'Star Wars: Episode VII' Adds Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie have joined the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII in unspecified roles, Disney and Lucasfilm announced this morning.

"I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. "It's thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape."

Nyong'o, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in 12 Years a Slave, met with director J.J. Abrams in March. The announcement of most of the ensemble cast in April was followed by questions about the relative lack of women, leading Abrams to assure fans there was more news to come.

Best known for her role as the fan-favorite Brienne of Tarth on HBO's Game of Thrones, Christie will next be seen The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

The announcement comes even as photos from the Abu Dhabi set appear online, seemingly confirming Episode VII will rely far less on CG effects than the previous three films.

Nyong'o and Christie join a cast that already includes franchise newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow, and original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker.

Star Wars: Episode VII opens Dec. 18, 2015.

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