Winning an Academy Award for your first movie role has to be like a crazy dream for most actors. I wouldn’t know anything about that thanks to my crippling fear of speaking in front of even the smallest audiences. When you gather so much acclaim for a role like this, as Lupita Nyong’o did for her turn in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, all sorts of opportunities present themselves to you, like maybe landing a role in the next Star Wars movie. Reports have surfaced that indicate that Nyong’o could be up for the female lead in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming jaunt to that far, far away galaxy. We’ve also got a look at something that could possibly be our first glimpse at the logo for the new movie. Or it could be total bullshit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 31-year-old Yale graduate, and co-star of Liam Neeson’s Taken-on-a-plane actioner Non-Stop, met with Abrams a few weeks ago to discuss a key role in Episode VII. We don’t know much about the film—Disney and Lucasfilm are playing this close to the vest—but the report does offer a bit of insight into Nyong’o’s potential role.
The article says that the part may be as a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi, what they call “a non-Caucasian role.” This is also apparently different than the two twenty-somethings—one male, one female—that the production has reportedly been looking to cast as well. You have to assume that this would be a rather distant kin of Obi-Wan, because there’s not much of a resemblance between Nyong’o and Ewan McGregor or Alec Guiness, the two actors who have played venerable Jedi Knight. Whatever the part, this would be a nice addition to the cast. Even given the minimal sample set, Nyong’o is pretty damn phenomenal. And she gave a fantastic Oscar speech.
Nyong’o joins the latest crop of young actors recently linked to Episode VII. Just the other day we saw reports that the hunt for the male lead has been narrowed down to five actors: Jesse Plemons, John Boyega, Ed Speelers, Matthew James Thomas, and Ray Fisher. We don’t know what role they’re up for, either, though Internet scuttlebutt seems to think they could be a Jedi apprentice. Out of all of these options, I’d have towards Boyega, he’s so, so good in Attack the Block.
In addition to these folks, we’ve been hearing consistent rumblings that Adam Driver (Girls, Inside Llewyn Davis) is in negotiations to play the as-yet unspecified villain in the new installment. The rumors that have been making the rounds lately definitely have a different feel than the ones that started circulating immediately after the film was announced, they seem to have a more substantial feel to them. Of course, this makes sense considering we’re rapidly approaching the widely reported May start of production. You have to figure we’ll hear something official at some point. Maybe not until the credits roll onscreen, but eventually.
And finally, this potential new Episode VII logo popped up on the Yahoo Movies UK Twitter feed earlier today. They don’t seem to have any idea whether or not this is authentic or bogus, either, so your guess is as good as anyone’s. It could be legit, but it could very well be something a fan made, or one of many options they’re playing with. I hope to god that this is fake, because I can’t look at it without thinking of that 30 Rock bit where Tracy Jordan signs on to star in 5now Dog5. At the same time, I can’t help but be afraid that this is real, because it calls to mind the reaction I had when I learned the title of Abrams’ last Star Trek movie was Star Trek Into Darkness. It’s trying to be clever, but missing the mark.
Star Wars: Episode VII, and whoever is going to star in the film, hits theaters December 18, 2015.