Times are changing and consequently, film audiences are changing as well. In the original Star Wars films from 1977-1983, audiences did not see much Diversity. There was Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, and James Earl Jones only as the voice of Darth Vader, other than those two actors, diversity was scarce. In the newer trilogy from 1999-2005, Samuel L. Jackson’s portrayal of Mace Windu was about as diverse as it got. Now in 2016, Rogue One’s cast is full of multiculturalism and diversity.

The story

Rogue One follows a group of soldiers of the Rebel Alliance attempting to infiltrate the Imperials to steal the plans of the “Death Star.” What is important to remember about the Empire in Star Wars is that the tyranny does not affect one type of people; instead it affects a broad range of people and creatures within the galaxy. This is what director, Gareth Edwards, is seemingly trying to achieve: the portray this sci-fi war story in a realistic way that the audience can engage in and build and relationship with. Because the audience is changing, and the film will be seen all over the world, it is important for filmmakers to appeal to their diverse viewers.

The cast

Judging by the film’s cast, Gareth Edwards is following in the footsteps of the 2015 Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. John Boyega, a black actor from England was among the leading roles, as well as Guatemalan actor, Oscar Isaac. Rogue One is packed with multi-cultural and multi-racial actors and actresses, such as British, Danish, British-Pakistani, Chinese, Aussie, and American. In addition to the cast’s forward progress, the film features a strong female leading role, alike what was seen in Daisy Ridley as Rey in The Force Awakens.

Anticipation of the film’s release

After the prequel trilogy of 1999-2005, many lost hope for future Star Wars films, but hope was restored with The Force Awakens and the anticipation for Rogue One is incredible. Set to release December 16th, Rogue One has already established itself as a box-office smash. The film’s ticket pre-sales have been record breaking and it is expected to do very well for its opening weekend.

Fans are looking forward to the film and its cast. Jimmy Kaldor, of Jacksonville, Florida, says, “I have no problem with seeing a really diverse cast so long as they selected the best actors for each role…I don’t care what race or gender they are, I’m just looking forward to seeing a great Star Wars movie.” Like Kaldor, the film audience of 2016, is not so much concerned with the actors’ gender or race, but are more so hopeful for the film’s success.

The audience is changing and so are films, Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One opens this weekend, and we cannot wait to see what this diverse cast has to offer.

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