J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the continuation of the original Star Wars trilogy created by George Lucas, was a massive success for Disney, hitting the $2 billion global box office mark. Likewise can be said about Gareth Edwards’ spin-off, Star Wars: Rogue One, which surpassed the $1 billion mark. But now it’s time to put our geek-focus on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which has writer/director Rian Johnson (Looper) at the helm.
Returning cast members include Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Andy Serkis and of course, the late Carrie Fisher. New cast members include Laura Dern (Jurassic Park) and Benicio Del Toro (Sicario), who’ll be playing one of the film’s key villains.
But if there’s one new cast member we’re extra excited to see in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s Vietnamese filmmaker, actress, singer and model, Veronica Ngo Thanh Van (House in the Alley). To Western audiences, the multi-talented star is mostly known for her work in the acclaimed Vietnamese martial arts features The Rebel and Clash with Johnny Tri Nguyen, not to mention a minor role in Yuen Woo-ping’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny with Michelle Yeoh and Donnie Yen. But in her Native country, she’s practically a household name.
In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ngo will portray Paige Tico, a gunner in the Resistance. We’re not sure how much screen time she’ll have, but if this action figure (click here for photo) is any indication, we’re expecting more than a “blink or you’ll miss” appearance.
Ngo continues the trend of Asian action stars appearing in the new wave of Star Wars films. In 2015, The Raid stars Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian had cameos in Star Wars: The Force Awakens; then in 2016, Ip Man’s Donnie Yen and Let the Bullets Fly’s Jiang Wen were predominant co-stars in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
In addition to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there’ll be another ‘Paige’ turned in her career: Ngo will also have a role in David Ayer’s upcoming thriller, Bright, with Will Smith, which opens a week after Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s December 15, 2017 date.
Until then, here’s Ngo’s Showreel below. As you’ll see, “The force is strong with this one”…