Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie have officially been cast in Star Wars: Episode VII.

Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie Join Episode VII

Nyong’o was rumored to have auditioned for director JJ Abrams in March, after her Oscar win, but when she was left out of the original casting announcement, many believed that she would not be part of the project. Many were upset at the first casting announcement’s lack of female actors – only one of the seven new performers initially announced was female – but the new addition of two well-respected actresses should counteract the gender imbalance of the Star Wars franchise.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII. It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm.

Nyong’o is best known for her breakout role in 12 Years A Slave, and has quickly become a fashion icon, being named People’s most beautiful.

Christie currently portrays Brienne of Tarth on the HBO favorite, Game of Thrones, and will also appear in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

After the news broke, Nyong’o took to Twitter to proudly declare her new project, writing, “I can finally say it loud and proud: I’m going to a galaxy far far away!”

Stars Wars: Episode VII Casting News

Nyong’o and Christie join Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow as part of the brand new cast. Stars of the original Star Wars trilogy, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Kenny Baker (R2-D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), are reprising their roles in Episode VII.

Other than the original Star Wars cast, nothing is known on the actors’ roles in the upcoming epic. Some rumors suggest that Ridley, a newcomer, will play the part of Han Solo and Princess Leia’s daughter, but the most widely accepted rumor is that Driver will star as the villain in Episode VII. More casting announcements will no doubt be made in the coming months, and British actresses Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank) and Maisie Richardson-Sellers are rumored to be among the new cast members.

Star Wars: Episode VII is currently in production in Abu Dhabi, and photos from the set were recently leaked by TMZ.

More on Star Wars: Episode VII:

> Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher Tweet About 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

> 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Cast Announced: Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac To Join Harrison Ford And More

> Who Is Daisy Ridley, New Cast Member Of 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

> 'Star Wars: Episode VII' Plot Details Released: Movie To Take Place 30 Years After 'Return Of The Jedi'

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