Well, I can’t very well pretend this shit didn’t happen, can I?
First, a little backstory: Shortly after filming the wildly successful 60’s period piece/coming of age movie, 1973’s American Grafitti, young writer and director George Lucas started filming his next project, an epic science fiction adventure movie known only as Star Wars, starring up-and-comers Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Lucas’s carpenter, Harrison Ford.
Filming the movie was a total goddamn mess. The actors, especially Ford and veteran supporting actor Alec Guinness, thought the film was a total joke,with Carrie Fisher being the only one with any faith in it. The whole cast didn’t really get along, and George Lucas was extremely frustrated, sinking into depression, with the cast teasing him about it and his relatively limited directing ability. Anthony Daniels, who played a robot, suffered a nasty leg injury when he wore the suit for the first time, and even Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, blessing the set with a heavy rainstorm… In Tunisia.
But the movie, which went $3 million over budget and was thought by the actors and studio executives to be a surefire bomb, was released on May 25, 1977 and instantly became not only the third highest-grossing movie of all time, but also a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. As it turned out, the constant on-set adversity helped Lucas and his peons churn out a damn near perfect adventure movie. The success of the film prompted two sequels (Both written, but not directed by Lucas), 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back (Which is wildly considered to be one of the greatest movie of all time along with it’s predecessor) and 1983’s Return of the Jedi (Which could’ve done without the Ewoks, but is still pretty great). which ended up inspiring potential directors, actors and writers the world over. Even today the impact of the trilogy can still be felt. And the movies still hold up as well. I was born thirteen years after Jedi came out, and all three of these movies are among my top 20 favourites, with Star Wars and Empire easily ranking in the top 5.
However. things started to fall apart after that.
After finishing off the wonderful Indiana Jones franchise, Lucas started penning the infamous script to what was to be the first in a prequel trilogy to the story of Star Wars. Titled The Phantom Menace, Lucas, forsaking his original strategy of casting whichever actor, unknown or famous, that gave the best performance, immediately started casting big-name actors that would guarantee big box office draws. Liam Neeson! Samuel L. Jackson! Ewan MacGregor!
Long story short, apart from a few visual effect, Natalie Portman’s glorious midriff and Mr. Plinkett’s best reviews, the prequels are more or less universally regarded as some of the biggest missed opportunities in cinematic history. Sure, they made George Lucas a shitload of money, but millions of fans around the world felt betrayed that such a beloved series could be do mercilessly tarnished.
And then, Disney happened.
In 2012, Disney bought Lucasfilm, which meant two things: Kingdom Heart’s roster is going to be increased tenfold and b) another Star Wars trilogy was going to be made, stat.
After a director was announced (Disney wisely went with the popular choice of “Not George Lucas”) we didn’t hear anything about the casting except that Hamill, Fisher, Ford, Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker were set to reprise their roles from the original movies. Then, on April 29th, the cast was revealed. And boy, is it ever a doozy.
Now, if you want a list of the cast, I’m sure you can find one at a Reputable News Source. However, over the next week or so, I’m going to take time out of my busy schedule of listening to Blink-182 and weeping to offer a profile on each of the actors and my opinions on their casting. Since I’m not doing a fucking 5000 review post. I split the actors into four categories:
- The Unknowns
- The Somewhat/Very Established Newcomers
- The Original Sidekicks
- The OG3
So stay tuned, dear readers. I’m putting on my Nerd hat and doing a thorough analysis of each of these thespians.
Or typing a few paragraphs until I see a shiny object. Whichever.