Two awesome female stars just joined the cast of Star Wars Episode VII

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Jun 2, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

We were promised more female stars for Star Wars: Episode VII. Now, we've got them, and you're going to love who's joining the cast.

Entertainment Weekly reported Monday morning that Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave) and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) are set to join the cast of J.J. Abrams' return to a galaxy far, far away. In true Abrams fashion, it hasn't been revealed what role either of them will play, or how prominent their characters will be in the film, but even if we don't know much yet, this is very exciting news.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement from the studio. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”

The announcement of the Episode VII cast in late April was met with a substantial backlash from fans who were disappointed that only one new female star, Daisy Ridley, had been added to the saga's cast. There were more than a few rather eloquent demands for the Star Wars galaxy to add more roles for women, and the day after the casting announcement word got out that Abrams and company were still looking to cast at least one more female role, though there was disagreement over just how substantial the role would be. Now it looks like the film has made room for at least two more women, and though we're still not sure how big their roles are, both stars add a lot of interest to this cast.

Nyong'o's been rumored as a possible addition to the cast since back in March, shortly after she won her Oscar and cemented her position of one of Hollywood's hottest rising stars. Casting her brings more much-needed diversity to the cast, and also adds another actor with some serious dramatic chops. As for Christie, her work on Game of Thrones has made her a genre fan favorite, and the show has helped bring her even more genre roles. First she landed a spot in the cast of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, and now she's got a Star Wars gig.

So the Episode VII cast just got a lot more interesting. Now, if only we could find out who these awesome women will play ...

Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters Dec. 18, 2015.

(Via EW)