‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ Will Feature a Trio of Actors From ‘The Raid’

Sony Pictures Classics

With all of his projects, J.J. Abrams has shown extraordinary good taste in casting and ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ is no different. Forget about the old-timers returning to the saga and think about John Boyega, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie and the other terrific thespians being given the biggest spotlight of their careers. Abrams, more than most working filmmakers, knows how to showcase an actor or actress in a way that makes us wonder why they weren’t movie stars before he cast them. Anyway, this is just a longwinded way of getting around to saying that Abrams’ impeccable taste is once again on display since a trio of actors from ‘The Raid’ and ‘The Raid 2’ are apparently in ‘The Force Awakens.’

Exact details are unknown, but the scoop comes from the reliable folks over at Twitch, so this is something we’ll go ahead and believe until we hear otherwise. Anyway, they say that actors/terrifying martial arts monsters Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman will appear in the film in some capacity and they leave it at that. Are they physically in the movie or are they providing motion capture performances? Are they heroes or are they villains? Are they substantial characters or small roles? Those are the unanswered questions.

Uwais was the lead in both of director Gareth Evans’ ‘Raid’ films while Ruhian and Rahman both contributed intimidating villains (with Ruhian playing two characters across both films). Although neither film features particularly nuanced performances, it does feature absurdly talented fighters creating action sequences that have to be seen to be believed. We may not know what Abrams cast them for, but there’s not way he didn’t cast them for their Indonesian ass-kicking skills. We are looking at an upcoming ‘Star Wars’ movie that will probably feature stunts from the ‘Raid’ guys. That’s just crazy.

Between this and the earlier casting of a few parkour and movement experts, Abrams seems to be going all-out with physicality in ‘Star Wars: Episode 7.’ After the stodgy and overly digital nonsense that was the prequel trilogy, this feels like a genuine breathe of fresh air.

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