UPDATE: Absolute Radio (via Empire) spoke with Serkis, who once again confirmed that is indeed his voice in the trailer, and reacted to the news that many theorized Benedict Cumberbatch was the voice. Check it out by clicking here.
ABC’s Good Morning America made it a good morning to be a fan of a galaxy far far away today, as the show confirmed what many have been speculating on since the Friday trailer debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens… Andy Serkis is the voice narrating the teaser.
The show laid to rest those pesky Benedict Cumberbatch rumors (but would not reveal their source), although other sites including HitFix had been confirming Serkis over the weekend, not to mention that fans of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes no doubt recognize the similarity of those signature gravelly pipes to the mighty Caesar. Serkis is currently seeking awards consideration for his motion capture role in Dawn.
While GMA was able to drop easily obtainable tidbits, including how many seconds of actual footage (39 seconds) and how many words (15 words) are in the trailer (which has been viewed by more than 40 million people online in 3-days), Jedi News was able to dig up info on who Serkis is actually playing. The rumor states Serkis actually has TWO roles in The Force Awakens, one a part of a “group of unbelievably athletic and acrobatic motion capture characters” also played by parkour expert Pip Anderson and Crystal Clarke. The other is a “pivotal role in the first act story arc that entwines with Daisy Ridley’s backstory that may have more to it than it seems in the first instance.”
Based on the concept art leaks that have made their way online, we would hazard to guess that this second character may be the small blue turban-sporting alien confronted by Daisy Ridley’s character in several drawings. The nature of the trailer voice and stature of the character could lead us to believe this is a new Yoda-like figure, possibly an ex-Jedi in hiding since Order 66, though that is pure speculation at this point. There’s also been scuttlebutt that Serkis’ studio The Imaginarium has been pioneering new methods of utilizing performance capture for on-set animatronics as opposed to CGI, and this might be one of those characters.
Finally, the show brought attention to an Instagram posting by John Boyega thanking fans for their support and fan art since the trailer debuted, including a sly knock at the dark side of fandom that has reared its racist head online. Check out the photo below, and don’t forget to check out our trailer screengrabs!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou, with the J.J. Abrams-directed film debuting in theaters on December 18, 2015.