Star Wars: The Force Awakens newcomers John Boyega and Oscar Isaac are speaking up about what it is to be cast in the multi-billion dollar franchise.
Director J.J. Abrams followed in creator George Lucas’ footsteps when he cast relative unknowns in the main roles for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now that three of the main actors who will take the franchise into the future have been officially introduced, we are learning more about who they are.
Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) were presented to millions of fans all over the world by Abrams at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim on April 16. Ridley talked about her casting in the legendary blockbuster and how she and her sisters had watched A New Hope while filming The Force Awakens.
But who are Star Wars: The Force Awakens newcomers John Boyega and Oscar Isaac? They are certainly on the brink of stardom, unlike anything they have imagined in their wildest dreams.
John Boyega (Attack the Block, 24: Live Another Day) is a 23-year-old British actor, whom we met when the first trailer was released last Thanksgiving weekend. As we surmised then, and Boyega confirmed at the Star Wars Celebration, he plays a renegade Stormtrooper who is in grave danger. We are just not sure if he’s a good guy or a bad guy.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Boyega — who is a self-confessed massive fan — shared his impressions about the Star Wars Celebration.
“I knew it was going to be huge. I knew it was going to be a surprise for the fans. But there’s nothing like experiencing Star Wars Celebration Day. There’s just nothing like it. The love, the enthusiasm, the joy. Everyone feels like one body of absolute crazy fandom, and I was so overwhelmed by it.
You’re going into a place that’s going to be crazy, and to be honest, I’m going crazy because I’m a big Star Wars fan! We’re all going crazy and we all can’t wait for the film to come out.”
Boyega was joined on stage by Ridley and Isaac, who also enjoyed their official introduction. They were joined by original cast members Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Anthony Daniels (C3PO), and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca). Boyega says this was the highlight of the experience.
“You know what stuck with me was the moment when we all came together and took the photos together (at the end). It’s just so symbolic. There’s something symbolic about the new generation and the old coming together to take an amazing photo, that is historical. It just really represents what Star Wars is. We’re going back to Star Wars, back to the three originals and continuing that legacy. And that moment for me was insane because I’m looking at the crowd, and then I look beside me and I’m seeing Daisy, I’m seeing Mark Hamill, I’m seeing Carrie Fisher, and I’m like, where am I? So that was amazing.”
As far as the other Star Wars: The Force Awakens newcomer, Oscar Isaac — who described his character, Poe Dameron, as “the best freaking pilot in the galaxy” — sticks by his remarks at the Star Wars Celebration. The 35-year-old Guatemala native researched World War II in preparation to play his role and said that Harrison Ford even offered to take him flying.
Speaking with IGN, Isaac said Poe’s enthusiasm comes from J.J. Abrams himself and is palpable during the entire production.
“(Joy) is where J.J. operates from. You know the whole thing is infused with such enthusiasm. Such joy. And I think that I definitely do get to inhabit a lot of that feeling. And I know it sounds weird, but the ecstasy of war, which is something that I read about. I read this book called, ‘What it’s Like to Go to War’, which is literal. And this guy talked about that a lot – particularly with pilots. You know that feeling takes you to this weird, sacred space. It’s this kind of high that happens. But yeah, I think that J.J. just infuses his enthusiasm and his passion for this story in every frame.”
Although it has not been expressly stated, everyone is assuming that Poe and BB-8 will be working hand in hand. Isaac talked about bonding with the new droid.
“Well, I mean you’ve seen BB-8! It’s very hard not to bond with that little guy. I mean, it’s amazing. It’s an amazing design, too. I mean, just everybody that worked to make him come to life — or to make it come to life. Let’s not give it a gender. It was just so cool to witness that.
BB-8 definitely has its own modes of expression that are very unique.”
For Star Wars: The Force Awakens newcomer Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), meeting the fans has been what finally made him realize that he is part of this incredible saga.
“I mean I was there — and no matter how much compartmentalization that you do — when I was there at Star Wars Celebration with just thousands of people in a state of religious ecstasy and watching the trailer, and everyone just levitating together in this moment, it really hit me — just the cultural impact of this story.”
From what we saw in Anaheim, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens newcomers are beyond excited to be a part of this franchise, and so are millions of fans.
[Photo by Jesse Grant, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]