Star Wars: Episode VII Will Take Place 30 Years After Return Of The Jedi

A hashtag. A start date. A legitimate timeline. All of a sudden, J.J. AbramsStar Wars: Episode VII feels a LOT more real.

The tweet arrives courtesy of the official Star Wars Twitter feed (follow it now, if you don’t already), and confirms – in 140 characters – a lot of theories that have been floating around space (or Hollywood) ever since it was revealed that Disney and LucasFilm were bringing the universe back to life. For starters, we now know that filming on the anticipated sequel begins in weeks. We basically can confirm that original stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill will be back in their legendary roles. (That has to be the "familiar faces" part of the tweet, right?)

And the timeline factors in the natural age of the cast. Setting the new story 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi allows Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan and whomever else they have tapped to write Episode VII to play with the fact that our beloved heroes are now pushing 70 (or, in Ford’s case, inching past it) and probably not ready to galaxy hop like they used to.

Return of the Jedi

That’s where those "new stars" come in. Variety, following the announcement, confirms stories we have been bringing to you for weeks. Girls standout Adam Driver has landed to lead villain role in the new Star Wars movie. Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad), John Boyega (Attack the Block), Ed Speleers (Downton Abbey), Matthews James Thomas and Ray Fisher remain the five key actors in the running for the new lead roles. Fan speculation continues to swirl that the young characters will be Jacen and Jaina Solo, as well as Ben Skywalker.

But all of a sudden, we’re graduating from pure speculation fed by Internet "wildfires" and acknowledging Tweets issued by official sites tied to the franchise. And that’s a big step forward. Disney’s Bob Iger said today in a shareholders’ meeting that it’s still too early to break major news, but that concept art "looks amazing." So Tweets Marc Graser from Variety.

Is this basically what you had in the back of your mind? That Episode VII would occupy a spot on the Star Wars timeline that was decades after Jedi? to me, that seems like it always has been part of the plan, with maybe the standalone movies (still in discussion) filling in other gaps in the storyline. More on Star Wars, of course, as the sequel rolls along.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.