Woman Of Color Maisie Richardson-Sellers A Front Runner For Lead In Star Wars VIII
An unknown actress named Maisie Richardson-Sellers has been rumored to be the front runner for a leading role in the upcoming 8th Star Wars Film. The actress has just 1 credit listed on her IMDB profile, a 2012 short titled Our First World. Some sources state that the actress has had some theatrical experience. ABC News has reported that director J.J. Abrams is looking for “a young black or mixed-race woman who may be a descendant of Jedi Knight Ben (Obi Wan) Kenobi.” Considering the role Obi-Wan Kenobi has had in the franchise, its safe to assume “the force” runs strong within his family. If the casting rumors turn out to be correct, Maisie Richardson-Sellers may be one of the post powerful female Jedi we’ve seen thus far.
The producers sought hard to find a “no name” to play the young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace. George Lucas says they tested thousands of kids for 3 years to find the right person. The producers did not want a well known actor to distract audiences from the film. This precedent bodes well for Maisie Richardson-Sellers.
There is limited racial diversity in the Star Wars franchise. Black characters like Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lando Carlson (Billy Dee Williams) have appeared in supporting roles, but they haven’t had to carry heavy story lines. How do you think the general Star Wars audience will react if Maisie Richardson-Sellers ends up in the leading female role?
Watch a clip of the casting process for Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace: