04/29/2014 01:14 EDT | Updated 06/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Stars Wars taps originals Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford plus new faces

A host of fresh faces will soon be joining Star Wars stalwarts Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher in a galaxy far, far away.

Director-screenwriter J.J. Abrams and producers of the upcoming new Star Wars instalment (so far known simply as Episode VII) on Tuesday unveiled the cast for the anticipated new project.

"It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again," Abrams said in a statement after the unveiling on

"We start shooting in a couple of weeks and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."

John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow are the newcomers to the classic sci-fi universe originally created by George Lucas. The first film in the Star Wars series was released in 1977.

Meanwhile, actors Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Kenny Baker from the original films are also on board, as is original composer John Williams.

The movie is slated to hit theatres Dec. 18, 2015, and will be part of a roll-out of several new Star Wars films.