Star Wars auditions go online to cast new movies

The next generation of Jedi can now submit audition tapes online in their search for Star Wars stardom.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror -- and then pressed submit to send their online audition for Star Wars.

Hopefuls -- or should that be new hope-fuls? -- can take a shot at becoming the next generation of Jedi by sending in a video of their performance at Cast It Talent. Two starring roles are up for grabs in the new series of Star Wars films being overseen byJJ Abrams.

The first open audition for the new movies was held in Bristol this weekend, with 2,500 hopefuls seen by casting directors -- but the queue was so big many more were turned away.

Further casting sessions will be held this month in Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and London. Star Wars: Episode VII will open on 18 December 2015, with further films to follow in 2017 and 2019, interspersed with spin-offs rumoured to be about younger versions of Han Solo and Boba Fett.

Whichever lucky younglings get the parts won't be the first to catch a big break in the Star Wars series. Han Solo actor Harrison Ford was famously a carpenter when he came to the attention of Star Wars creator George Lucas. Mark Hamill auditioned for the part of Luke Skywalker because his mate Robert Englund -- Freddie from A Nightmare on Elm Street -- heard about it while auditioning for Apocalypse Now across the hall from Star Wars casting sessions. And the then-12-year-old Star Wars fan Warwick Davis got the part of an Ewok in Return of the Jedi when his gran heard a radio advert.

While it may sound like a dream come true, Star Wars stardom isn't an automatic path to fame and fortune: Jake Lloyd says playing young Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace put him off acting completely.

Will you be having a crack at Star Wars stardom? Are you excited about the new movies? Search your feelings in the comments or use the force on our Facebook page.