It’s been nearly a decade since we last had a Star Wars film in theaters. And more three since we had a great Star Wars film. So unless you’ve been watching Cartoon Network’s awesome animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, or the various IDW comic series, that galaxy far far away hasn’t really been in pop culture’s focus for awhile. That’s all going to change with 2015 being the release of Star Wars: Episode VII.
Coming from the Disney backed Lucasfilm, the new movie, and subsequent trilogy, is garnering new hope that the world’s biggest sci-fi franchise will strike back. Over the years there have been rumors and “almost was” on the film, but Disney has confirmed it’s coming in December of 2015. Today, a press conference was held to announce some of Disney’s film plans (including a F***ING NEW INCREDIBLES BY BRAD BIRD!!!) and one of those announcements was some vital information about the film.
In celebration of that, I’ve once again scoured the Internets to gather up the most pertinent information about the upcoming film. If I missed anything feel free to share in the comments, otherwise sit back and get the lowdown on the return of the Jedi.
1. Lupita Nyong’o Might Have a Role In The Film
So far it’s just rumor (read: wishful thinking), but the current mainstream and Black media darling has been in talks with Episode VII director and co-writer, J.J. Abrams. Now while it’s anyone’s guess what their conversation was about, many film insiders and others have speculated the classically trained actress may get a role in the new franchise. With the film expected to drop in 2015, we’ll know whether or not this is true soon enough.
2. Diverse Casting?
Speaking of casting rumors, a handful of Hollywood up-and-comers have all been linked to be frontrunners for the lead role in the film. The list includes a Jesse Plemmons, a breakout cult fave sci-fi star, two theater actors, and the smug kid from Downton Abbey. The diversity comes in the form of two African-American actors up for the part: Ray Fisher and John Boyega.
Ray Fisher, a stage actor, has gotten quite a bit of acclaim for his role as Muhammed Ali in the play Fetch Clay, Make Man. Boyega was the breakout star from 2011’s criminally underrated and incredibly awesome, sci-fi film Attack the Block. Both actors seem to possess the chops to take the lead in a Star Wars film (then again anybody’s better than Hayden Christensen) and play opposite the already casted Adam Driver as the unnamed villain.
3. Veterans Returning
The press conference today did note that the one and only R2-D2 is definitely returning for the sequel and rumors have all but confirmed that his partner-in-crime C3PO and the hairy one, Chewbacca, will also show up. News becomes a little less firm with the original human stars. Sources go back and forth on whether or not Luke, Han, and Leia will show up, especially since the original script by Michael Arndt was scrapped. But with principle filming to begin in May 2014, we can look forward to some announcements very soon.
4. J.J. Abrams Replaces Lucas
If you know anything about genre television shows and films like Alias, Lost, Fringe, Revolution, Star Trek reboot, or Cloverfield, then you know who J. J. Abrams is. Essentially a post-modern George Lucas or Steven Spielberg, Abrams is known for his high concept and intelligent films and shows. His distinct visual flare and attention to character, seems incredibly appropriate for a post-Matrix, post-Avengers, Star Wars universe.
And while some of his television shows had trouble grabbing large audiences or have questionable quality (that’s usually the shows he only executive produces on), his last sci-fi film was a critical and commercial success. So letting him take the reins of the other “star” sci-fi franchise is a smashing idea.
Star Wars Episode VII will take place 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Iger says. "Very familiar faces" along with trio of young leads
— Ben Fritz (@benfritz) March 18, 2014
5. (Very Little) Information On The Plot
To say that Disney has been hush-hush on what exactly will transpire in the new film is an understatement. Besides rumors here and there, nothing really concrete had been really stated until today. The original Michael Arndt script focused on the children on Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia but that was scrapped and J.J. Abrams and Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan did a drastic rewrite.
The new information from Disney says the film is set 30 years after Return of the Jedi and stars “very familiar faces” alongside a trio of newcomers (Plemmons, Boyega, and Nyong’o perhaps?). And that’s about all we’ve gotten so far.
It’s light on the details but it’s more than we knew a week ago. With dates fast approaching, stay tuned for more updates.