Bad news, smugglers, droids, and Jedi: December 18, 2015 is still far, far away. Like, in another galaxy. While director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan tinker with the script that will soon produce Star Wars Episode VII, us fans can only bide time by dusting off our Kenner figures, mining eBay for those rare LaserDiscs, and submitting our auditions to be in the new movie. Wait, what?
Yes, the film’s production is currently looking for two roles to be filled: “Rachel” and “Thomas.” Rather than relying solely on A-list Hollywood talent, however, they’re accepting video auditions online and scouring the nation with a series of open casting calls.
Here’s the official casting sheet:
Seeking young woman to play 17-18 year old. Must be beautiful, smart and athletic. Open to all ethnicities (including bi and multi-racial) Must be over 16.
Rachel - Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by.
Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this harsh existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead
Seeking young man to play 19-23 years old. Must be handsome, smart and athletic. Must be over 18.
Thomas - Has grown up without a father’s influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn’t have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life to seriously.
Because there’s no way I’m pulling off 19, 21, or 23 — even with a clean shave, a pair of Adidas, and a gift card to Pac Sun — I’ve decided to try my hand at casting. To keep things in the Star Wars spirit — which plucked from relative obscurity original-series stars Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher — I’m deferring to a pack of semi-unknowns, those on the fringe, waiting to be the next Harrison Ford or… Harrison Ford.
Let’s start with part of Rachel…
Elizabeth Olsen, 24
She’s been cast as The Scarlet Witch for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, so her schedule’s already busy. Still, she’s a rising star with one hell of an expanding resume, from Spike Lee’s upcoming re-imagining of Oldboy to next year’s Godzilla reboot. In other words, she has action down pat. As for her drama chops, check out her performance alongside Josh Radnor in last year’s Liberal Arts. Mary Kate and Ashley, who?
Elle Fanning, 15
Okay, she’s a year younger than required, but have you seen Abrams’ Super 8? That was over two years ago, and at the time, she came off looking very wise for her age. Since then, she’s delivered charming performances in Cameron Crowe’s family-comedy We Bought a Zoo and Sally Potter’s indie-drama Ginger & Rosa. However, it’s her exceptional role in Sofia Coppola’s near-silent film, Somewhere, where she exhibited her rare mystique. One might argue that’s a characteristic sorely missed in the sci-fi saga.
Maisie Williams, 16
If you’re not familiar with this name, you’re not watching HBO’s greatest series. The Game of Thrones star is the toughest child actor to ever hit the screen, witnessing weekly atrocities and wielding every weapon known to Lannisters and Targaryen. She fits the call sheet to perfection, too. Beautiful? She’s a Stark! Smart? She’s survived three seasons on a show with a video-game body count. Athletic? Duh. The English star even has a sense of humor, as she’s proven with Funny or Die! and, well, this.
And now on to Thomas:
Dane DeHaan, 27
He’s pushing 30 in our world, but every film he’s been in finds him kicking it in high school. From his breakthrough role in Chronicle to his top-notch performance in this year’s underrated The Place Beyond the Pines, he’s always stumbling around with a backpack slung over his shoulder. That’s fine — and probably how he landed the role as Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Or, it could be his knack for flipping the switch between charming and terrifying. Could he be the next Jedi turned Sith Lord? Is that who Thomas might be?
Nicholas Hoult, 23
Not exactly an unknown, the luckiest guy on Earth — aka, Jennifer Lawrence’s former flame — has walked the fine lines between rugged action (X-Men: First Class), tearful drama (About a Boy), and alternative comedy (Warm Bodies). So, sure, he could wield a blaster, toss around a lightsaber, and crack a few jokes — definitely more than Hayden Christensen before him. What’s more, with X-Men: Days of Future Past behind him, he’s got a clean slate up ahead.
Alfred Enoch, 24
Now, here’s a real unknown; that is, unless you’re a diehard Harry Potter fan and recognize him as Dean Thomas. The young British actor is currently attending Oxford University and only has a handful of film experience outside of what he learned at Hogwarts. But, he’s familiar with the stress of a long-running franchise and has the look of a hero. Handsome, smart, and athletic? He’s attending the world’s most prestigious university — I think he’s got those areas covered.
That’s it. Of course, we won’t find out what really happened behind-the-scenes until a few more months from now. And who knows if Rachel and Thomas are even key characters? They could be friends of Han Solo’s kids. Or random Padawans of another member of the Jedi Council. Regardless, if you’re of age and eligible, make sure you submit your video submissions here by December 3rd. And may the Force be with you.
So…who would you cast?