Star Wars: Episode 7 - What We Know So Far

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In 2005 it looked like the Star Wars saga was officially over. Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox released Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which completed the prequels trilogy and tied the story back to the first film in the series. It was done, finished, kaput, and ended.

But then along came Disney. In October 2012 the studio brokered a $4.05 billion deal to buy Lucasfilm, and with the deal came the announcement that they would be starting production on a whole new trilogy of Star Wars films that would keep the epic story going for years and years to come. Naturally, fanboys started to foam at the mouth with anticipation. What would the new movies be about? Would they bring back classic characters or merely focus on new ones? Would there be new stories set outside of the trilogy?

Thanks to all of these questions, we here at Cinema Blend have been sorting through all of the rumors trying to sort out exactly what we know about the upcoming Star Wars Episode: The Force Awakens, and weíve constructed a handy guide to help sort out all of the facts and fictions. Read on below for the latest info!

Star Wars Episode VII The Force Awakens
The Title
We spent years solely referring to the new chapter in the Star Wars saga as simply Star Wars: Episode VII, but those days are over. History will forever remember the new movie as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This name has received a bit of flak from fans, as some are confused by the idea of The Force going to sleep, but itís also not super hard to interpret the meaning, as the film is basically the reawakening of the franchise.

Star Wars Episode VII x-wing
The Production
It lasted for almost half a year, but production on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens is over. Principal photography on the movie began on May 16, 2014, and ended in the first week of November. While some location shooting was done in places like the Abu Dhabi desert and the Irish island Skellig Michael, most of filming was done at Pinewood Studios in England (which was actually expanded to ensure that the movie had enough room to work).

There were some complications encountered during shooting, with incidents involving leaked photos and plot details, but the biggest setback involved Harrison Ford sustaining an injury aboard the Millennium Falcon. Schedules had to be changed and production was put on hiatus for a spell, but the situation was resolved without the need to delay the filmís release date.

Star Wars Episode VII timeline
The Timeline
It has been confirmed that the Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens plot will be set 30 years after the Battle of Endor and the events portrayed in Return of the Jedi. This makes complete sense, given that the film will revolve around Luke, Leia and Han from George Lucasí original trilogy to a certain extent. In order to do this Episode VII, would need to factor in the age of the actual actors, and it appears thatís exactly whatís being done.

Star Wars Episode VII director JJ Abrams
The Director
Though he initially declined the job, J.J. Abrams is not only going to be the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, but also one of the co-writers. The filmmaker has had plenty of experience working in science-fiction, directing both the last two Star Trek movies as well as the Spielberg-esque Super 8, and has long said that he is a life-long Star Wars fan. Will that experience and fanhood lead to a great sequel? Weíll just have to wait and find out.

star wars Screenwriter
The Screenplay
Oscar winning screenwriter Michael Arndt was one of the first people to be hired to work on Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, signing a deal to pen the script for the film only about a week after the film was first announced in 2012. But his involvement ended months before the start of production, and the script was put the hands of J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. While plot details have not yet been officially revealed, insiders have said that the film will have a young female protagonist and that the plot will be sparked by the discovery of Lukeís hand and a lightsaber.

Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker
The cast of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens features a large number of actors new to the legendary franchise, but the seriesí original heroes will be definitely be back as well. Of course, while we know Mark Hamill will be back playing Luke Skywalker, itís not exactly clear exactly what his role in the plot will be or how big his part is. Rumored script details say that the movie will feature the central characters on the search for Luke, which suggests that the legendary Jedi will be playing an incredibly important role in the story, but may not get a ton of screen time.

Princess Leia
Princess Leia
While Carrie Fisher has been confirmed to return as Princess Leia Organa in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, practically nothing is known about what her role in the movie will be. Rumored plot details have given us some insight as to what we can see from Luke and Han, but where she fits into the story remains a mystery. Did she wind up marrying Han? Did she go through training to become a Jedi like her brother and father? How does she fit in with all of the new characters? These are all questions we are dying to know the answer to.

Han Solo
Han Solo
Everyoneís favorite space smuggler will be back in full force in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (though donít be surprised if he is limping around in some scenes due to Harrison Fordís aforementioned on-set injury). So what will Han Solo be up to in J.J. Abramsí chapter of the sci-fi franchise? According to insiders, he Ė along with Chewbacca Ė will be helping the two lead characters (played by Daisy Ridley and John Boyega) on the search for Luke after the Jediís lightsaber and severed hand land on a desert planet (that may or may not be Tattooine). While we expect that Han will eventually get back being the wheel of the Millennium Falcon in the movie, itís been said that it wonít be whatís heís flying at the start of the Episode VII.

If Han Solo came back for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Chewbacca didnít, then I could guarantee that there would be riots in the streets. Thankfully, this is not a reality that any of us will have to deal with, as Chewbacca Ė like many of his other original trilogy co-stars - has been confirmed to return for the J.J. Abramsí directed seventh chapter. Peter Mayhew, the 7í3" British star who starred in Episodes IV through VI as well as Episode III, will be wearing the Wookie costume once again for the movie, keeping the spirit of the original trilogy alive.

Representing for all of the droids out there, R2-D2 will definitely be in the next chapter of the Star Wars saga and was actually the first character to be confirmed to return. This news shouldnít surprise all of the die-hard fans out there, as he is one of only four characters who have been in every movie in the franchise. Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, members of the R2-D2 Builders Club, built the new R2-D2, and it has been confirmed that Kenny Baker Ė who has been inside the little droid for all six features so far Ė will be back for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens as well.

You didnít really think that they were going to include R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens and not C-3PO, did you? The characters have one of the greatest love-hate relationships ever portrayed in cinema, and it would just be cruel to fans to separate them this late in the game. Fortunately, it has been confirmed that Anthony Daniels will be back to play everyoneís favorite protocol droid. How he has changed over the last 30 years is still up for speculation. Will he still have the universeís biggest stick up his ass, or has the end of the Empire allowed him to relax a little bit? Weíll just have to wait and find out.

Star Wars Episode VII Adam Driver
Adam Driver
Weíve focused a lot on the heroes who will show up in Star Wars: Episode VII, but letís also take a quick peek at the possible dark side of the force. Months before Disney and LucasFilm made the casting official, trade reports said that Adam Driver was being lined up to play the central antagonist in the blockbuster production. The casting was eventually confirmed, but it still hasnít actually been officially said what his role in the movie is. Rumors have pegged him as a member of the group known as "Jedi Hunters," and I bet you can guess what their main job is professionally.

Star Wars Episode VII's Other New Characters
Other New Characters
As part of a big reveal, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens announced its primary cast on April 29, 2014, and in addition to Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, Anthony Daniels and Adam Driver, the movie will also include John Boyega, Daisy Ridley (pictured above), Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and cinema legend Max von Sydow. Serkis, Gleeson and von Sydow are all familiar names, but Ridley and Boyega are fresher faces. John Boyega made a name for himself starring in the critically-acclaimed alien invasion flick Attack the Block, while Daisy Ridley is way more of a newcomer . As mentioned earlier in this guide, the two young actors are rumored to be the central leads of Star Wars Episode VII.

But thatís not all! It has also been officially announced that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie are set to be in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens as well. Just like most of the other newcomers to the franchise, their specific roles have not yet been revealed.

Boba Fett
Boba Fett is easily one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe, despite the fact that he was actually barely featured in the original trilogy. But that all could change with the new generation of movies. We havenít heard anything about the kick-ass bounty hunter making an appearance in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens yet, but the rumors have certainly been flying about the possibility of a Boba Fett spin-off movie. Could he be at the center of one of the movies being made by Josh Trank or Gareth Edwards? Itís certainly a possibility.

Like the situation with Boba Fett, we have no idea if Yoda will show up in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, but instead all of the rumors surrounding the character have been in regard to one of the three standalone films currently in development . Like just about everything else in the continuing saga, however, nothing has been confirmed or even denied - but the good news is that Frank Oz, the voice behind the character, has said he would be happy to reprise his role.. Will he get the chance?

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi
As most of you will remember, Obi-Wan Kenobi Ė played by the great Alec Guinness - died in the very first Star Wars. That said, his spirit played a key role in both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and he was a lead character in the prequels as portrayed by Ewan McGregor. The legendary Jedi is easily one of the most popular characters in the canon, and as a result itís possible that we havenít seen the last of him. Itís entirely possible that Obi-wan could wind up getting a movie of his very own Ė but what would it be about? And who would star in it?

Star Wars Episode VII composer John Williams
John Williams
If Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens didnít have a score written by John Williams it would be hard to consider it a real Star Wars movie, but the good news is that we donít have to worry about that. While doing international press rounds for Star Trek Into Darkness back in 2013, J.J. Abrams confirmed that the multiple Academy Award-winning composer would be back to write the music for the next Star Wars film. We expect something bold, airy, epic, and all-around awesome.
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