The force is definitely with actress Lupita Nyong’o who has just reportedly joined the cast of the newest installment in the Star Wars trilogy. The Oscar-winning star has finally completed a lengthy negotiation process to join the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII, directed by J.J. Abrams.
The latest addition of Nyong’o is another effort for executives at Lucasfilms, the production company behind the project, to getting closer to complete casting on the film which is currently in production filming in London and Abu Dhabi. The film continues to round out a cast that includes an ensemble with former stars of the franchise Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher who are reportedly recreating their 1977 roles from the original classic film. Along with Lupita Nyong’o, the movie has also just added to the cast Gwendoline Christie, the star of the HBO series Game of Thrones.
While the exact role Lupita Nyong’o will be playing has not been revealed, sources close to the project say she will be in a “substantial female” part. Those casting the role were originally looking for a young woman in her 20s. Lupita Nyong’o is 31-years-old. The actress has been on the fast track in Hollywood since her star-making, oscar-winning turn as Patsey, the hard working and defiant slave who was the object of her master’s lust in last year’s academy award best picture, 12 Years a Slave. Aside from her outstanding skills as an actress courtesy of the graduate of the Yale Drama School, Nyong’o’s alluring beauty has been getting lots of notice and attention within the fashion and beauty industry. Since her short arrival in Hollywood, Lupita Nyong’o has landed endorsement deals with eyewear brand Miu Miu and has also been chosen to be the face of the french cosmetics company Lancome. People magazine has also caught the Luptia Nyong’o fever by choosing the star as their cover subject in their annual People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful issue.
With the recent announcement surrounding the films casting, fans of the Star Wars franchise are anxious for another episode in the series that has garnered international box office success to the tune of $4.38 billion and the fifth highest-grossing film series. Episode VII is said to take place 30 years following the series of events in the 1983 film Return of the Jedi.
Born in Mexico, raised in Kenya and educated in the U.S., Lupita Nyong’o has an international appeal that producers of the Star Wars film believe the worldwide cult audience will gravitate to. While many die-hard Star Wars’ fans are lighting up internet blogs with speculation as to what role Nyong’o will play, producers say they will reveal the actress’s actual role in due time but for right now the attention is on completing the casting of the film and keeping production on track. As a newly minted Academy Award winner and now among the cast of a long standing and highly successful film franchise, it appears that Lupita Nyong’o’s career is taking off to a galaxy far, far away.
By Hal Banfield