Keri Russell in Talks to Join ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ Cast
J.J. Abrams appears to be going back to his past successes to cast Episode IX.
Abrams has reportedly cast actress Keri Russell (“The Americans”) for an unspecified role in Episode IX, which is still untitled. Variety broke the story exclusively.
The Force Awakens director cast Russell in his first hit TV show, “Felicity.” Abrams likes using actors he is familiar with in multiple projects – he cast Russell in a small but pivotal role in his feature film directorial debut, Mission Impossible III, in 2006.
According to Variety, Lucasfilm looked at a number of actresses before settling on Russell. They report she is “in talks,” so the role is essentially hers once contracts are worked out. They also report the role will require some fight scenes, which should not be a problem for Russell, who has taken on action roles before.
Who Will She Play?
Her resemblance to Daisy Ridley leads many to believe she may be playing Rey’s mother, or perhaps even Mara Jade, who was Luke Skywalker’s wife in the “Extended Universe” of Star Wars books and comics. However, Disney does not consider those works “canon,” or an official part of the Star Wars universe. However, as we saw with Grand Admiral Thrawn in the “Rebels” TV series, Lucasfilm has allowed “Extended Universe” characters to be introduced into canon.
We do know, according to Simon Pegg, that J.J. Abrams planned for Rey’s parentage to have some significance. Even though Rian Johnson changed that for The Last Jedi, Abrams could easily change it back for Episode IX. It could be explained that Kylo Ren lied to Rey in order to lure her to the Dark Side.
In the interview below, from 2013, Russell discusses Abrams directing The Force Awakens. When asked (in jest) what role she will play in the upcoming film, Russell proclaims “Anyone he’ll let me play!” She also admits that not only is she a Star Wars fan, her son is as well.
Here’s the interview. The “Star Wars” discussion comes at the 6:30 mark, near the end of the interview.
Star Wars: Episode IX begins filming later this month in London. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, and a number of others are all set to return.