‘Star Wars: Episode VIII’ May Have Its New Female Lead

By October 5, 2015

We’re still fairly far away from the release of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII, and haven’t even seen J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens yet. However, rumors regarding both the plot and cast of Episode VIII have already begun to circle online. Actor Benicio del Toro has already been confirmed to be cast in the film, although whether or not his character will be the film’s lead villain is still up for debate it seems like, and his name has joined the growing list of mysterious new characters we can look forward to being introduced to in the coming years.

Among the many prominent rumors regarding the plot of Episode VIII though, one that seems to keep reappearing is the introduction of one (or more) female leads in the film. We here at GN have even heard that the film is looking to introduce a new, young actress in a prominent role, and after a shortlist of talented young actresses was revealed a few weeks ago too, it seems like the Star Wars universe is about to get a whole lot more diverse, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

According to a new report from Latino Review too, actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion, Belle) is apparently up for a female lead role in the film as well, and has apparently already auditioned for the film. She joins actresses Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), who were all previously rumored for the same role a few months ago. However, LR is also reporting that it’s possible there are two lead female roles up for grabs in the film, and that two of these rumored names could be joining the Episode VIII cast by the time everything is said and done.

Now, none of this is confirmed so you should take this with a large grain of salt, but it does make sense in terms of the recent casting directions and rumors that the film has been going in over the past few months. Mbatha-Raw has been on everyones’ radar too after her star turns in last year’s Belle and Beyond the Lights, as well as her turn in the upcoming Will Smith-led Oscar drama, Concussion.

Considering her recent climb towards stardom over the past few years, it wouldn’t surprise me if she ends up joining the Star Wars universe moving forwards, since it seems like Disney and Lucasfilm have been heavily pursuing talented up-and-comers in the industry over the past few years. If you think about it too, 90% of the Force Awakens cast is comprised of some of the most talented young actors in the industry nowadays. All of these actresses have been proving themselves to be amongst those ranks as well, and no matter who ends up getting cast and who doesn’t, something tells me we’re going to be happy either way.

Star Wars: Episode VIII is set to hit theatres on May 26th, 2017.

Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable