Lucasfilm announced via the official Star Wars website today that two new cast members to the newest installment of "Episode VII." 

Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie have been brought on.

Here's the official press release:

Star Wars
: Episode VII Adds Academy Award® Winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie


Lupita Nyong’o joins the recently announced cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. This year, her breakthrough performance in 12 Years a Slave earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.


Gwendoline Christie, currently starring in the hit television series Game of Thrones as Brienne of Tarth, has also been cast in the production. She can next be seen in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.


“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII," says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”


Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the Saga Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new film.


Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

 I'm terribly excited about this. I think this two will add plenty to the movie, and help combat the lack of diversity from the initial casting announcement. Some have speculated that these roles were added in response to the much-needed backlash about the cast's lack of diversity, but it seems as though these wheels were in motion long before even that initial casting announcement. For one, Lupita Nyong'o has been in the rumor mill for ages, for two, the whole reason they pushed production was to get the script perfect in the first place. It doesn't seem likely that after the first script reading and ensuing outrage that they'd be able to so quickly go back to the drawing board and add two new roles, leading me to believe that this movie was as diverse as we wanted it to be from the get-go.

In any case, I'm hopeful we're going to get the "Star Wars" movie we want and deserve.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" comes out December 18, 2015.

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Tags: casting , star wars , episode vii