The name Domhnall Gleeson saw a major spike in Google searches yesterday after the young Irishman’s name was announced among the cast for the new JJ Abrams "Star Wars" reboot.
The 30-year-old son of the legendary Irish actor Brendan Gleeson will join original trilogy actors Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill and others in a brand new tale set in a galaxy far, far away.
Gleeson isn’t the first Irishman to feel the power of the Force, but being a natural redhead he may well be the most unmistakably Irish person to ever wield a light saber.
Previously Ireland’s Liam Neeson played Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn in the much derided first "Star Wars" prequel "The Phantom Menace."
Fans of Gleeson are already speculating that he must be the son of a Jedi master, since he conveys both strength and sensitivity in every major role he has played to date – both characteristic hallmarks of a Yoda-trained Force adept.
But we think Gleeson may bring some previously unseen Irish Force magic to the seventh episode of the science fiction fantasy – perhaps he’ll be able to deliver an Irish Goodbye that sees him disappear into thin air.
“We are so excited to finally share the cast of 'Star Wars: Episode VII,'” Abrams told the press yesterday. “It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud.”
Very few details of the new plot are yet known, but fans unafraid to read spoilers should know that the film takes place some thirty five years after "Return of the Jedi," the last film in the original trilogy, and will focus on a new young trio of leads.
While the name of the character Gleeson will be playing is also still under wraps, the "Episode VII" casting call did mention a young male role that sounds like a good fit:
"Thomas, who is aged between 19 and 23, has grown up without a father's influence, without the model of being a man. He doesn't have the strongest sense of himself. Despite this he is smart, capable and shows courage when it is needed. He can appreciate the absurdities in life and understands you can't take life too seriously."
"Star Wars Episode VII" may have an additional Irish element: reports have emerged that JJ Abrams, whose wife, Katie McGrath, is of Irish heritage, is considering the Burren in North County Clare as one of the locations for filming.
This news about Gleeson's new role reminded us of this skit from "Yer Bad Self":