J. J. Abrams announced this past week the new cast of Star Wars: Episode VII, with some surprises among them. Joining the cast alongside Mark Hammill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford, all reprising roles from the original trilogy, comes a slew of fresh and not-so-fresh faces including John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac and Max von Sydow (it’s apparently still a very white universe).
But I’m concerned that this new cast isn’t going to connect enough with a new generation of movie-goers, kids who have been raised on million-dollar spectacle ad product placement. So, in order to have a Star Wars for the current century, I submit my cast choices for the next film:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
With numerous action movies under his belt, The Rock certainly has the chops to bring the pain in a galaxy far, far away. Plus, after G.I. Joe: Retaliation, he knows what it’s like to have his likeness re-created on a foot-long scale.
Science fiction’s new “it” girl (see: Star Trek 1-2, Avatar 1-4, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Words), no space opera is complete without Saldana as token sex symbol, invariably caught at some point in various stages of undress and exchanging winking flirtatious banter with the lead.
Every Star Wars film has some kind of whiny, insufferable character (see: Jar-Jar Binks, Anakin Skywalker), and Bieber certainly has the draw to get tweens into their seats. Bonus: Bieber can provide the movie’s new credit soundtrack: (Girl I Wanna) Take U In My Starship.
As the socially awkward Sheldon Cooper on the Big Bang Theory, Parsons is just the kind of new direction the franchise needs. After a wormhole opens up in Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment in L.A., Sheldon finds himself in the middle of the new Star Wars film, but when a misunderstanding leads to everyone mistaking him for C-3P0, the future of the galaxy lies in his hands.
This is one slate of casting that Abrams got right. Fresh off the failure of Real Wookies of Kashyyyk, which never quite got the intergalactic audience producers hoped, Chewbacca is the kind of performer that lent a certain heart and soul to the original trilogy. Despite a limited range and the headache of constant hairball cleanup, Abrams was able to cement Chewbacca for the new film despite unreasonable salary demands.
Happy Star Wars Day, everybody!