National Edition

Star Wars fans getting what they want with new casting, set pictures

Published: Monday, June 2 2014 3:00 p.m. MDT

Updated: Tuesday, June 3 2014 11:08 a.m. MDT

This 1980 publicity image originally released by Lucasfilm Ltd., Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker and the character Yoda appear in this scene from "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back." The Library of Congress announced early Tuesday Dec. 28, 2010 that the film will be preserved by the Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry. New set pictures and two new castings are giving Star Wars fans what they want when it comes to the new movies.

Anonymous, Associated Press

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These seem to be the developments Star Wars fans were looking for.

On Monday, it was announced that both Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie will join the new Star Wars film in roles yet to be announced. Nyong’o is famously known for her Oscar-winning performance in “12 Years a Slave” and Gwendoline Christie is trotting on horses in the hit HBO show, “Game of Thrones.”

And both Nyong’o and Christie are women. And while this is an obvious fact, it’s a noteworthy point for the Star Wars films as many spoke out against the lack of women in the first cast listing, Deseret News National reported in April.

“The Force doesn’t really seem to be with women when it comes to ‘Star Wars: Episode VII,’ ” Deseret News National reported. “When the cast of the new Star Wars films blasted out from hyperspace on Tuesday, critics and fans alike were left baffled as only two women made the cast list, one of whom is Carrie Fisher, who will reprise her role as Princess Leia. The other? Daisy Ridley, a relatively unknown actress.”

The lack of female roles is a bit jarring, especially from a creative standpoint, Annalee Newitz of i09.com wrote in April. And it’s unfair to young girls who are looking for inspiration, Newitz wrote.

“Having Ridley is great, but one new female lead in a cast of men? That's how we launch ourselves into the future of this series, which inspires little girls with pink swords, as well as old girls like myself who graduated to sharper weapons long ago?” Newitz wrote. “Are we seriously still pretending that the universe is comprised almost entirely of men (and mostly white men at that)? Mythic tales are supposed to open up possibilities, not shut them down."

But now with these two castings, reaction has been positive, wrote Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter. Movie critics and fans alike spoke out about how Star Wars films generally have a “gender imbalance” and this new film was falling into that same issue, McMillan wrote.

Now, the tide seems to be turning. And the movie appears to be leading to a female-centric movie, McMillan wrote.

“This is an idea that’s been floating around since Abrams’ involvement was first mooted, in large part because of his work on Alias and, to a lesser extent, Felicity, both female-centric series, and while there’s been nothing official to support it as yet, it’s an idea that only seems to make more sense the more you consider it,” McMillan wrote.

Oh, and in related Star Wars news, set pictures leaked this past weekend. It looks like fans are getting what they want in other ways, too, as fewer computer animated visuals — something many didn’t like in the prequel trilogy released in the early 2000s, — are being used, it would seem, IGN reported.

“While none of the movie's main cast make an appearance unfortunately, there is a pretty awesome massive pig creature,” wrote Luke Karmali for IGN. “According to sources, the monster was operated by five men inside its belly, which suggests that J.J. Abrams is serious about his commitment to cut down on the amount of CG used in the new trilogy.”

Email: hscribner@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: @herbscribner

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