Yes, there are Asians in a galaxy far, far away. Since it was announced that newcomer Kelly Marie Tran had joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VIII, there has been a great deal of mystery and speculation about, well, pretty much everything about her character. Here's what we know about her role: it's big.
Her casting was significant enough to announce in the initial press release alongside new cast additions Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern, when production began in February. And in an interview a few months back, star John Boyega, who played Finn in The Force Awakens, referred to Tran as the "new lead."
And now, over the weekend at the annual Star Wars Celebration Europe in London, director Rian Johnson confirmed that Tran does indeed play a significant role in the as-yet-untitled Episode VIII.
"I am so excited for you to meet Kelly," Johnson told fans. "She's really something special."
Without giving away any actual details about her character, Lucasfilm's Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo also praised the actress, describing Tran as "a great addition to our Star Wars family."
Okay, but we're still dying to know who or what she's playing. Her role remains a secret. Tran's resume might suggest the role demands a comedy background, though I do hope we get to see her kick some butt.
Tran, a San Diego native, is a UCLA grad and veteran of the improv comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade. Her credits include appearances in numerous comedy shorts for CollegeHumor and small TV roles in About a Boy, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: Episode VIII will pick up where The Force Awakens left off. Returning cast members include Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis.
Star Wars: Episode VIII is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.
More here: Star Wars Episode 8: So it looks like newcomer Kelly Marie Tran really does have a big role