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'Star Wars: Episode VII' adds Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie

'Star Wars: Episode VII' adds Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, 'Game of Thrones' star Gwendoline Christie to cast
Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie add female power to 'Star Wars Episode VII' cast
'I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline' joining 'Star Wars' cast, says Lucasfilm chief

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and "Game of Thrones" star Gwendoline Christie have joined the cast of "Star Wars: Episode VII," J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated extension of the classic space-opera franchise, Disney and Lucasfilm announced Monday.

Nyong'o and Christie add some female star power to a cast that was criticized for being predominantly male when it was announced in April. No details have been revealed about their characters.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post said that Lupita Nyong'o had won the Oscar for lead actress. It was for supporting actress.

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The two join newcomer Daisy Ridley and "Star Wars" veteran Carrie Fisher, as well as John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker.

"I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of 'Episode VII,'" Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement on starwars.com. "It's thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape."

Nyong'o, who became a breakout star and won the Oscar for supporting actress for her debut performance as the tortured field worker Patsey in "12 Years a Slave," has had her name in the "Star Wars" rumor mill for some time.

Christie, who plays the fan-favorite warrior Brienne of Tarth on "Game of Thrones," will also be seen on the big screen in the upcoming "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2."

Abrams is directing "Episode VII," the first of a planned trilogy, from a screenplay by him and Lawrence Kasdan. The film recently began production and is set to open Dec. 18, 2015.

In addition to the main "Star Wars" story, Disney and Lucasfilm are planning multiple spinoff movies. The first, to be directed by Gareth Edwards ("Godzilla"), is scheduled for release Dec. 16, 2016.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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