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Unknown actors Pip Andersen and Crystal Clarke join Star Wars: Episode VII

Story by Jack Foley

UNKNOWN actors Pip Andersen and Crystal Clarke have joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

The duo were unveiled in a statement by producer Kathleen Kennedy on Monday (July 7, 2014) in a move that’s in keeping with the grand tradition of the Star Wars franchise in discovering fresh talent.

British actor Andersen and US-born Clarke, who is studying in Glasgow, were chosen from 37,000 hopefuls who attended casting calls held in 11 cities across the UK and US.

Kennedy, who is also president of Lucasfilm, the production company behind the science fiction series, said: “The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII, we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition.”

And commenting upon the overwhelming reaction to the initial casting call, she added: “We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film.”

Although unknown to the masses, Andersen is a professional free-runner who recently appeared in a Spider-Man advert for Sony, while Clarke will make her first feature film next year.

The tradition of casting unknown actors in Star Wars dates right back to the first film in 1977 when Mark Hamill secured the starring role as Luke Skywalker. He went on to appear in the next two Star Wars films and will also feature in the forthcoming Episode VII.

JJ Abrams is directing the new movie, which wrapped shooting in Abu Dhabi in May. Principal photography is currently under way at Pinewood Studios just outside of London but a two-week break has been announced for August due to production delays caused by the injury to Harrison Ford, who will reprise his iconic role as Han Solo, and who injured his leg during filming.

Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled for a Christmas release in 2015.

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