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?

Watch the latest trailer here:
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: The Force Awakens, and we’ve constructed a handy guide to help sort out all of the facts and fictions. Read on below for the latest info and the previously released trailer...

Now, what else have we learned about J.J. Abrams' sequel?

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 now forever remember the new movie as Star Wars: 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 it’s also not super hard to interpret the larger meaning, as the film is basically the reawakening of the franchise after a decade-long sleep.

Star Wars Episode VII x-wing
The Production
It lasted for almost a full six months, but production on Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been completed and the film now finds itself in post-production in advance of its December release date. Principal photography on the movie began on May 16, 2014, and ended in the first week of November in 2014. 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 film’s release date.

To get a sense of what it would have been like to be a part of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens production, watch the San Diego Comic-Con 2015 reel below:
It truly must have been an amazing experience to be a part of that project.

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 once again feature the likes of Luke, Leia and Han from George Lucas’ original trilogy. In order to pull this off realistically, Episode VII, would need to factor in the age of the actual actors, and it appears that’s exactly what’s 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: The Force Awakens, 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? We’ll 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: 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 Luke’s hand and a lightsaber.

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