Star Wars fans hoped rumors that the franchise’s original trio–Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill–would truly be part of the seventh film in the series.
Today, the Force behind the long-awaited sequel showed its hand, confirming not only those three actors but a number of new franchise players.
Disney and Lucasfilm announced the main actors cast in the upcoming movie today, a mix of old favorites and new faces about to join the Star Wars universe (and earn instant entrance into every Comic-Con for the next 30 years).
John Boyega,Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow will play alongside the aforementioned stars plus returnees Anthony Daniels (C3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Kenny Baker (R2D2) in Episode VII.
Isaac earned accolades for his work in the Coen brothers’ dramedy Inside Llewyn Davis last year, while Serkis is the king of motion capture acting in films like King Kong and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Some social media denizens grumbled that only one of the new actors is a female. The francise’s prequel trilogy caught flak for its casting choices, with some admonishing creator George Lucas for using racial stereotypes.
The new film will start shooting next month and is tentatively scheduled for a Dec. 18, 2015 release. J.J. Abrams, who successfully rebooted the Star Trek franchise, will be asked to do the same with this beloved property.