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When Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope launched the iconic sci fi franchise into the stratosphere, it took along with it the careers of a couple of young unknowns who would become franchise and genre staples throughout the history of the post-Star Wars world. Star Wars: The Force Awakens seems to be looking to do the same thing with its casting, as a lot of fresh faces have been added to the films roster over time. And just when you think Star Wars: The Force Awakens done adding to its share of new talent, along comes the surprise of a new player joining the ranks.

In a strange little reveal story, Yahoo UK picked up on an email sent from the British television channel ITV, in support of their new show Home Fires, and in that announcement, Leanne Best - a cast member of BBC America and Amazon's Ripper Street - is noted as being credited as an actor in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. You can almost hear the keyboards clacking away with requests to interview the now newly-minted member of the Star Wars saga.

For those of you who aren't Ripper Street fans, you may have seen Leanne Best in her most recent film role, as the titular character in The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death. Perhaps it is that role that landed Leanne Best a seat in the Star Wars cast, as there's always room for a pale, menacing presence wearing a hood in the George Lucas-created sci-fi universe. That being said, the rest of her acting resume thus far may have her pegged as a more benevolent, possibly regal, presence in the J.J. Abrams blockbuster. Judging by the method of announcement, though, it's safe to assume that whatever character Best will be playing, it probably isn't a major one. In fact, ITV probably didn't have to fight that hard to get the go ahead to announce the casting in their press release, which is surely a huge coup for their promotional machine at Home Fires.

With each passing announcement, the Star Wars universe continues to get more and more exciting, especially with its newly renewed efforts to make the next wave of actors in the business into newly discovered stars. Leanne Best's inclusion lends the project not only another unknown actor with potential, but it also gives the Star Wars universe more of a female presence in its proceedings. At this rate, who knows what else J.J. Abrams is hiding from us on the casting front for Star Wars: The Force Awakens? In a world with female stormtroopers, anything and everything is possible. We'll just have to wait and see what details the next teaser will bring.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens bursts onto the screen on December 18th, 2015. The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death is in theaters now.

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