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Tatiana Maslany, Gina Rodriguez, and Olivia Cooke on Shortlist for Star Wars: Episode VIII


Gina Rodriguez at PaleyFest

I have never been this torn in my WHOLE LIFE.

Apparently, director Rian Johnson is thisclose to choosing the female lead for Star Wars: Episode VIII, and a shortlist has emerged. And that shortlist is making me tear my hair out! Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, Jane the Virgin‘s Gina Rodriguez, and Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel are all up for the role! We still don’t know what the role is, but as several insiders told The Wrap, all three ladies will be doing chemistry reads with John Boyega by the end of this month.

Now, we all know how brilliant Maslany is on Orphan Black. She plays multiple characters on one show, and she was already in the running for another Star Wars lead in Rogue One before the part went to Felicity Jones.

BUT, Rodriguez is brilliant on Jane the Virgin, and has proven her acting chops both on that show and in indie film. What’s more, it’d be nice to see more non-white faces in the Star Wars universe, don’t you think.

I’m the least familiar with Cooke’s work. Which, of course, probably means she’ll get the role, ’cause she’s probably brilliant, and I just don’t know about it.


What do you think? Who’d you love to see in Star Wars: Episode VIII, and what type of role do you think this lead will be?

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former Mary Sue assistant editor from 2015-18. Teresa's returned to play in the TMS sandbox as a freelancer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.