We haven't even had the chance to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens yet, but Disney and Lucasfilm are already charging ahead with plans for Star Wars: Episode VIII. We already know that Rian Johnson is attached to both write and direct the film, and Benicio Del Toro has been rumored for the lead villain role, and now word is that there are three actresses in particular who are currently vying for the feature's female lead.

The Wrap has the word on the most recent casting developments - and while the trade doesn't have any information about who the female lead actually is in Star Wars: Episode VIII, they have gotten word that there are some very talented performers being considered for the part. Let's take a close look at them, shall we?

Gina Rodriguez

First on the list is Gina Rodriguez, who has garnered a lot of attention this past year thanks to her lead role on the CW series Jane The Virgin - a role that earned her a Golden Globe back in January. While she's only starting to get attention now, she's been taking parts in various television shows and films for about a decade now - though Star Wars: Episode VIII would obviously be the biggest credit on her resume to date.

Tatiana Maslany

Next up we have Tatiana Maslany, a name that may be familiar to Star Wars fans who haven't had the chance to watch her show Orphan Black just yet. All the way back in January a report began circulating saying that she was in contention with Rooney Mara and Felicity Jones for the lead role in Gareth Edwards' Star Wars: Rogue One. Jones was the one who wound up walking away from that race with the job, but it seems that Maslany has stayed on Disney and Lucasfilm's radar.

Olivia Cooke

Finally we have Olivia Cooke - who doesn't quite have the experience that both Rodriguez and Maslany have, but still has an impressive body of work. Since 2013 she has been doing great work on the small screen with a key role in the Psycho-based television series Bates Motel, but this summer she earned high marks from critics for her performance in the indie drama Me And Earl And The Dying Girl.

According to The Wrap, Gina Rodriguez, Tatiana Maslany and Olivia Cooke won't be the only actresses testing for the female lead in Star Wars: Episode VIII, but they are being called the top contenders. We will very likely hear more about this casting race in the coming weeks, as screentests with John Boyega are being scheduled to happen before the end of the month. Stay tuned for more details!

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