'Star Wars: Episode 7' Casting Update: Who Will Play the New Jedi?

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'Star Wars: Episode 7' has been quietly casting now for what feels like years and still, the only real confirmed role we have is Adam Driver, who will play the film's villain. We know we're going to be introduced to a new era of Jedis, but who is actually going to play the new hero? Let's get ourselves updated and acquainted with the actors at the top of J.J. Abrams' list.

Apparently Abrams is still meeting with actors ("the search is still ongoing" reports Variety), but a few names have risen to the top of his list and are considered to be the lead contenders. That list includes one previously reported name, Jesse Plemons ('Friday Night Lights'). New names include Ed Speleers ('Downton Abbey'), John Boyega ('Attack the Block') and lesser-knowns Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.

While no one really knows what specific role Abrams is casting for, it is believed to be that of a Padawan to Luke Skywalker, who will take on the Master role (think now Luke is Obi Wan and he has his own Luke in 'Episode 7').

So, what exactly is taking so long with the 'Star Wars: Episode 7' casting? Variety claims that there seems to be some internal conflict at Lucasfilm and Disney. Abrams has frequently spoken about his desire to diversity the 'Star Wars' world and apparently some higher-level executives would like to keep it more aligned with the film's WASP-y past. Jesse Plemons is an actor you're cast if you're looking to hew closer to the original trilogy cast. John Boyega, an excellent out-of-the-box choice, is an actor we'll guess Abrams is fighting for, but likely meeting some resistance. We've heard a lot of names associated with a 'Star Wars: Episode 7' role, but few have gotten us as excited and as intrigued as Boyega's. Plemons is fine (and we'll cop to not know much about the others), but Boyega is a great choice. Say what you will about Abrams as a writer, producer or direct, but the man's eye for talent is impeccable and we hope that if Boyega really is one of his top choices, he makes his way into the final film.

Filming is still scheduled to begin this summer in London and if Abrams has any intentions of meeting that December 2015 release date, he better s--- or get off the pot.

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