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Lupita joins ‘Star Wars’ cast for episode seven

LIFESTYLE
By GEORGE ORIDO | June 4th 2014

Oscar Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is on the list of a star-studded cast in the legendary Star Wars seventh episode set for December 8, 2015.

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy announced Lupita’s selection on the Star Wars website. “I could not be more excited about Lupita joining the cast of Episode VII. It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape,” she said.

And Lupita, who was recently declared People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Woman in the World, was similarly ecstatic: “I can finally say it out loud and proud: I’m going to a galaxy far, far away!”

According to the production team, Star Wars Episode VII will be directed by JJ Abrams.

Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burk will be producing while John Williams will return as the composer.

Immediately after her historic Oscar win there were reports that Lupita had met with JJ Abrams and was rumoured to be in the running for the female lead, possibly as a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

When Star Wars was first released in 1977, part of its appeal beyond space ships and robotic characters was the character of the Jedi Master known as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

James Bond

Star Wars Episode VII takes place about 30 years after Return of the Jedi last performed by the youthful Ewan MacGregor.

The news of Lupita’s selection was greeted with joy and expectation among many Kenyans.

“Isn’t that something?! I am very proud of you. Next stop... Bond... James Bond... In Kenya!” said Kenya Film Commission chairman Mwaniki Mageria.

The movie will get an even wider viewership from Kenya and the rest of Africa if comments by Ashley Atieno Ogonda are anything to go by: “I will only watch it because you’re in it... never seen any of the Star Wars films before.”

Lupita’s closing line in her tear-soaked acceptance speech at the Dolby Theatre on March 2 has become one of the most inspirational quotes among Kenyans today.

She said: “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”

Lupita’s rising trajectory was most unexpected for a first-time Hollywood entrant.

Her brutal but well-executed portrayal of Patsey in Steve McQueens film, 12 Years A Slave, brought her to instant international fame, winning her one award after another including the New Hollywood Award, Bafta Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Lupita became the sixth ever African to win an Academy Award and the first Kenyan and black African to do so.

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