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Faces & names: ‘Star Wars’ casts Oscar winner Nyong’o, Christie

(Reuters)

Hot off winning an Oscar for her breakout supporting performance in “12 Years a Slave,” Lupita Nyong’o has joined the cast of “Star Wars: Episode VII,” Disney and Lucasfilm announced Monday.

Additionally, Gwendoline Christie, who currently stars as Brienne of Tarth on HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones,” also has been added to the ensemble in an unspecified capacity.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”

Nyong’o’s casting had been rumored for several weeks after word leaked that she had met with director J.J. Abrams just before the Academy Awards. By recruiting Nyong’o and Christine, Abrams has addressed the primary criticism fans had of the film’s first casting news — the lack of women in the “Star Wars” universe.

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