Well congratulations J. J. Abrams. Not since I watched Lost have you made me quite so happy. The reason? In revealing the cast for the new Star Wars movie you’re directing, (Episode VII for those of you who have been keeping up) due out in 2015, you have not decided to fill the screen with a mass of clueless young hormones to the exclusion of the slightly creakier members of the acting fraternity.
No. So now, alongside fresh blood with the likes of newcomers including Daisy Ridley and up and coming stars Adam Driver, John Boyega and Domhnall Gleeson (True Grit, About Time) you have decided there’s still a place for the old guard in the form of Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). Even Anthony Daniels is back as neurotic robot C3PO, as is Peter Mayhew as walking rug Chewbacca. Good work.
This is clever because in doing this you’ve pleased the original fans and those who grew up with these films and provided a real continuity, as well as adding an intriguing new pulse and direction for the story to follow now. The new movie will allegedly be set thirty years after 1983’s Return of the Jedi and we’ll have to wait to see how the older and younger actors will be connected plotwise. One thing we do know is that Han and Leia have stayed together, with Carrie Fisher now being officially billed as Leia Solo.
In the time since we last saw the trio of Han, Luke and Leia on screen, Hamill has had a steady career of TV and voiceover work, Fisher has also done her share of TV and made a name as a writer, while Ford, of course, has been the most successful of the three in the acting field, clocking up an impressive list of high-profile, box office hits.
How easy it would have been in an age-obsessed Hollywood to have pensioned off these older names and how refreshing it’s going to be to see them back together again. The anticipation of witnessing the next stage in their history starts now. Sci-fi geek or otherwise, we all love a good epic…
Especially when there are lightsabers involved.