It’s been less than 18 hours since JJ Abrams finally revealed who he had cast to appear in the eagerly anticipated Disney and Lucas Film Star Wars sequel, Episode VII.
And the announcement proved a mixed bag.
On the one hand, fans were delighted to hear of the return of Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Kenny Baker (R2-D2).
On the other, they were left scratching their heads and frantically googling the names of several relative unknowns, seemingly plucked from obscurity and thrown into the most high-profile roles that the entertainment industry has going.
Among the most puzzling were John Boyega, a 22-year-old London-based actor best known for starring in Attack The Block, Adam Driver of Girls fame, Domhnall Gleeson, the son of Irish actor Brendan Gleeson who played Ron Weasley’s brother in Harry Potter, and Oscar Isaac, the star of the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis.
Star Wars 7 cast in pictures
Star Wars 7 cast in pictures
1/15 John Boyega
The 22-year-old best known for sci-fi movie Attack the Block is a new arrival for Star Wars and will be one of the sequel's 'trio of young leads'.
2/15 Harrison Ford
Ford will be returning as Han Solo for Star Wars 7 and is rumoured to have a 'gigantic role in the first of the next three films'.
3/15 Daisy Ridley
There's not much out there on Ridley, who is a relative unknown bar appearances in TV dramas Casualty and Mr Selfridge. But the British actress is set to become a huge star now...
4/15 Adam Driver
Lena Dunham tweeted confirmation that her fellow Girls star had landed the role of the villain in JJ Abrams' film. Now he has been officially confirmed and is expected to play a Darth Vader-like baddie.
5/15 Carrie Fisher
Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the 1977 original, has confirmed she will reprise the role in upcoming Star Wars films.
6/15 Kenny Baker
Baker played R2-D2 in the Star Wars franchise and will be back reprising his role for the 7th movie.
7/15 Domhnall Gleeson
Gleeson played Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films and recently starred with Rachel McAdams in About Time. He has been confirmed for Star Wars 7.
8/15 Miltos Yerolemou
The Game of Thrones actor is not expected to have a 'major part' in the film
9/15 Oscar Isaac
Last seen in the Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis, Isaac has been confirmed as a new arrival and will likely feature in a lead role.
10/15 Andy Serkis
Also confirmed for the 7th installment is Serkis - who has a reputation as one of the best motion capture actors out there. So expect him to portray some sort of other worldly character.
11/15 Max Von Sydow
He's not a spring chicken but Von Sydow is a new arrival to Star Wars. Rumours suggest he might play a sinister old Jedi but that remains to be seen.
12/15 Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill will be back as Luke Skywalker along with his fellow original cast members Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.
13/15 Anthony Daniels
Anthony Daniels has starred as C-3PO in past Star Wars films and will be back for JJ Abram's seventh.
Neela Debnath/The Independent
14/15 Peter Mayhew
Peter Mayhew will reprise his role as Chewbacca with many fans excited at the theoretical prospect of a wizened old Chewie retired from space flight
15/15 Original Star Wars trio
Here are the original Star Wars trio of Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill back in the day.
By far the most googled, however, was Daisy Ridley, who quickly became an overnight internet sensation. Partly because of the role she’s rumoured to be taking on (scroll down for details), and partly because she’s the only new major female character in the film.
But who the hell is she? Allow us to enlighten you.
She’s most famous for…
Erm. Appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII. Before she’s actually appeared in it. Or so credits her IMDB account, which was updated moments after JJ Abrams’ big casting announcement was made:
Her other most noted roles were in the second season of Mr. Selfridge, in which she starred opposite Jeremy Piven as Roxie Starlet. She also had roles in Blue Season, Scrawl and Youngers (cue tumbleweed) as well as guest stints in Casualty and Silent Witness. She makes her silver screen debut in Inbetweeners 2, which will be released on 6 August in the UK.
She might well be set to play the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia, Jaina Solo…
Which, if the rumours surrounding the as of yet unknown character she will be playing are true, will instantly make her the coolest member of the entire cast. Back of the class, Mark Hamill. Back of the class.
She’s on Twitter…
In case you wanted to stalk her every waking movement for any possible nuggets of information regarding the above. Her handle is: @DaisyRidley. Although she’s only tweeted two things thus far, after setting up the account last night, which are as follows:
Hello everyone!Daisy Ridley (@DaisyRidley) April 29, 2014
Overwhelmed by all the support. This is the greatest day of my life. I'm told I can't say who I'm playing yet, but it's exciting!Daisy Ridley (@DaisyRidley) April 29, 2014
It’s not yet verified, but you know. It’s probably her and not a 50-year-old man eating mackerel out of a can and playing WOW.
She’s also newly on Instagram…
And this is all she wants you to know about her:
Except, of course, for this. Her vital statistics. Which are described thusly on her agency site…
Just in case you wanted to know how tall she was or something:
Oh, and she can do the following accents, should you so require her to do so…
Cockney, Dublin, London, Northern. Enjoy.
And sing jazz, too…
She really can. See here for details.
She’s also clearly from a great gene pool…
Her younger sister, Kika-Rose Ridley, is signed to Models 1 and looks like this:
But we can’t tell you her age…
Because it’s a complete mystery. But her ‘playing age’ is listed by her agent Jonathan Arun to be between ‘16 and 20’.