Lupita Nyong'o in Talks to Join Star Wars: Episode VII

Plus, Nyong'o's father speaks out on facing brutality in Kenya.

Posted: 03/17/2014 11:15 AM EDT
Lupita Nyong'o

Lupita Nyong'o continues to add high-profile roles to her acting resume. The Oscar-winning actress, who took home the Best Supporting Actress prize for her part in 12 Years a Slave, is in talks to join J.J. Abrams' reboot of the Star Wars franchise. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nyong'o met with Star Trek helmer Abrams a few weeks ago (before her Oscar win) for advanced talks to play the lead in the upcoming mega-franchise, a continuation of George Lucas' history-making trilogy. 

While the role Nyong'o is up for is as yet undisclosed, The Hollywood Reporter speculates, "one possibility is that of a descendant of Obi-Wan Kenobi, which has been described as a non-Caucasian role. That is separate from the search for two roles, female and male, for characters in their twenties."

Interestingly, Attack the Block star John Boyega has also been in talks with Abrams about a role in the franchise, leading some to wonder if this could be the first time in Star Wars history that the male and female leads will be played by Black actors.

Nyong'o is, arguably, the hottest name in Hollywood these days. The 12 Years a Slave actress has captivated insiders with her acting chops, knock-out red carpet style and fascinating back story. The Mexican-born actress of Kenyan descent is a graduate of Yale School of Drama and the product of some of her native country's most prominent thinkers and politicians. 

Nyong'o's father, Peter Nyong'o, who serves in Kenya's senate, recently revealed the brutality the Oscar winner's family suffered at the hands of political dictators, leading the Nyong'o's to flee to Mexico just a few years before Lupita's birth. "We were put into prison and the torture chambers by the regime, but it was like a dinner party when you compare it to what the slaves went through," he told the Independent.

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(Photo: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

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