'Star Wars VII': Character breakdowns released!
In the single biggest piece of Star Wars sequel news since five minutes ago, a list of character breakdowns for Star Wars: Episode VII has been sent out to agents, with extremely vague-but-nevertheless-intriguing indications about seven key members of the cast. The list was initially uncovered by Bleeding Cool, and Lucasfilm has confirmed its veracity to EW. Which means that now is the time for the citizens of the internet to conceive Baseless Theories about the direction of the J.J. Abrams-directed, Michael Arndt-scripted sevenquel. Hooray for Baseless Theories! Let’s take a look, shall we?
“Late-teen female, independent, good sense of humour, fit.”
Late-teen females: So hot right now! The fact that this is the lead-off breakdown doesn’t necessarily mean that Star Wars: Episode VII is looking for its very own Jennifer Lawrence. But let’s do the math. Abrams is a smart entertainer who can recognize that we’re living in a Katniss moment right now. And he also has a history of casting female protagonists. (Example A: Felicity. Example B: Alias. Example C: Uhura, reborn as the third lead in Star Trek.) Also, “independent,” “good sense of humour,” and “fit?” They might as well say, “Go watch Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar speech. Now find us that, except less expensive and not already committed to two different franchises.” Let’s go out on a limb and say that this theoretical late-teenaged female is the franchise’s Luke Skywalker-type of person — a youngster with big dreams. Maybe her name is actually Skywalker. (Or maybe she’s the daughter of Han and Leia, and her full last name is “Solo-Organa/Skywalker.) Let’s call this the Taissa Farmiga part. She must have a good sense of humor; she was on American Horror Story!
“Young twenty-something male, witty and smart, fit but not traditionally good looking.”
Ah ha, a witty and smart character male lead! Could it be that this “witty and smart” young man could match up with the “independent” young lady? He’s witty! She has a good sense of humour! Also, “fit but not traditionally good looking” is essentially a synonym for “Handsome but not somebody named Hemsworth.” Paging Hutcherson! This is clearly a character who is going to need to prove himself, perhaps by triumphing over the adversity of not being traditionally good looking. I’m wondering if Episode VII will flip the typical Star Wars movie gender roles on their head: The lady is going to be the big-dreaming Skywalker action hero, who helps the guy go off on adventures. Basically, think Wash and Zoe in Firefly. Here’s a wild idea: What about Thomas Brodie-Sangster, aka “The Kid From Love, Actually Who Is Also on Game of Thrones Now.” Question: Is he too traditionally good looking? Answer: He’s not named Hemsworth.
“A late twentysomething male, fit, handsome and confident.”
Or, put more simply, “Somebody named Hemsworth.” You can already see the pre-Return of the Jedi Han-Luke-Leia romantic triangle forming here. “Handsome and confident” certainly could be read as requiring an element of Harrison Ford-y cockiness. This guy is either a smuggler or he’s the apparent hero who turns out to be an intergalactic Billy Zabka: The handsome-yet-evil dude who needs to be taken down by the Independent Female and the Not Traditionally Good Looking Male. Also, in case you haven’t noticed, these people all have to be fit. Start rocking that P90X, young actors!
“Seventy-something male, with strong opinions and tough demeanour. Also doesn’t need to be particularly fit.”
Meanwhile, old actors can eat all the cheesy poofs they want to, because all that’s required of them is toughness. Going way out on a limb here: This character is somebody’s father, and is maybe some kind of veteran from the battle against the Empire in the original Star Wars trilogy. Or perhaps those “strong opinions” indicate that he is some kind of Big Important Leader in whatever version of the Republic is currently reigning in Star Wars: Episode VII. I see this character as a mixture of Tywin Lannister from Game of Thrones, Zed from Men in Black, and Sam Waterston from Life.
“A second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and fit.”
Did we stress fitness? Guys, we cannot stress fitness enough. The fact that this young lady is apparently the same age as the Independent Female indicates that they might be friends, compatriots, schoolmates, twins, teammates, enemies, or raquetball partners. Or maybe the Independent Female is the pilot, and this Tough Female is the gunner? Maybe she’s the Dak? Actually, hold on guys, I’m blowingEpisode VII wide open here. So there’s an Independent Female, a Witty And Smart But Not Traditionally Good Looking Male, and a Tough Female Who Let’s Say For Argument’s Sake Is Friends With The Other Female? Dudes. That is the exact same layout as the main trio on iCarly! And bust this: I was just looking up Jennette McCurdy, who played Tough Female Sam on iCarly, and Wikipedia says “she gained interest in acting after watching Harrison Ford in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.” Dear Ms. McCurdy: Your chariot awaits. Now, the only thing missing from the iCarly theory is Carly’s distant father, a middle-aged military type…
“Forty-something male, fit, military type.”
[Head explodes.] It all fits! But seriously, folks, this role has “crusty mentor figure” written all over it. Of course, it also has “villainous second-in-command” written all over it. I feel like if it’s the former, it should be Idris Elba, but if it’s the latter, it should be Max Martini. Admittedly, I only thought of them because they both play forty-something fit military-types in Pacific Rim. But they’re good at playing forty-something fit military-types.
Thirtysomething male, intellectual. Apparently doesn’t need to be fit.
This lucky bastard right here is the only castmember who’s not going to be hitting the gym every morning and rocking the Hugh Jackman All-Chicken Breast Diet for the next six years. Although note that the description hedges by saying this character “apparently doesn’t need to be fit,” so if you can believably appear both intelligent and hot at the same time, then you’re in luck and also everyone on earth hates you, you beautiful smart angel. I’m guessing this is a classic Abrams figure: The lovable goofy-smart sidekick, à la Marshall in Alias or Simon Pegg in the Star Treks. Actually, this part seems designed specifically for Simon Pegg. Anyhow, this is clearly the breakout sidekick character you’ll be quoting incessantly in two years hopefully. Unless — EVEN MORE BASELESS THEORY ALERT — the reason this Intellectual Male “doesn’t need to be fit” is that he’s going to be playing a Droid via motion-capture? DROIDS! WE GOTTA HAVE MORE DROIDS! I’d watch a whole Star Wars movie that was just about Droids vs. Bounty Hunters, with IG-88 caught in the middle. Maybe this is IG-88? Okay, I’m done now.
Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich.