'Star Wars' Holds Online Auditions, US Meet-And-Greet Events, Details

Star Wars is holding online auditions in order to find actors to play roles that will take the saga into the future.

Director J.J. Abrams says he wants the actors on Episode VII to "inspire" him.

The director, who made an appearance on Newsnight, says that his preference is for British actors (the production is being filmed at Pinewood Studios in London).

However, Abrams adds they wanted to open auditions to increase diversity and the possibility of finding the perfect cast.

On Friday, the Star Wars director told author Neil Gaiman:

"It wouldn't be Star Wars if there wasn't some fantastic actors who happen to be British. But I think we're doing our job and looking everywhere for the best possible actors for the roles."

That's reasonable. So now the production is ready to review online applications as part of casting.

It is worth mentioning again that when LucasFilm cast Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher in the original Star Wars in 1977, they were virtual unknowns and went on to become household names following the worldwide success of the trilogy.

Abrams added that nothing is more important than finding that perfect actor.

"There are things that are as important, but nothing is more important than casting a movie great and I have been incredibly lucky to be involved in projects that we've had wonderful casts and wonderful casting directors to make it happen."

J.J. Abrams director of Star Wars Episode VII

This past weekend an open casting call took place in Briston, England, which was attended by an estimated 4,500 hopefuls, many of whom didn't actually have the chance to audition. Now they are getting a second chance with the online auditions, a first in franchise's history.

Casting director Maryellen Aviano (Man Of Steel, The Hangover Part III, Django Unchained) has also announced several US meet-and-greet events in Chicago, Troy (Michigan), Austin, and Nashville. Over 1,000 people showed up for one of the events in St. Louis last week.

The interest is undeniable and the prospect of starring in one of the biggest franchises in history is certainly bringing actors out in mass to audition for the coveted roles.

Studio agents were able to meet with approximately 2,500 of the interested people attending the Bristol event, 75 of which were fortunate enough to get callbacks to read for producers, according to Star Wars production company LucasFilm.

The studio is looking for a male and female actor to play the main roles. The requirements established by the studio are:

"Rachel – was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way in a tough, dangerous town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by. The actress should be over 16, but look young enough to play a 17- or 18-year-old. She must be beautiful, smart and athletic. All ethnicities are welcome.

"Thomas – has grown up without a father's influence. Without the model of being a man, he doesn't have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this, he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can't take life too seriously." The actor should be at least 18 and passable as someone between the ages of 19 and 23. He, too, must be handsome, smart and athletic."

"The last thing you want to do, when you're collaborating on something, is work with people where you have to do their job for them and kind-of give them notes every way. You want people who inspire you and elevate it." director J.J. Abrams said of Star Wars potential stars.

To submit an audition online, you can do it through the website Cast It Talent by December 3.

Follow @UKOpenCall for the latest information on UK open calls, as some of the original dates announced have been changed.

Star Wars Episode VII will be released on December 18, 2015.