Star Wars: Episode 7 - What We Know So Far
In 2005 it looked like the Star Wars saga was officially over. Lucasfilm and Twentieth Century Fox released Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, which completed the prequels and tied the story back to the original trilogy. 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 VII, and just like weíve done for both The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Batman vs. Superman weíve constructed a handy guide to help sort out all of the facts and fictions. Read on below for the latest info!
The DirectorIt always helps to get things rolling with factual reports instead of rumors, so letís start at the top, shall we? Though he initially declined the job, J.J. Abrams will not only be the director of Star Wars: Episode VII, but also one of the co-writers (working alongside Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan. Production will begin later this year, as Disney has revealed that the film will be in theaters on December 18, 2015 (making it the first in the franchise not to have a summer release date).
The ScreenplayOscar winning screenwriter Michael Arndt was one of the first people to be hired to work on Star Wars: Episode VII, signing a deal to pen the script for the film only about a week after the film was first announced. But not only is he now gone, it would appear that his script in the hands of Abrams and Kasdan has changed quite a bit. According to reports, Arndtís original screenplay largely followed the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Soloís offspring, but since Abrams and Kasdan have taken over they have switched the focus of the story to be more on the original trilogy characters. Whether or not those reports are accurate we donít know, but what has been confirmed is that the screenplay has been finished.
Luke SkywalkerSince Star Wars Episode VII was announced, every fan has asked the same question: "Does this mean weíll see the return of Luke Skywalker?" And while Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to say anything concrete on the matter, evidence suggests that the answer could be yes. Not only do we have the reports about a more Luke-Leia-Han centered screenplay, Mark Hamill has confirmed in interviews that he actually met with George Lucas about the new trilogy prior to the contracts being signed, and he has even offered up his own speculation about where the story will go, suggesting that Luke could end up being an influential character like Obi-Wan Kenobi. Carrie Fisher has evidently confirmed that she, Hamill and Harrison Ford will be back for the sequel, but itís probably best not to believe anything until itís printed in a press release from the studio.
Princess LeiaLike Hamill, Carrie Fisher also met with Lucas prior to the Disney deal being signed, and one would imagine that if Luke is coming back, that means his twin sister will too. Sheís been laughing about the idea of wearing her classic cinnamon bun hairstyle again Ė this time with white hair Ė but letís remember that weíve heard Fisher "confirm" her involvement with Star Wars: Episode VII before and that just ended up being a joke.
Han SoloFord isnít "officially" officially attached to the new saga just yet just like his fellow Star Wars veterans, but whatís interesting is that heís been a bit wishy-washy whenever heís been asked about the project. A few months ago he was asked if the "whole gang" would be back for the sequel, and the actor responded positively, but more recently he was quoted saying that he has "not quite made the choice" whether or not to return. If Abrams and Kasdan are indeed writing a Han Solo-heavy Star Wars: Episode VII, one can imagine that they will throw so much money at Ford that he canít say no.
Episode VII rumors arenít the only ones swirling around the rogue smuggler, however. In addition to the new trilogy, the studios have revealed that the deal with Lucasfilm will also result in some standalone films set in the Star Wars universe, and itís been rumored that one of them could center around a young Han Solo. Whether or not that will actually happen is anybodyís guess.
Boba FettBoba 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, but the rumors have certainly been flying about the possibility of a Boba Fett spin-off movie. Whatís more, back in July 2011 director Joe Johnston Ė who actually designed the look of the character Ė said that he was actively trying to get Lucas to allow him to make a film about him. Who wouldnít want to see that?
YodaLike the situation with Boba Fett, we have no idea if Yoda will show up in Star Wars Episode VII, but instead all of the rumors surrounding the character have been in regard to one of the standalone films being written by Kasdan and Kinberg. Shortly before the spin-offs were officially announced there was a story saying that the first of those particular movies would be about the great Jedi master. Like just about everything else in the continuing saga, 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 KenobiAs 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. And according to rumors he will be a part of Star Wars: Episode VII as well. Stories have floated around suggesting that Obi-Wan could return as a force ghost in the next installment of the franchise, though obviously he would be played by McGregor instead of Guinness (though I must admit Iím not quite sure how that makes sense). Neither Disney nor LucasFilm have commented on the reports, but take this one with a grain of salt.
Emperor PalpatineIf rumors turn out to be true then Obi-Wan may not be the only character in Star Wars: Episode VII who returns in Force Ghost form. Rumors from the same source as the Kenobi news have said that the evil Emperor Palpatine, played by Ian McDiarmid, is going to be in the film as well, presumably poisoning the thoughts of one of the lead characters and trying to get them to join the dark side. As of now this news is unconfirmed, so donít go around treating it as fact just yet.
John WilliamsIf Star Wars: Episode VII 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 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, and all-around awesome.
Adam DriverWeíve focused a lot on the heroes who may show up in Star Wars: Episode VII, the first actor the project brings aboard looks to be playing the filmís central antagonist. Sources close to the production have said that Girls star Adam Driver is close to becoming the first actor to officially come aboard the sci-fi epic. We donít have any specific details about the character he will play, but itís been reported that he will play a character in the vein of Darth Vader.
Other New CharactersWhile obviously nothing has been confirmed by the studio, there are a few clues out there that provide a bit of insight about some of the other new characters we might meet in the next Star Wars installment. Things may have changed as the script has evolved, but there have been reports that the production is looking for a "late-teen female," a "young twenty something male," a "seventy-something male," a "second young female, also late teens," and a "40-something military man." Practically every notable actor in Hollywood has gone out for parts in the film, so itís hard to say who might end up signing on, but one name that has been getting a lot of attention is Breaking Badís Jesse Plemons. Could he be Luke Skywalkerís son? Weíll just have to wait and find out.
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