Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie join the cast of ''Star Wars: Episode VII''

By Anthony Breznican
Updated June 06, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

For all the cool creatures and characters in that galaxy far, far away, remarkably few have been female. But Star Wars: Episode VII — currently shooting, with a debut set for Dec. 18, 2015 — seems to be righting that trend, adding 12 Years a Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie to its cast. Both actresses are known for playing physically tough and emotionally complex heroines: Nyong’o as the field slave Patsey, and Christie as the female knight Brienne of Tarth. There are no details on their Star Wars roles, but their participation in the J.J. Abrams-helmed film should reassure fans who were bummed that the only women in the initial casting announcement were Carrie Fisher, returning as Princess Leia, and newcomer Daisy Ridley.