By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist April 30, 2014 at 9:23AM
With a single black and white photo, any other news items regretted their timing, and thirteen actors’ agents breathed a sigh of relief. Yes, the confirmed cast of “Star Wars: Episode VII” was announced yesterday to a positive reception, with much-discussed locks like Adam Driver joining welcome surprises like Max von Sydow. But now that the lineup has brought us a clearer image of J.J. Abrams’ new direction, it’s worth pointing out that there’s much more to come.
The official announcement certainly came as an early shock to fans, and as The Wrap reports, Disney and LucasFilm were feeling the same way in preparing to reveal the cast. The two companies hoped that May 4th—widely known as Star Wars Day—would premiere the casting news, after months of intense speculation flooded the web and trades. But with Abrams hosting the first table read of his and Lawrence Kasdan’s script this past Tuesday, the threat of an unofficial leak of names seemed too risky for the higher-ups, and they made the decision to unveil their chosen picks early.
However, alongside the largely optimistic reaction to Abrams’ lineup for “Episode VII” though, the absence of female cast members, outside of Carrie Fisher and newcomer Daisy Ridley, made itself immediately apparent. The dismal male-to-female ratio would be keeping in line with Lucas’ saga thus far, but one was still hoping for a better turnout in the hands of Abrams. A hopeful piece to the puzzle exists, though: just as the cast announcement arrived prematurely (and not long after final deals were inked), that means a great deal of the trilogy’s characters are yet to be disclosed.
At the very least Abrams and co. are looking to find an actress of mixed-race, heavily rumored to be British unknown Maisie Richardson-Sellers, for what is said to be a "major female role." Meanwhile, LucasFilm and Disney are likely arranging another surprise once May 4th finally hits, so look to receive a more officially prepared announcement in the coming days.