The clock is ticking for J.J. Abrams to round out the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII, and it sounds like he’s narrowed the list to five potential stars to play the new, young Jedi who’ll be the centerpiece of the film. Basically, the “next Luke Skywalker.”
According to Variety, Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights), John Boyega (Attack the Block) Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey) and stage actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher are the five finalists for the main “young Jedi apprentice" role in the film. They’re all relative unknowns, which follows George Lucas’ playbook when he signed Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
Of course, the nature of the character isn’t really clear. Changes reportedly took place between Michael Arndt’s original draft, which focused on Han Solo and Princess Leia’s kids, and J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan’s rewrite that bumps the younger generation to supporting roles behind the original stars. That apparently explains the diversity in the potential casting options, as Abrams is apparently keen to have a diverse cast for this flick.
Whoever gets the gig, we should hear something soon-ish, since filming is set to start in within the next few months in London.