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. And, naturally, fanboys started to foam at the mouth with anticipation. What would the new movies be about? Would they bring back classic characters or introduce new ones? Would there be new stories set outside of the trilogy?
Thanks to all of these questions, for the last few months 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 7, and just like weíve done for both The Avengers 2 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 has been confirmed as the director of Star Wars: Episode VII. The problem is that we just donít know when we might see the finished product. While itís been confirmed that the film will be coming out in the summer of 2015, Disney has not yet announced an official release date. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2014 at Englandís famous Pinewood Studios, but thatís really all we know.
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 project was announced, but sadly heís no longer a part of the production. It has been revealed that Episode VII will now be moving forward without Arndt and that Abrams and Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan are now working on what is either a new draft or a completely new version of the script. Because we donít know anything about what Arndtís been working on, itís impossible to say what about the project will change in the hands of the new writers.
Luke SkywalkerSince Star Wars Episode 7 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. Mark Hamill has confirmed in interviews that he actually met with George Lucas about the new trilogy prior to the contracts being signed, and 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.
Princess LeiaLike Hamill, Carrie Fisher also met with Lucas prior to the Disney deal being signed, but her part also seems to be up in the air. At one point it looked as though the actress had confirmed she would be back as Princess Leia in Episode VII, but her publicist followed the news by saying that she was just joking and that no deal has been made yet.
Han SoloLike the deals with Hamill and Fisher, Ford isnít attached to the new saga just yet, and 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, however, he was quoted saying that he has "not quite made the choice" whether or not to return.
Star Wars: 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 new deal will result in some standalone films set in the Star Wars universe written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, and one of the projects is rumored to be about 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 7, 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. And 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 7 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 7 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.
New CharactersWe canít really say who among the members of the old cast will be returning for the next Star Wars installment, but we do have a good idea of some of the new characters that the movie is likely to feature. Back in June, a group of character descriptions found their way online and said that the film was looking for a "late-teen female," a "young twenty something male," a "seventy-something male," and a "second young female, also late teens." Thereís been a great deal of speculation about actors who could fill these parts, including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling Saoirse Ronan, David Oyelowo and Michael B. Jordan, but nothing has been either confirmed or denied.
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