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Lupita Nyong'o Joins 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

The Oscar winner, along with "Game of Thrones" actress Gwendoline Christie, will join the previously announced cast, doubling the number of women.
Posted at 3:29 PM, Jun 02, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o is headed to a galaxy far, far away. 

Disney and Lucasfilm announced the "12 Years a Slave" Oscar winner has joined the cast of now-in-production "Star Wars: Episode VII" along with "Game Of Thrones" star Gwendoline Christie. 

Nyong'o was long rumored to be in the running for a role. (Via Vulture, The Huffington PostNerdist

But when the initial cast was announced in late April, the 31-year-old actress was noticeably absent. In fact, there was only one new female cast member: relative unknown Daisy Ridley.(Via LucasfilmIMDb

No surprise, the Internet wasn't happy with that — immediately criticizing the casting, disappointed that the new movie seemingly wouldn't improve on the franchise's gender gap. (Via The Atlantic, Comicbook.com, Nerd Reactor

But now we know casting wasn't complete. As ScreenCrush put it, "All the haters can eat their words." 

Entertainment Weekly greeted the news with "a joyful Ewok dance" but notes we still have no idea who anyone is playing in this latest installment, other than the original cast — Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford are back as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. (Via 20th Century Fox / "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope"

The Washington Post says the real news here is that Lupita Nyong'o has finally found a follow-up to her Oscar-winning breakthrough. 

After her big win, many spoke out about Hollywood's treatment of actresses of color. (Via PolicyMic

Notably Nyong'o's "12 Years a Slave" co-star Alfre Woodard, who told movie critic David Poland she was interested to see if Lupita would be offered the same kind of opportunities as Jennifer Lawrence or relegated to small supporting roles, like Nyong'o's blink-and-you-missed-it turn in this year's "Non-Stop." (Via YouTube / DP/30

We'd say "Star Wars" is definitely a step in the JLaw/"Hunger Games" direction for Nyong'o. 

And it's interesting to note, Nyong'o and Christie's casting news comes the same day TMZ posted pictures supposedly from the super-secretive set of "Episode VII." 

Which made BuzzFeed question if the announcement was made to distract attention from the leak. 

Hey, it worked. "Episode VII" will fly into theaters in December 2015, kicking off a new trilogy.