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Lupita’s new movie turning heads

In spite of the fact that the next big movie starring Kenya’s celebrated Hollywood actress Lupita Nyong’o is still seven months away from its December 17 premiere, a Star Wars 7-The Force Awakens teaser is already causing ripples in the movie industry.

Just a week after release, the teaser for the movie is breaking records, showing great promise for what has been hailed by Hollywood pundits as the most anticipated movie of 2015.

Although it lasts just 1 minute 47 seconds, everything else about the teaser put on video sharing site YouTube late last week is huge.

It is nearly breaking the internet, has shattered the stock price of its production company in the process at the New York Stock Exchange and to put the icing on the cake, Japanese Airline All Nippon Airways has launched a Star Wars-themed Boeing 787 Dream Liner in a five year deal with Walt Disney.

88 MILLION VIEWS

According to the official Star Wars website the trailer was viewed 88 million times on its first day, wrecking the 62 million record previously held by Fast and Furious 7, Vengence Hits Home, which was released last month.

Financially, Walt Disney, the multimedia conglomerate that is producing the movie, earned $2 billion (approximately Sh180 trillion) in 24 hours after its share price rose by 1 per cent to $108.30 as investors rushed to buy shares in anticipation of the huge profits the film is expected to make once it is released.

By Friday, the stock price had risen to $109.3.

And online, social platform Twitter was barraged by an avalanche of tweets using the hashtag #StarWars that has been trending globally for the past week.

“Previous instalments in the long-running science fiction film since the first one was released in 1977 have been huge both financially and their mass appeal. Four of the six released so far are ranked among the top 10 top-grossing films of all time,” said UKs Daily Telegraph.

LUPITA’S ROLE NOT CLEAR

Typical of films in the Star Wars franchise, the plot details and the roles of some of its characters have not been released so it is not yet clear what role Lupita plays.

The Oscar-winning actress joined 19 other stars to film the movie early last year including Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamil, Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels.

Only two new actors, including Lupita, were added for the production of the film.

According to the producers, the story is set 30 years after the events in 1983’s Star Wars 6: Return of the Jedi. Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill  will reprise their roles as Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.

Harrison Ford who appears in the teaser released last week will return as Han Solo.

However, director JJ Abrams told reporters in California this week the movie will present another ‘substantial’ female character raising speculation that the daughter of Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o may play a leading role.

NO MAJOR APPEARANCE

Although the Kenyan star featured in the action film Non Stop released last year she only did so as an air hostess and is yet to make an appearance in a major role in a movie since making her global big screen debut with her role as Patsey, a slave on a Lousiana cotton plantation in the award- winning movie 12 Years a Slave in 2013.

The role earned her nominations for several other awards including a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress, a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and two Screen Actors Guild Awards including Best Supporting Actress, which she won.

She was also awarded the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the sixth black actress to win the award, the first African actress to win the award and the only Kenyan to ever win an Oscar.

Apart from Star Wars she is currently filming The Jungle Book, an animation movie, which she voices the character Raksha and Queen of Katwe. Both are set for release in 2016.