It was made clear that Star Wars: The Force Awakens finished shooting back before the holidays, but that doesn’t mean that a few casting surprises can’t sneak out. Word escaped from J.J. Abrams’ vault of secrecy that Episode VII decided to up its fighting game a bit by going out and getting three of the stars from The Raid series. Read this quote while I try to go compose myself. From Deadline:
The new year brings word that martial artist Iko Uwais, who kicked and sliced his way through Gareth Evans’ Indonesian action hits The Raid and The Raid 2, will appear in Star Wars alongside fellow Raid 2 performers Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman…
Uwais broke out on the international action scene in 2011’s The Raid as a Jakarta cop who fights his way out of a tenement filled with knife- and gun-wielding thugs using the bone-crunching martial art of pencak silat. He reprised the role in last year’s critically acclaimed sequel alongside Ruhian, whose turn in The Raid as a deadly fighter named Mad Dog was so popular Evans brought him back for The Raid 2 as a completely different character.
There’s nothing concrete on what they’re going to do in the new movie, but I feel like this is a bit more concrete than just saying something like, “Hey, Aaron Paul might make a good Han Solo.” The only certain thing you could throw out there is that there’s going to be fighting involved. And that usually means lightsabers or something as cool as lightsabers.
Collider notes that Episode I did the same when they added Ray Park as Darth Maul (a character that got jobbed by Lucas in the end), but I tend to think Star Wars made Ray Park a household name. These guys are already badasses. If you haven’t seen The Raid or its sequel, why are you reading this? You should go sign onto Crackle or some other service immediately and watch both in one sitting. You won’t be disappointed, at least not until Star Wars comes out and they’re playing senators or something.