Thursday, November 1, 2012

Let's Cast Star Wars Episode VII!

Okay, Disney, let me solve this casting issue for you!

In my previous article about Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and plans to continue the Star Wars saga in 2015 with the long-anticipated Episode VII, I drew the conclusion that the easiest course forward is to recast Luke, Leia, Han (and Lando) with a younger cast. Wild speculation and impassioned opinion will run wild on the Interwubz, but I’m here to save you from all that drama by giving you the right answer right now!

I know exactly who should be cast in Episode VII and I’ll tell you why... after the jump!

Now look, if they decide to go with unknown actors then that's all well and good, but if you want known names then here's where I think they should go...

First thing we need to do is consider all the ages. With a whole trilogy to produce I can’t imagine them wanting to go too far forward after Return of the Jedi. We need actors who aren’t going to all be in their fifties by episode nine. So let’s use ROTJ as our starting point. It was released in 1983 so let’s say it was still shooting in 1982.

Did you know that, at that time...

Han Solo/Harrison Ford was 40.
Luke Skywalker/Mark Hamill was 31.
Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher was 26.
Lando Calrissian/Billy Dee Williams was 45!

I think there’s room to move here. Even if it’s set after Jedi I imagine they’ll want to skew younger just to give them room to move. Plus Luke and Leia are twins so you can split the age difference there. But it does at least give you an indication of the relative ages they’ll be looking for. Let’s look at each character one by one, assuming they’ll still be shooting in 2014.

Han Solo.

Born in 1977... Bradley Cooper.
Come on you know this is the right choice. He’s the right age, he can do the look, and you know he can play a rugged scoundrel/opportunist/jerk. This one is such a non-brainer. He’s relatively high-profile but why go with an unknown when you know that this guy is going to work? And I bet they can get him at a reasonable price. You know this makes sense.

But casting is about not just getting each character right, but getting the team right. Who is going to fit well together. Who is Han’s love interest...

Princess Leia.

Born in 1987, Ellen Page.
Looks wise you need a short, cute, brunette who is part object of desire and part girl-next-door/sister. Ellen has all these things and falls into the age range. But above all that, Ellen Page is SMART. Princess Leia was smart, and you need someone who can approach this with the confidence and sharp wit of Carrie Fisher. You cast only for looks and you lose the character. I 100% believe that Ellen Page can nail Princess Leia. And I 100% believe that Bradley Cooper would want to nail Ellen Page. This is perfect.

We’re two for two, but there’s one more important part of this trio.

Luke Skywalker.

Born in 1984... Paul Dano.
Your first thought is that he doesn’t instantly have the look of the other two, but look at his eyes, look at some of his crazy hair photos. Paul Dano is intense. Jedi Luke is intense. Paul Dano can act. Paul Dano can carry around the weight of a galaxy. Bradley Cooper will try to lighten up Paul Dano and tell him that the force is utter crap. Ellen Page will have empathy for Paul Dano. An audience will respect Paul Dano. Dano is a Skywalker with range. You can already see Luke in his eyes, just give him the hair cut.

BAM! WE ARE THREE FOR THREE, YOU GUYS! So let’s slam dunk Lando and bask in the glory of a job well done!

Lando Calrissian.

Born in 1972... Idris Elba.
COME ON! JUST LOOK AT THIS GUY! He’s charming, smart and longing to wear a fancy blue cape!  And he can also act! Can you imagine him gambling with Bradley Cooper? Hitting on Ellen Page? Having no real relationship with Paul Dano?



Look for my name as a producer in the credits. Please feel free to comment below and tell me what you think about how 100% right I am!


  1. I actually do think you've nailed it. Especially Ellen Page!

  2. Boo. This new film is going to suck so bad. I can't believe George Lucas would sell Lucasfilm to DISNEY of all companies.

  3. I can see Bradley Cooper, and Ellen Page, and possibly Idris Elba. But Paul Dano? Paul Dano is too tall and lanky and I can't picture him taking on anyone with a lightsaber. I think you should consider Matt Lanter...he's 5'10", baby face, and he's got the eyes. Plus he's already got Star Wars experience as the voice of Anakin in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008). All you'd have to do is lighten his hair a bit, and he's Luke.

  4. I certainly can see Bradley Cooper as Han Solo in the stand alone film about his young life, him or James Franco anyhow.
    I actually had Ellen Page in mind for Han and Leia's daughter, Jaina, and maybe Andrew Garfield as her twin, Jacen. I don't think they will re-cast the original actors. They have already said that if any of Mark, Harrison or Carrie say 'no' then they will write them out of the script.

  5. I would have to go with Ryan Gossling or Garret Hedlund (Tron Legacy) as Luke Skywalker and Jennifer Lawrence who has shown chemistry with Bradley Cooper would be a good fit as Leia

    Also as a back up plan since it is JJ Abrams directing even though he is the new Kirk don't be surprised at Chris Pine being picked as Han Solo he does has that attitude that fits right in with that character, Though I agree with you your picks are awesome, Not sure about Dano though