As a girl who went to the first available showing of Star Wars III aged ten and dressed as a Jedi, it’s safe to say that I was pretty excited about the release of the line-up for Episode VII.
However the line-up has been a bit of a surprise, and I don’t really know whether to rejoice or despair because it seems to me that some pretty risky decisions have been made.
The biggest concern of mine is the fact that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will all be featured in the film, as in my mind that can only go two ways: fantastically well or horribly wrong. Seeing Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker forty years older than they were when Episode IV was released could detract from the original charm of Episodes IV, V and VI, when the characters were young and fresh and on the verge of starting their lives together. Having said that, it could turn out to be that essential tie that will bridge the gap between Episodes VI and VII, and I’m really hoping that it will add an air of authenticity to film.
After all, Abrams’ Star Trek was a complete remake and that was absolutely brilliantly done; it really retained the spirit of the original films thanks to the dedication to reproducing the original characters pretty much exactly as they were.
Nonetheless this commitment to the original composition of the film is perhaps too archaic with regards to the gender of the cast members. I’m a little disappointed to discover that as of yet there are only two main female cast members, one of which is Carrie Fisher, which feels a bit like cheating considering that she was the lead in the original three Star Wars movies.
However, the age range cannot be questioned: we’ve got everyone from 85-year-old Bond veteran Max von Sydow to relatively unknown John Boyega, who is just 22. We don’t even know how old Daisy Ridley is because she’s so new on the scene.
I think that the inclusion of young and relatively unknown actors will really help to revive and regenerate a franchise that first hit cinema screens in 1977.
Despite these slight concerns which can be raised with the casting, I guess it all comes down to the fact that I’m happy to leave the franchise in J. J. Abrams’ very capable hands: if it were anyone else in the director’s chair, I’d probably be a bit more worried about the fate of such a well-loved series.
I suppose that until December 2015 we’ll just have to wait in what can only be described as very nervous excitement. For after all, Star Wars means an awful lot to a lot of people, whether you were the girl dressed as the Jedi or the daddy holding her hand.