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Surprising Full Cast Revealed For Jason Reitman’s Live Read Of ‘Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back’

Surprising Full Cast Revealed For Jason Reitman's Live Read Of 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back'

In exactly one year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will land in theaters, so what can you do to fill the 365-day gap until then? Well, you can watch the previous six ‘Star Wars’ films over and over, or dive into the franchise’s books, video games, and spin-off shows. Or, if you live in Los Angeles, you can see “Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back” recreated in a way you’ve never seen before or likely will again.

Jason Reitman is directing a one-night-only live read of ‘Empire Strikes Back’ tonight at The Theatre at Ace Hotel and today the final pieces of the cast have been revealed. And they are as follows:

Luke Skywalker – Aaron Paul
Han Solo – Ellen Page
Princess Leia – Jessica Alba
Darth Vader – JK Simmons
C-3P0 – Stephen Merchant
Lando Calrissian – Dennis Haysbert
Yoda – Kevin Pollak

And yeah, this is awesome. We like the gender switch for Han Solo, because if anyone can equal Harrison Ford’s sarcasm, it’s certainly Ellen Page. “The Han Solo character is fascinating, in that the approach to every other character in ‘Star Wars’ is earnest and kind of sweet and old-fashioned. The heroes are heroes, and the villains are villains. And within this world, we’re introduced to one human being who looks at it all with irony,” Reitman told Entertainment Weekly: “He’s the guy who doesn’t give a crap.”

“With him, we feel like we have an ally in this, and it allows the viewer to get closer to Luke and Leia,” he added. “In casting Han, the most important thing is: who has the most interesting, ironic approach to life? And when I think of that, I think of Ellen Page. She’s a small human being who has the energy to fill Madison Square Garden.” We agree.

Similarly, the nebbish Stephen Merchant is a perfect choice for the similarly bumbling C-3PO, and what we’d give to see JK Simmons as Darth Vader. 

If you don’t have tickets for the reading tonight, we’d reckon you’re out of luck, but the evening promises to be something special.

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