Just how large is this ongoing disturbance in The Force? And how "long" might fans have to wait to revisit the beloved galaxy far, far away?
These are two of the questions being asked on Star Wars sites around the Web, as news that Star Wars: Episode VII co-star Harrison Ford might need weeks to recuperate from an on-set injury have many speculating that J.J. Abrams’ sequel could miss its December 18, 2015 release date. Keep in mind that no official source tied to the production has discussed any sort of delay. In fact, a company spokesperson from Lucasfilm told TheForce.net that "there is no change in the relese date" plan for Star Wars: Episode VII.
But a meeting reportedly was held at Pinewood, according to the fan-driven Jedi News, to address the fact that the production on J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars sequel "could be pushed back by a substantial amount of time." The Web site Making Star Wars ran a report on a memo handed out to Star Wars staffers that there would be "no new pages" due to Harrison Ford’s injury and rehabilitation – meaning no script rewrites to take Han Solo out of the story. But all of these reports (both internal and external) suggest that J.J. Abrams and his crew will be able to keep the Star Wars: Episode VII production on schedule, and will maintain the December 15, 2015 release date. If there are changes, we’ll report immediately.
Because really, where could Star Wars: Episode VII move back to? Walt Disney, the parent company now in charge of the Star Wars universe, has two Marvel movies slated for Summer 2016 - Captain America 3 and an unspecified feature for July. The studio will drop Alice in Wonderland 2 on May 27 – Memorial Day weekend – and has Pixar’s Finding Dory down for June.
Also, the Star Wars train has to keep on rolling, as Gareth Edwards’ planned solo spinoff film (centered around an unknown character at the moment) has the December 16, 2016 release date on lock, so delaying Star Wars: Episode VII could also mean pumping the brakes on future Star Wars movies, and we all know no one at Disney, Bad Robot or LucasFilm wants to do that.
Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. The reports of the Star Wars delays being substantial are loud (and frequent) enough that they have to be discussed. But at the moment, it does seem like the word out of Episode VII camp is that J.J. Abrams will be able to shoot around Harrison Ford’s injury and keep the production on schedule. Until he can’t. And then, you’ll know.