Like thousands of remote probes dispatched into the far reaches of space and the Midwest, the casting for Star Wars: Episode VII has taken on a fairly wide scope, as the production attempts to relieve R2-D2 from entirely shouldering the film’s emotional range through a series of strangled chirps. Open auditions have been held so far in England, Australia, and in the U.S. in Chicago, Austin, and Nashville, with agents entering these wretched hives of scum, villainy, and improv groups with the express purpose of finding three vaguely defined character types that we’ll now pass along, for want of anything better to talk about.
First and foremost—according to a casting sheet first picked up by the BBC, then repeated in The Hollywood Reporter—the sequel is seeking a young woman named “Rachel” and a young man named “Thomas” (though these could easily be codes masking much stranger, Star Wars-appropriate names, like “Ray-chel” or “Derek”). “Rachel” is described as a “street smart, independent, athletic, natural beauty” who takes care of herself “using humor and guts to get by.” Meanwhile, “Thomas” is described as a fatherless scrapper who’s “athletic, smart, and handsome” and someone who “can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can’t take life too seriously.” These fit, attractive youngsters’ respective attitudes toward joking around should serve them well in the laugh-a-minute world of Star Wars, where those who follow the Jedi order always look on the lighter side of the Force.
But lest you think Episode VII will be all athletic teens chuckling at the galaxy’s little foibles while R2-D2 rolls by in the background, THR says the film is also casting for “a 40-something military man a la Matt Damon in Elysium.” It’s unclear why “Matt Damon in Elysium” is the go-to frame of reference for what otherwise seems like a rather generic character type, unless he similarly has some sort of massive robotic exoskeleton. But if so, hopefully he has a really good sense of humor about it; in these crazy Star Wars, laughter is the ultimate power in the universe.