On Tuesday, J.J. Abrams posted the first photo of the cast for Star Wars: Episode VII, all of them sitting around a table cluttered with water bottles and notepads seemingly hashing out the finer points of their characters as they dig into a script that's currently Hollywood's best-kept secret.
With one image, Abrams confirmed, once and for all, that Star Wars originals Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford would join a new generation of space warriors that includes Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, and John Boyega. But in true Abrams fashion, he didn't reveal anything about who these newcomers would be playing. So while we can't say who will be playing which characters, or even what characters will be in the new movie, we can do two things: Explore what we know about these actors already, and speculate wildly.
Known For: Girls
Speculation: Could be the main villain
One of Hollywood's fastest rising stars, Adam Driver has been impressing critics with a string of supporting roles in movies like Inside Llewyn Davis, Lincoln, and Frances Ha, but his big breakout came playing Lena Dunham's complicated sometimes-boyfriend on her show Girls. His involvement with Episode VII was first surmised a couple months ago, but in a sea of Star Wars casting rumors it wasn't a sure thing until we saw the photo Tuesday. For what it's worth, the rumor is Driver will be playing the main antagonist in the new movie with fans speculating he could be the blue-skinned, red-eyed expanded universe villain Grand Admiral Thrawn.
Known For: Inside Llewyn Davis
Speculation: Could be one of three leads
Hot off a nearly Oscar-nominated performance in Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Isaac could have a very large role in the new Star Wars movie, which is rumored to focus on three new, young protagonists while Luke, Leia, Han, and their children will mostly have smaller supporting roles.
Known For: Attack the Block
Speculation: Could be one of three leads
One of the most exciting new additions to the cast, John Boyega first showed up on our collective radar back in 2011 with a memorable turn fighting aliens in the British sci-fi action comedy Attack the Block. The 22-year-old actor is rumored to be playing one of the three next-generation leads alongside Oscar Isaac and Daisy Ridley.
Known For: Pretty much nothing
Speculation: Could be Han & Leia's daughter
The biggest surprise in the new cast is Daisy Ridley. She's an almost totally unknown British actress who, according to her resumé, can believably play ages 16 to 20. She's the only female in the new lineup, which is a little disappointing, but perhaps Abrams will make up for it by giving Daisy more screen time. Rumor has it she'll be playing the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia, but that's mostly because she's sitting between Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in the picture Abrams posted from the screen reading. Her presence at the reading itself speaks to the importance of her character, and she could end up one of the three rumored new leads. You can watch her showreel here.
Known For: About Time, Harry Potter, Anna Karenina
Speculation: Could be Luke Skywalker's son
Up-and-coming Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson first broke out playing Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. More recently he was rumored to be playing Dr. Doom in the Fantastic Four reboot before the part was given to Toby Kebbell. Now it seems perhaps he might have had to choose between Star Wars or Fantastic Four. No one knows who Domhnall will be playing, but some fans have pointed out his resemblance (sans beard) to both a young Mark Hamill, and a young Jake Lloyd (the actor who played Anakin Skywalker as a child), as evidence he may be playing Luke Skywalker's son.
Known For: Being the motion-capture actor behind both Gollum (Lord of the Rings) and Caesar (Rise of the Planet of the Apes).
Speculation: Some kind of motion-capture computer-generated alien
The best-known and most respected motion-capture actor in the business, Andy Serkis first wowed audiences by bringing Gollum to life in the Lord of the Rings movies, and later garnered buzz for playing Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Given his resumé, we can assume Serkis is being brought on board to play some kind of computer-generated alien. We can only hope he's more likable than Jar Jar Binks.