Lucasfilm has announced that Star Wars: Episode VII has two additional cast members: Academy Award® winner Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie.
Nyong’o delivered a “breakthrough performance” in 12 Years a Slave that earned her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. She can also be seen with Star Wars alumnus Liam Neeson in Non-Stop, and will voice Rakcha in the upcoming remake of The Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau.
Christie is currently among the cast of Game of Thrones, where she plays Brienne of Tarth. She’s also been cast in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay as Commander Lyme.
“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”
No word on which characters they’ll play (of course), but speculation on Nyong’o has run rampant, with rumors having her playing everything from Lando Calrissian’s daughter, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter, Asajj Ventriss, or a bounty hunter of some sort. Christie, born in 1978, is probably too young to play Mara Jade, so fans shouldn’t get their hopes up yet.
In the meantime, TMZ has obtained the first photos from the production in Abu Dhabi, images that include another non-CGI creature and what is clearly a moisture vaporator, reinforcing the assumption that some part of the story takes place on Tatooine. And while the complaint is already there, that the extras appear to all be human, it’s likely the photos of any aliens are being held back for another round of “leaked” photos in the next few weeks.