Star newbs

Star newbs
Publicity photo of cast reading for "Star Wars: Episode VII" in Buckinghamshire

Even if you're not a Star Wars nerd, you've probably been wondering who's going to be in the upcoming new Star Wars movies, starting with Star Wars: Episode VII next year.

It is a continuation of the epic space opera saga created by George Lucas - set about 30 years after the events of Return Of The Jedi.

Everyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to Zac Efron to Lupita Nyong'o have been rumoured to be on board, but there's been absolutely no official confirmation after months of intense speculation. Until now.

Director JJ Abrams has finally unveiled the shiny new cast to join returning alumni Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, who will reprise their iconic roles, but...wait a minute.

Who the heck are these people?

And what characters will they play?

Give us a minute to hit the Google machine, and then we'll be right back to tell you all about these unknowns who are about to become star warriors!

MAX WHO?

Name: Max von Sydow Age: 85 Born: Lund, Sweden Role: A super-old Jedi?

The skinny: He's actually a very famous and well-respected thespian, but the younger generation won't know him at all. He was in classic films such as The Seventh Seal and The Exorcist, but he also has a history with cult sci-fi flicks such as Flash Gordon and Dune.

ANDY WHO?

Name: Andy Serkis Age: 50 Born: London, England Role: An alien?

The skinny: You may or may not know Serkis' face, but you certainly know his work. He was the actor behind Gollum in The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the Hobbit films. He's a motion capture specialist, having also performed the role of Kong in King Kong, Caesar in Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Captain Haddock in The Adventures Of Tintin.

DOMHNALL WHO?

Name: Domhnall Gleeson Age: 30 Born: Dublin, Ireland Role: The next Skywalker?

The skinny: He's one of the nerdiest-looking actors around, which should really appeal to that all-important Star Wars nerd demographic, but is actually very subtle, sensitive and funny. He even makes a convincing leading man, as he proved opposite Rachel McAdams in the romantic comedy, About Time. He was also one of the Weasleys in the Harry Potter movies and Dredd.

OSCAR WHO?

Name: Oscar Isaac Age: 35 Born: Guatemala Role: Son of bounty hunter Boba Fett?

The skinny: Here's a great actor who was fantastic in films such as Inside Llewyn Davis and Sucker Punch. He tends to come across as very intense and dark, so it's easy to imagine him as some kind of villain. He's also a fantastic musician, so maybe he could be a singing villain. That would be neat.

ADAM WHO?

Name: Adam Driver Age: 30 Born: San Diego, California Role: Darth Jr?

The skinny: Though fairly well known in certain circles for playing Lena Dunham's creepy boyfriend on TV show Girls, Driver is still far from a household name. He's also had roles in prestigious projects such as Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis. He's good with the angst for sure!

DAISY WHO?

Name: Daisy Ridley Age: Unknown Born: Somewhere in England Role: Daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia?

The skinny: Probably the biggest question mark of the whole lot, the rose among the thorns has had only small roles in a smattering of British TV shows. She's also apparently quite stately at 1.7m tall, so maybe she'll be getting in on the action. Fans are already loving her, and she's loving them right back. She tweeted: "Overwhelmed by all the support. This is the greatest day of my life."

JOHN WHO?

Name: John Boyega Age: 22 Born: London, England Role: Son of the charming rogue Lando Calrissian?

The skinny: This kid looks a bit like Denzel Washington - high praise - and also shares with Washington a certain poised manliness. His biggest project to date was Attack The Block, a British action comedy about inner-city teens battling an alien invasion. He's also appeared in a number of British TV shows such as Law & Order: UK.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg

This article was published on May 1 in The New Paper.

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