We heard that Jesse Plemmons was all but signed for the lead role in Star Wars Episode VII, and based on a lot of previous rumors and the look of his face we all assumed the part was Luke Skywalker's son. But there's a new wrinkle in the casting process that might change that understanding of the lead character: John Boyega, star of Attack the Block, is also up for that same role. In the running as well is Downton Abbey's Ed Speelers.
I used to know a thing or two about Star Wars Episode VII but since the Michael Arndt script was tossed I've been unsure of anything. The lead being Luke's son had fit in with what I knew of the script earlier, but Boyega makes that seem less likely. Of course there's no reason why Luke couldn't have a son whose skin is a different color, especially in a fantasy space epic, but that seems like a braver leap than I'd expect from this group.
Variety, who has broken this casting showdown, says that the role is a Jedi apprentice. I've been a big supporter of Boyega since Attack the Block and I'm rooting for him here; it would be pretty amazing to get a non-white lead in a Star Wars film as well. I think Boyega would be a terrific choice full stop, but the diversity he brings to the universe is also welcome.
Here's the thing, though - this movie starts shooting in about two months. They're still casting the lead? JJ Abrams has always been a very slow, reportedly indecisive filmmaker, but this is pretty next level stuff. Well over a year since the director was brought on and they're still hunting a lead.