It appears that the Star Wars franchise has revealed its lead actress. When the huge cast of stars was originally announced, it included a host of familiar faces (like Max Von Sydow and Andy Serkis) and fresh ones (like Attack the Block breakout John Boyega and even less known Daisy Ridley), but no character details were given. As such, we were left to speculate as to which actors, if any, had minor roles, and which would be toplining J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars Episode VII, along with accompanying Episodes VIII and IX.
Now, however, it appears that Ridley will be the female lead in the new franchise. Why? Well, the scoop was buried in Deadline’s report about Ridley being signed by UTA. The site wrote:
She is the female lead in the J.J Abrams-directed resuscitation of Star Wars, and the plan is for her carry through to the second and third films that will be directed by Looper helmer Rian Johnson.
No official confirmation from Lucasfilm on the matter, of course, but Deadline is typically reliable. It’s worth noting, however, that the site broke the news of Johnson’s involvement in Episodes VIII and IX but, unlike most other sites, did not amend its initial report that the Looper helmer would be directing both upcoming installments to instead reflect what is now widely believed – that Johnson will write and direct Episode VIII, as well as write a treatment for IX. Whether Deadline knows something we don’t or simply doesn’t want to correct its exclusive is still unclear.
It was widely guessed that Ridley had a big role in Episode VIII. Though the actress was an unknown until the casting announcement, her part is large enough for her to be included in the first wave of announcements, along with Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill. Her name was even featured before any of those stars, only following John Boyega.
In addition to those three stars, Boyega and Ridley, the cast for Star Wars Episode VIII includes returning stars Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker, along with franchise newcomers Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Christina Chong, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, Dixie Arnold, and Max von Sydow. The film opens December 18th, 2015.