Lupita Nyong'o could be what 'Star Wars 7' needs

Actress Lupita Nyong'o poses with her best supporting actress award as she arrives at the 2014...

Actress Lupita Nyong'o poses with her best supporting actress award as she arrives at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in West Hollywood, California March 3, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

First, I had a bad feeling about this.

Then, a new hope.

Now, I’m as confused as a farm boy who wants to make out with his twin sister.

I remember 1999. Oh, how I remember. The dawn of a new Star Wars trilogy. The excitement of revisiting the universe of my childhood. New faces, familiar places, and cutting edge digital effects.

I remember settling into the theatre seat, hearing the music swell, reading the opening crawl – taxation of trade routes, hmm, that’s an interesting basis for an interstellar uprising – and then… well, yeah. I don’t remember much after that.

But I will remember this: Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice…

Star Wars: Episode VII is still weeks away from going into production, and more than a year and a half from its announced Dec. 18, 2015 release date. We’re going to be talking about it a lot, obviously. And at some point, there’s going to have to be some expectations management going on.

Right now, those expectations are zig-zagging like a womp rat trying to escape Luke Skywalker’s T-16. Every time a tidbit of information bubbles up about a new potential Episode VII castmember, I get intrigued. Excited, even. Jesse Plemons, who played the sociopathic Todd on Breaking Bad? Hell yeah! Girls’ Adam Driver, who will likely be officially locked into a role as the rumoured villain any day now? The guy is ludicrously talented, has an unforgettable face yet isn’t yet famous enough to be distracting. Excellent choice.

And now the latest speculation has 12 Years a Slave Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o linked to Episode VII. Oh man. Oh my.

This tells me director J. J. Abrams is looking for a cast that’s talented but unconventional, capable of playing things straight and serious if need be. This makes me really happy.

But I still can’t move past that other rumour, that original castmembers Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher will have substantial roles in the movie. Fisher was quoted recently as saying she was going to be spending six months on the shoot, but then one must take everything she says with a pound or two of salt. (Or maybe that time accounts for her pre-shoot fitness regimen?)

It’s a weird time for Star Wars fans. We don’t know enough to have a real inkling of what shape Episode VII will take. But in the age of films being dissected months before their release, down to literally analyzing every frame of a trailer, we might be sick to death of talking about it long before it comes out.

I’m trying to keep my forecasts conservative, while also hiding behind a shield of age – “bah, Star Wars, whatever, I’m too old to be worrying about whether or not it’ll be any good.” But I don’t think it’s working.

I hope the cast is amazing. I hope the script is amazing. I hope the movie is amazing.

We’ll talk more about this. Sooner and later.

Twitter: @stevetilley

Steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca

FIVE GEEKY THINGS I'M INTO THIS WEEK

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Everyone’s raving about the new Cosmos series, with Neil deGrasse Tyson picking up where the late Carl Sagan left off, but I somehow managed to miss the first two episodes. My PVR’s set for the rest!

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Now that I’ve finished Infamous: Second Son – you can find the review elsewhere in these pages – I’m going to take a look at the newest Metal Gear game, a prologue of sorts to the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. Canada’s own Kiefer Sutherland voices the grizzled protagonist Big Boss.

Akira

I was sorting some drawers this week and came across the first couple issues of Akira, Katsuhiro Otomo’s influential cyberpunk manga. Flipped through a few pages, and now I’m desperate to re-read the rest of the series and rewatch the movie. Except I can’t seem to find either. Amazon.ca, here I come.

The Raid 2: Berandal

I know I’m not alone in being fantastically excited for this sequel to the 2011 surprise hit The Raid: Redemption, in limited release this Friday. I hope they don’t overcomplicate things too much – part of the original’s appeal was its simplicity.

City of Darkness Revisited

The team behind City of Darkness: Life in Kowloon Walled City has launched a Kickstarter to fund a new edition of their book, about a fascinating place that inspired everything from Batman Begins to Blade Runner. I own a copy of the out-of-print original, but I’m backing it anyway. Details are at cityofdarkness.co.uk.


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