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Star Wars Announces Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie's Additions to the Cast, But Why Did They Wait?

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by Inkoo Kang
June 3, 2014 3:00 PM
6 Comments
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Lupita Nyong'o

Last week, I deplored the fact that the only casting confirmation we'd heard about Lupita Nyong'o's post-Oscar career was a voiceover gig in The Jungle Book

I was thrilled to be proven wrong yesterday when Disney announced that Nyong'o, along with Game of Thrones castmember Gwendoline Christie, had been cast in J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars sequel, due December 2015, which will take place just thirty years after Return of the Jedi.

Rumors had been swirling of Nyong'o's addition to the galaxy far, far away in a prominent role since March, so why did Abrams wait so long to announce the news? 

Sure, he and Big Mouse might have been negotiating with the Kenyan actress' agents until now, but conventional wisdom suggests that Abrams forestalled the announcement as part of his signature "mystery box" move -- the big surprise no one will be able to stop talking about. 

Whatever the intentions and circumstances behind the timing of the rollout, the five-week gap between the late-April announcement of a group of male actors and the early-June announcement of a pair of female co-stars makes the latter look like an afterthought or a grudging concession. 

I don't think that Nyong'o's casting represents either, but because the Star Wars franchise already has plenty of known issues with its female characters and its female fanbase, I wish Abrams had thought through the ramifications, especially given the franchise's history, a bit more. 

Needless to say, my formerly nonexistent interest in Star Wars: Episode VII has now been piqued by Nyong'o, Christie's and previously announced actress Daisy Ridley's presence in the movie. I'm certainly not alone. 

And that's how you build a four-quadrant movie: by giving everybody something to be excited about. 

Previously: 5 Reasons Why Those Star Wars Casting Rumors about Lupita Nyong'o Are Worth Celebrating

[via THR]

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6 Comments

  • Star | June 4, 2014 10:48 PMReply

    "...I wish Abrams had thought through the ramifications, especially given the franchise's history, a bit more."

    And just when you thought Inkoo Kang couldn't get any more eye-roll inducing...

  • Brian Winiarski | June 4, 2014 2:37 PMReply

    I have enjoyed all the star wars films and would watch the next one no matter who is in it. No harm can possibly be done by placing such a stunningly beautiful woman as Lupita Nyong (whom I have never seen before this post) in it, so forgive my lack of understanding of what this post is even about.

  • Michael Davis | June 3, 2014 3:26 PMReply

    It is hard to criticize Abrams regarding this. When the first casting news came out, it was short on female characters, but casting wasn't done yet. Everyone went crazy, harping on him for making another movie without strong female characters, but as it turns out (and as I expected) he added two great female actors. I think it is important to take into consideration J.J.'s background. It is not one that is devoid of strong female characters in his other projects. I'm happy about this news for two reasons: 1). The film gets a strong female presence, which will help the film overall. 2). This news should somewhat quiet people who jumped the gun. Why did people seem interested in rushing the casting process this time, when I have never heard of that anxiety ever before in a film, at least to this level? I believed him when he said that casting wasn't over. It wasn't, and my faith in him paid off.

  • James M. | June 3, 2014 3:24 PMReply

    Addendum: Honestly, this is some of the worst kind of journalism. Why does Indiewire allow such tripe on this site?

  • Peggy | June 3, 2014 3:24 PMReply

    Yes before I was barely interested and I like Sci Fi, and now it's a must see. Is the chick from Thrones the one who is very dyke like? (I barely watch the show so I don't know the characters well) Because if that's her, she's another reason to watch it.

  • James M. | June 3, 2014 3:23 PMReply

    Seriously, Inkoo Kang? You turned the announcement about Nyong'o into a feminist rant?

    Why couldn't the following have been enough?
    "Sure, he and Big Mouse might have been negotiating with the Kenyan actress' agents until now, but conventional wisdom suggests that Abrams forestalled the announcement as part of his signature "mystery box" move -- the big surprise no one will be able to stop talking about."

    Why did you have to turn it into this?
    "Whatever the intentions and circumstances behind the timing of the rollout, the five-week gap between the late-April announcement of a group of male actors and the early-June announcement of a pair of female co-stars makes the latter look like an afterthought or a grudging concession. "

    No, it *doesn't* make it look like that. It makes it look like the announcement was made yesterday, and nothing more. Sorry, but I think you're the only one who finds anything sinister in all this.

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