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How to ace your online audition for Star Wars: Episode VII
You could be auditioning right now, you know
 
Leave the costumes at home, guys.
Leave the costumes at home, guys. (Barry Lewis/In Pictures/Corbis)

There are no shortage of people who want to spend the next few years of their life in a galaxy far, far away. When it was leaked that an open casting call for an unnamed "feature Disney film" was actually a casting call for Star Wars: Episode VII, thousands of would-be Jedi descended on the Arnolfini Arts Centre in Bristol, England for a chance to audition. According to the BBC, hundreds of hopefuls who were turned away earlier this month simply set up camp outside the building and stayed overnight, in a last-ditch effort at an audition on Sunday. It may sound like a long shot, but hey — never tell a Star Wars fan the odds.

Fortunately for anyone who couldn't make it to Bristol this weekend, there's a much simpler option. With so much overcrowding at the live auditions, the film's casting team has set up a website where anyone — yes, even you — can submit a video audition, right now, for free. These are the roles in question:

1. Rachel (17 to 18 years old)

Must be beautiful, smart, and athletic. Open to all ethnicities (including bi- and multi-racial).

Was quite young when she lost her parents. With no other family, she was forced to make her way alone in a tough, danger town. Now 17, she has become street smart and strong. She is able to take care of herself using humor and guts to get by.

Always a survivor, never a victim, she remains hopeful that she can move away from this harsh existence to a better life. She is always thinking of what she can do to move ahead.

2. Thomas (19 to 23 years old)

Must be handsome, smart, and athletic. Must be over 18.

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 things too seriously.

UPDATE: According to The Hollywood Reporter, a script rewrite by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan has led to a search for another new actor — a "40-something military man a la Matt Damon in Elysium." Based on that description, Slashfilm speculates that the role might be a recast version of a character who survived the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, like Wedge Antilles (who was played by Denis Lawson in all three films). Unfortunately, aspiring Star Wars stars can't currently audition for that role on the casting call website — but keep an eye on OpenCastingCall2013.com over the next week to see if anything changes.

As for younger actors looking for a role in the franchise: How can you audition to play these attractive, smart, athletic orphans? The process is simple: Sometime before December 3, visit the open casting call website, download a short script, record and submit a video audition, and wait to be plucked from obscurity and dropped into the most anticipated film of 2015. You'll be emailed a copy of the script as soon as you register, but anyone who wants to read the audition script online can find it at Bleeding Cool. (It's worth noting that there's no chance whatsoever that these characters or this scene will actually appear in Star Wars: Episode VII — they just offer a vague approximation of the character types that the casting directors are actually looking for.)

The Star Wars franchise has relied on casting calls for major roles before. Here's a glimpse of some of the top contenders to play Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I — The Phantom Menace (including Jake Lloyd, who eventually nabbed the role):

Feeling inspired? Let's take things to the next level. With thousands of people from across the globe auditioning for just two roles, here are a few tips to make your video audition stand out:

1. Memorize the script. It's two pages of the most cliched dialogue imaginable. You can do it in 10 minutes.

2. Keep it simple. Don't bother with costumes or props — not even Jedi robes or lightsabers. You're being judged on your acting, not on your knowledge of Star Wars lore.

3. Find a good reading partner. If you're auditioning for Rachel, you'll need someone to read the lines for Thomas; if you're auditioning for Thomas, you'll need someone to read the lines for Rachel. Enlist an off-camera scene partner you're comfortable with, and let your natural chemistry enhance your delivery.

May the Force be with you.

This article, which was originally published on November 11, 2013, was last updated on November 25, 2013.

 
Scott Meslow is the entertainment editor and film and television critic for TheWeek.com. He has written about film and television at publications including The AtlanticPOLITICO Magazine, and Vulture.

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