The Star Wars panel at Comic-Con in San Diego this week brought fans a lot of treats, including surprise appearances by the series’ original trio—Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford—and, most notably, finally revealed the identities of the latest installment’s villains. The official lineup includes characters portrayed by Adam Driver (TV’s Girls), Gwendoline Christie (TV’s Game of Thrones), and Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina).
These characters had been kept under wraps up until now. Fans have known the identities of the other characters for some time, primarily the heroes—John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac—and recently that of Lupita Nyong’o‘s mocap character Maz Kanata, courtesy of a recent Vanity Fair article.
The same article briefly named Driver as Sith Lord Kylo Ren, and with filmmaker J.J. Abrams‘ final stamp on the reveal, fans can now be assured. He has up until now been pictured (above) as a darkly cloaked figure wielding the red crossguard lightsaber featured in the trailers.
Gwendoline Christie had also already been pinned as the latest Stormtrooper, grandiosely named Captain Phasma, portrayed below clad head-to-toe in her new-line silver-plated suit. There are rumors that she may be hunting Ridley’s Rey and Boyega’s Finn.
Gleeson’s baddie, General Hux, was the biggest surprise of the three. Gleeson spouted on the panel, “I am evil!” and by the looks of the first image (below), he definitely looks to be a higher-up within the First Order (formerly known as the Imperial Order). Gleeson also revealed that the First Order’s base will be called the Starkiller Base, which refers to the original last name of Luke Skywalker. Up to this point, fans had been speculating that Gleeson would be playing some sort of descendant of Luke’s, so this title could possibly be confirming suspicions.
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) July 11, 2015
One thing to take away from the villain reveal is the new film’s focus on youth. Some of the most notable past villains have included Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, and Count Dooku, who all fought against the Jedis in their late ages. All three of the new Big Bads are on the younger side. This could be a way to reflect the fresh tone of the First Order, but take from it what you will.
All will be revealed when Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens in theaters December 25.