female presences like this into the Star Wars universe will go a long way in not only strengthening the already-excellent cast, but also in rounding out the diversity that Abrams has been striving to achieve with this production.

Here’s the official announcement in full:

Lupita Nyong’o joins the recently announced cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. This year, her breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Gwendoline Christie, currently starring in the hit television series Game of Thrones as Brienne of Tarth, has also been cast in the production. She can next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the Saga Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.

Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

Who do you think Nyong’o and Christie will be playing in Star Wars: Episode VII? Let us know in the comments below!

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.