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While Star Wars: The Force Awakens left us with a number of unanswered questions, one question that we weren’t asking was, "Who will the next movie be about?" It seemed clear that we would be following the new characters that we met in Episode VII as they led the cast into Episode VIII. But what if that’s not the case? A new comment from one of those new actors,John Boyega, implies that a new actress may be taking the lead, and it’s the one that we know the least about: Kelly Marie Tran.
John Boyega recently made a surprise appearance at a screening of the new documentary Secrets of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the feature that will be included on the DVD release of the film. During the event, he spoke a little about Star Wars: Episode VIII, and new things that will be coming. As part of his remarks, according to WhatCulture.com, he used the phrase "new lead" when referring to his co-star, Kelly Marie Tran.
While the comment seems a bit surprising, it isn’t necessarily that off base, as the evidence that we have certainly implies it could be true. When Lucasfilm made the official announcement that Star Wars: Episode VIII had begun filming, the statement included the names of three actors that would be debuting in the film: Laura Dern, Benicio Del Toro, and Kelly Marie Tran. Putting the relatively unknown Tran on the list along side two established names was a sign that her part, whatever it was, would be significant. We also know that a number of actresses were being considered for a major role in Episode VIII several months ago that was being called the "female lead."
This was all before we’d even met the new Episode VII characters on screen. Add to all this the rumor that one reason Star Wars: Episode VIII changed its release date was in order to make changes to the script that would increase the size of the parts our existing characters (Rey, Finn, and Poe), and it certainly appears the plan was to make some new characters much more important in the new film. Even if those script changes are happening, and some of the new characters are having their roles reduced, it doesn’t mean that they are being reduced to the level of supporting characters, and it also doesn’t mean that every new character is seeing a role reduction. It’s certainly possible that this news is accurate. We can certainly confirm that John Boyega was in the place where he allegedly made the comments, as the UK Star Wars Twitter feed has him on camera. It's too bad his comments about Tran aren't part of this video:
The one thing that’s missing from John Boyega’s statement, however, is a preposition. Did he call her a new lead, or the new lead. Depending on how you define the term, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had anywhere between one and four lead characters. We’d call Daisy Ridley’s Rey the lead of the movie, but Finn was also a lead character. So, is Kellie Marie Tran’s role going to be taking over some of the spotlight from Ridley, or will she simply be joining the team?
We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this news to see if anything comes of it. What do you think? Would you like to see a new character take over the lead of Star Wars: Episode VIII, or do you like the ones you’ve got?