Keri Russell of Felicity fame is joining the saga. Variety reported on July 6 that Russell is in talks to play an “action-heavy” role in Star Wars Episode IX. We don’t know anything about her character currently, which makes sense for Star Wars. But Russell will be the first new actor to be cast in the latest installment. There is no hint whether she’ll be First Order, Resistance, or something else entirely.
Keri Russell: Action Hero?
Keri Russell is best known for playing the title character in the television show Felicity. The show aired from 1998 to 2002. She has also spent five years playing Elizabeth Jennings on the FX show The Americans, which aired in 2013. Previously, Russell collaborated with J.J. Abrams on Mission: Impossible III and Felicity. In projects like Mission: Impossible and The Americans, Russell has proved she can handle the physical demands of action-heavy roles. It’s also clear she can navigate strenuous emotional environments as an actor.
Abrams is taking the reins once again for Episode IX, solo writing and directing the film. Episode IX will premiere in December 2019. This will give fans a good year and a half to chill out after The Last Jedi. Hopefully, some will look back on their behavior and learn an important lesson from all this. As someone who has distanced herself from fandom in response to the horror of fans bullying actors off of social media, I don’t see that happening any time soon; but that’s an entire op-ed all on its own so I’m going to leave it at that.
Rey’s Mom (Has Got it Going On)
(I’m so sorry for that headline)
As for Keri Russell’s character, theories abound. Most notably, fans are split between wanting Russell to play Rey’s mother, and wanting literally anything else. Graeme McMillan for Hollywood Reporter writes from a pro-Keri-Russell-as-Rey’s-mom perspective: “The best case scenario…may be for Abrams to split the difference: Yes, Russell plays Rey’s mother — but only in a flashback to concretely demonstrate that Kylo Ren was right in the previous movie, and that Rey’s parents really, honestly, weren’t anything special at all.” On the other hand, Chris Agar for Screen Rant gives us the anti-Keri-Russell-as-Rey’s-mom perspective, and bluntly, in literally the first line: “Rey’s mother should not be a character in Star Wars: Episode IX.” He eventually explains his reasoning, writing, “If Star Wars 9 were to go this route, it would completely undermine the primary themes of The Last Jedi and Rey’s character arc. The entire point behind her heritage is that a hero can come from anywhere, even if she was born to two drunks.”
As for me, my biggest opinion on the new trilogy is I like the “General Hux has a secret cat” theory. And that’s about it.
Star Wars Episode IX will premiere December 20, 2019.