Hype, praise & fan theories continue to steam roll their away across the vast galaxy of the internet for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Records are being broken, childhoods relived and tears shed. However, there is one vital thing we (sort of) know about that everyone has seemingly forgotten. A potentially major villain.
*SPOILERS FOLLOW ALONG WITH SPECULATION WHICH MAY BE DEEMED AS POTENTIALLY SPOILING MATERIAL*
The villain in question, will be played by the magnificent Benicio Del Toro. Benicio Del Toro’s casting has been known for quite some time, and although he has been muddying the waters over which side of the battle his character lies on, the official casting call suggests that he is in fact a villain. The full casting call can be read here, but we’ve picked out the juicy bits!
‘Returning to reprise their roles in “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is Golden Globe Award nominee Oscar Issac as Poe Dameron; Daisy Ridley as Rey; Black Reel Awards nominee John Boyega as Finn; Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford as Han Solo; two-time Primetime Emmy Award nominee Carrie Fisher as Leia; three-time Screen Actors Guild Awards nominee Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma; and BAFTA Award winner Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Also joining the cast of “Star Wars: Episode VIII” is BAFTA Award nominee Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Academy Award winner Benicio Del Toro, who will play the role of a villain.’
Of course, this is providing that this casting call is telling the truth & that Del Toro in previous interviews has been telling a few fibs about his character. Firstly, it is this writer’s firm belief that there is more than just Kylo Ren & Supreme Leader Snoke pulling strings for the Dark Side. While Snoke is guiding Ren and is clearly wise in the ways of The Force and the Dark Side, it seems as if he is more similar to Maz Kanata in that he has been there, done that & wore the t-shirt since before the Prequel Trilogy events. That’s not to say that he still isn’t the Palpatine/Sidious of the Sequel Trilogy, but it just feels like there is more than just Snoke & Kylo Ren. Enter, Benicio Del Toro.
One thing of note is that Adam Driver’s name is very much missing from the above casting call. This is strange considering the popularity of the character, his importance in the saga as a whole & even the merchandising materials being so heavily based on him. However, after being socked with a bowcaster blast by Chewbacca & taken by General Hux to complete his training with Snoke, perhaps Ben Solo will be taking a power nap in Episode VIII (it might help with the tantrums!).
This is where we see Del Toro’s character coming in to play should he in fact be the villain as the casting call states. In Ren’s absence, someone badass will need to be introduced to chase down Rey, Luke Skywalker & The Resistance and carry out The First Order’s demands. The role Del Toro could play however is one of many. He could be a Boba Fett-esque character, a weapon for hire, although this would leave many Captain Phasma fans even more ticked off after her criminal underuse in TFA. Another option is for him to be a high-ranking member of the Knights of Ren. The mysterious organisation headed up by Kylo Ren & instrumental in the destruction of Luke’s New Jedi Order.
The Nerd Lowdown ‘We Wish’ pick? Given that the animated series Star Wars: Rebels is considered to be within the overall canon going forward, we would love for it to be acknowledged within the films and take a teeny piece of inspiration from it. Making Benicio Del Toro’s character a Sith Inquisitor would be an ideal way to link the little series to the big bad movie world without having to jump through hoops. Kylo Ren is possibly out of action, so why not have a Dark Side trained Jedi hunter step into his shoes to keep our Resistance fighters on their toes? Imagine someone as vicious & animalistic as Darth Maul, with all the charisma and charm that Del Toro would bring to the screen.
All options come with a view of course for Kylo Ren to return in Episode IX as the biggest baddest bastard to ever live a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. That’s if he doesn’t feel the call to the light… but that’s a discussion for another day.
Keen eyed readers will point to the fact that this casting call states Harrison Ford will be returning as Han Solo despite the obvious fact that he became a lightsaber skewer at the hands of his son. The simple explanation is flashbacks along with the fact he may be contracted for appearances in all three movies even though he has been written out. Another reason for his inclusion here is that casting & work on Star Wars: Episode VIII began before the release of The Force Awakens. How much of a spoiler would have been NOT to see Harrison Ford’s name on the casting call?
What kind villain would you like to see Benicio Del Toro play in Star Wars: Episode VIII? Or would you prefer him to be on the side of The Resistance? Maybe a little in between? Let us know!