J.J. Abrams hints at more casting news on Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day is May 4 — a pun based on the phrase, “May the Force be with you.” (“May the Fourth be with you.” “Star Wars” fans really seem to value their puns, no?) With a new film in the franchise on the horizon, writer/director/ producer J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan took advantage of the holiday to toy with their fans, posting a short video yesterday on YouTube that suggested the two aren’t finished announcing the cast.

The first spate of news about who would be in “Star Wars: Episode VII” came out last week: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are reprising their original roles, while galactic newcomers Adam Driver, Oscar Issac, John Boyega, Max von Sydow, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Daisy Ridley were also announced.

So who else could be joining the cast?

Lupita Nyong’o’s name has been floated again. She became a possibility in March when it was reported that she’d met with Abrams prior to the Academy Awards. That excitement cooled when the cast was announced and her name wasn’t. Now rumors have surfaced about a specific role for her: Asajj Ventress.

According to Wookiepedia, the “Star Wars” Wiki, Ventress is:

a female Dathomirian Dark Jedi and a valuable Dark Acolyte to Count Dooku. Originally a Nightsister from Dathomir, Ventress was taken as a slave to Rattatak and trained as a Jedi Padawan by Jedi Knight Ky Narec. However, after Narec was slain, Ventress gave into her anger and began walking the path of the dark side; taking up the lightsaber of her dead master, she trained herself in the Jar’Kai style of lightsaber combat, before slaying all the warlords on Rattatak and installing herself as its ruler.

Abrams also released this picture last week of the first table read with the existing cast:


Writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams, rear center, at a read-through of “Star Wars: Episode VII” near London. Clockwise from top right are Harrison Ford, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and writer Lawrence Kasdan. (David James/Lucasfilm via AP)

 

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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Gail Sullivan | May 5