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Another Black Actor Joins The Cast Of 'Star Wars Episode VII'

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 6, 2014 6:17 PM
  • |
Crystal Clarke

Crystal Clarke has joined the cast of "Star Wars Episode VII," the production announced today. The actress, who has both stage and screen credits, is one of 2 selected from an international casting call that took place towards the end of last year, spanning 11 cities across the US and UK, which was attended by over 37,000 hopefuls.

Pip Andersen

Joining the New Jersey-born Clarke (who is currently studying in Glasgow, UK), is British newcomer Pip Andersen (picture left).

Clarke will soon be seen in her first feature, "The Moon and the Sun" (to be released in 2015), which stars Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt, in an action/adventure/fantasy tale that follows Louis XIV's quest for immortality, which leads him to capture and steal a mermaid's life force.

"The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition. We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film," said producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Principal photography continues at Pinewood Studios in London, under J.J. Abrams' direction, after wrapping on location in Abu Dhabi in May. Shooting is set to wrap in the fall. The film is scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.

With John Boyega, Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo's rumored involvement (and all possibly in key roles), and now Crystal Clarke's casting (although we don't know what role she's been assigned) this could be the *blackest* "Star Wars" installment ever.

I should note that, earlier this year, it was reported that a then ongoing "extended casting search" would lead to the selection of an actress for what was described as a "major role" of a "young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendant of Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi, and who would cross paths with the children of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia." Crystal Clarke may very well be the young actress cast for that part.

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  • Another Black Person | July 19, 2014 5:07 PMReply

    Don't whitewash this blog - too black for you? feel free to peruse any of the other blogs on the network - oh and do come back and tell us how many black people are given exposure on said blogs

  • . | July 7, 2014 7:01 PMReply


  • Up In The Balcony | July 7, 2014 3:18 PMReply

    "LOOK... UP IN THE SKY... its Tambay... no, its Artbizzy... no, its Sergio... no, its Old Skool... no, its Ms. Chinwe... no, its white privilege"

    **The two disagreeable black men up in the balcony, Mr. Black Statler and Mr. Black Waldorf, chop up today's new issue "Why Is It Always About Race With You Folks?"**

    Statler: Its Sergio's fault!
    Waldorf: Sergio didn't write this post.
    Statler: I know, but he is S&A's resident gossip hound.
    W: But again, he didn't write this post.
    Statler: Okay, so this crime belongs to Tambay, huh?
    W: What crime?
    S: Well, you know, the crime of race baiting?
    W: Please, you do know that if you talk to a fool long enough, there will soon be 2 fools talking, right? So I'm about to stop engaging you in this silly mess.
    S: Its not mess. Some intelligent folks stopped by and said "not everything is about colour for goodness sake"... and... "REALLY???... BLACKEST EVER!!!???... SERIOUSLY!!??... NO, I MEAN REALLY!!??... THIS IS 2014... GROW UP!"
    W: Yeah, I saw that. But you have to know that was Jay doing his best "white girl cry". You know, using all caps to over dramatize (drama queening) an issue in an attempt to draw sympathy.
    S: So who done it, Ol' skool, I mean, Carey?
    W: Don't!
    S: Im just sayin'
    W: DON'T
    S: yeah but, some folks are saying...
    W: Don't say it because some folks are saying Rupaul is a woman.
    S: WTF?
    W: Yeah, that's my point, sh*t gets real funky up in here. But Artbizzy merely laid it straight on the line... no race baiting whatsoever. She said "@ Ol'Skool, that's what I'm talking about! lol.. How people coming to a black cinema web site and not want us to use the word "black" or say anything about race?! WHAAAAAAAT? GTFOOHWTBS lol"
    S: See, thats what I AM talking about, that's race baiting... talkin' all bad about white people.
    W: And you're an eggplant. She was not addressing white people. She was speaking to anyone and everyone who had a problem with the title of Tambay's post. So as Michelle said "You knew what she meant, lets not get silly"
    S: Okay. But do you think the naysayers will come back?
    W: I don't think so because Angela Davis... I mean, Artbizzy thoroughly cleaned their clocks.
    S: You never know... tick tock, the game don't stop.
    W: and that bamboozle stick only works upside the heads of those who are willing-silly fools. And, as the saying goes... ain't no fun when the black rabbits got the gun. This be Shadow & Act, a predominately black neighborhood of black folks choppin' up black thangs.

    **Their bellies full of the good stuff, the two old fools nod off to sleep**

  • Carl | July 7, 2014 12:26 PMReply

    So glad Stars Wars hired ANOTHER BLACK ACTOR!

  • Chinwe Nwokolo | July 7, 2014 10:53 AMReply

    Why cant the title of this not just be 'More actors announced to join the new Star Wars film?' Why does everything have to be us and them? I'm happy the doors are opening but, not everything is about colour for goodness sake!

  • artbizzy | July 7, 2014 1:37 PM

    Of course you are allowed to voice your opinion! Talent should certainly not be defined by color, but unfortunately it often is. Well, in truth talent doesn't seem to matter so much nowadays as long as you have star power enough to fill seats. So if you're not Will Smith, Denzel, Kevin Hart, Tyler Perry, good luck, right? Because this is not the 90's when black cinema of all kinds was on the rise. More of our stories were being told in a range of ways and more black films were getting the funding that they needed and attracting talented black actors. Now, not so to me this site represents a kind of movement. I know a lot more about black cinema than before finding this site and therefore support it much more because I'm aware. But yes, at the end of the day, great talent knows no color and a great film is timeless. We just want to make sure that more talented black people have the opportunity to shine in roles that are interesting and complex. No one can tell me that Hollywood or even independent cinema lacks black actors because the black actors they see aren't talented enough? It's not easy to find work when lots of movies are looking for blond, model types. Or the next George Clooney. Furthermore, it's an issue of economics. Lots of black people aren't investing in acting careers because they are unsure of making money because they are told that no one wants to see black movies. So lots of folks aren't getting acting training if they feel they need it or at least learning the ins and outs of the business. So any time a black actor gets good work, it's a cause for celebration.

  • Ol' Skool | July 7, 2014 12:42 PM

    I hear you Ms. Nwokolo. However, having said that, I have to ask you... what's your point?

    Granted, your talent should not be defined by your colour, but can you relate to or understand what Artbizzy and others are saying? And, you are being allowed to voice your opinion, just as others are allowed to disagree with you. So again, what's really on your mind?

  • Chinwe Nwokolo | July 7, 2014 12:26 PM

    I'm not white or privileged, I'm black and as African as they come and an actress, my talent should not be defined by my colour, but what I bring to the table. If something is put out in the public forum, we should be allowed our opinions, regardless of race. KMT!

  • artbizzy | July 7, 2014 9:17 AMReply

    Um, this is a blog about "Cinema of the African Diaspora" and if you don't know that there is an incredible lack of diversity in Hollywood concerning black people or you don't give a shit or don't have any money to donate to Tambay for his hard work or black cinema then get tuh steppin'. I bet you if Quentin Tarantino published a blog post about "the most blackest whatever" or had a blog post called "I'm that type of n-word " with a picture Samuel Jackson dressed as Dolemite some of you would pay him a million dollars or at least wish you could. So yeah it stays blacker than black up in here and it's about time.

  • artbizzy | July 7, 2014 1:13 PM

    @Ol'SKOOL Now that's what I'm talking about! lol! How people coming to a Black cinema website and not want us to use the word 'black' or say anything about race? Whaaaaaat?? GTFOOHWTBS lol. This site is a breath of fresh air for BLACK people and anyone who wants to be exposed to more BLACK cinema and blog posts about the politics behind why BLACK folks struggle to get funding for their films and cast in a wide range of roles. We need sites like this so we can build with each other to make cinema more diverse. Tambay, Sergio, Tanya, Zeba, Andre, Cybel etc. don't get thanked enough for their contributions to cinema of the African Diaspora, (aka BLACK folk cinema) and most of all for keeping it real.

  • Ol' Skool | July 7, 2014 12:02 PM

    ... Just in case the white privileged crowd didn't notice... SAY IT LOUD ONE MORE TIME... this neighborhood of Indiewire is "a blog about Cinema of the African Diaspora."

    So I'd suggest all who are looking through blue lens, color-blind glasses should take their PC rhetoric to a place that loves them back. You know, as Luther Vandross said, love the ones you're with.

  • Ol' Skool | July 7, 2014 11:23 AM


    Keep it real baby, keep it REAL! Tell'em, "we're black and we're proud, and if "they" don't like it "then get tuh steppin'

    Ms. Artbizzy, today you get my Angela Davis award.

  • jay | July 7, 2014 3:46 AMReply


    Another "ACTOR"!!!!!!! JOINS THE STAR WARS CAST!

    "BLACKEST" EVER???????

    COME ON???!! REALLY????!!!

    NO!.... I MEAN......... REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!

    IT'S 2014......................................... GROW UP

  • Shocker | July 7, 2014 2:59 AMReply

    Can u please change this article,
    like a lot! Unless u will write soon which white actor joined the cast in the "blackest starwars ever". It is really odd. I came across it while checking out indiewire for the first time and it really leaves an impression of ur site, and it is not a good one.

  • BLACK ACTOR | July 7, 2014 2:23 AMReply

    I would be so paranoid if I was black and I read that headline. Awful awful awful. In indiewire implying a hand-out or what?

  • DM | July 7, 2014 12:57 AMReply

    ...I thought the person who wrote this article was some racist white bigot only to find out that the writer, Tambay A. Obenson, is a racist black bigot. Not that it matters, but I would HOPE that somebody named TAMBAY would know better. Hey, Tambay!! Your title and quote that "this could be the *blackest* 'Star Wars' installment ever" are an embarrassment to everyone who comes across this website, with the exception of anyone who watches Fox News and/or the Ku Klux Klan. Take this article down!?!?!

  • Michelle | July 6, 2014 11:59 PMReply

    Big deal, my guess is all the blackmactors are one family inthe story. Possibly a force sensitive family Luke decides to train. Lando reallly was the hero of Return of the Jedi, he blew up the death star with Han and Leia's group troops.

  • Michelle | July 7, 2014 12:00 AM

    You know what I meant, let's not get silly.

  • Mike | July 6, 2014 9:08 PMReply

    It's not that ethnically diverse, where are the Asians?

  • Jeff (another black reader) | July 6, 2014 7:36 PMReply

    "...this could be the *blackest* "Star Wars" installment ever."?

    That, along with your headline, "Another BLACK ACTOR Joins The Cast Of 'Star Wars Episode VII'"?

    Some suggestions for you:
    Alternate headline: 'New Star Wars Episode VII Cast Member Announced'
    Alternate sentence: "...this could be the most ethnically diverse "Star Wars" installment ever."

    Please use more taste and sensitivity when writing this stuff.

  • ZAX | July 7, 2014 2:26 AM

    I take it back. Jeff's right. "New Star Wars Cast Member…" wouldve done it.

    Indiewire, do you have editors? Are they sharp? Please respond.

  • Zax | July 7, 2014 12:46 AM

    Alert, alert, the political correct police is here! You people are so funny. PC is the cancer that eats this country... Seriously, what's wrong with pointing the color of the new actor? I would like to kindly remind you, that the first Star Wars was rather infamous for the lack of the black people in it. Sure, the awesome character of Lando made up for that, but I doubt that the PC police even remembers that controversy, and why it is important to point out the diversity in that context.

  • Pedro (a brazilian reader) | July 7, 2014 12:38 AM

    I loved your comment!

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