The Cast of the New Star Wars Won't Be Quite So White and Male, After All

Slate's Culture Blog
June 2 2014 1:13 PM

The Cast of the New Star Wars Won't Be Quite So White and Male, After All

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Lupita N'yongo.

Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Soon after the cast of the new Star Wars was announced at the end of April, many critics took J.J. Abrams to task for an ensemble that, outside of John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Daisy Ridley, was overwhelmingly white and male. Sources close to the film attempted to put out the flames by telling the Hollywood Reporter that final casting details were yet to be revealed, and while that may have seemed like a lame reactionary leak to some, the director appears to have followed through: Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie have officially been announced as the latest additions to the ensemble. Fans of Christie’s work on Game of Thrones are, not surprisingly, thrilled:

But this is even more exciting for fans of Nyong’o, long-rumored to be in talks with Abrams. She has already been the subject of many pieces wondering whether or not Hollywood was ready to give her a worthy follow-up to her Oscar-winning breakout performance in 12 Years a Slave. We still don’t know what characters the new Star Wars actors will be playing, but at least we can be assured that the Star Wars universe will be a little less male-dominated and lily-white than it has been in the past.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.