We’re not sure about you, but over here at myWebRoom we’re super excited for the 2015 release of Star Wars Episode VII! We’re so excited, in fact, that we’ve been eagerly keeping up with all of the buzz around the highly anticipated film. There’re tons of rumors circulating, teasers being leaked, and confirmations about what we’ll definitely be seeing in the next chapter of the epic sci-fi saga.
We’ve collected quite a bit of info thus far, so we’ve compiled a list of highlights just for our roommates! Read on to find out what you can definitely expect as well as some of our favorite theories and possibilities. We have to warn you, though, there might be some spoilers in here!
The biggest news so far is the cast, so we thought we’d break that down for you first. We definitely got goosebumps when we found out that mastermind director and co-writer J.J. Abrams (Lost, Fringe, Star Trek) is setting the film 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi and using – get this – most of the original cast! You heard us right! The plot revolves around Han, Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, R2D2, and C3PO and they will all be played by the same actors who portrayed them in the original trilogy! Abrams teamed up with Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and together they’ve come up with what is sure to be a killer plot.
Let’s take a look at each of the famous characters and the rumors circulating around them as well as some new faces to the galaxy.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo
From everything we’ve heard, Episode VII revolves around Han Solo more than any other character. Apparently filming had to be stopped for a couple of weeks after Harrison Ford hurt his leg on set and needed surgery, but all is back on track now. We’ve heard that Han and Chewbacca aren’t flying around in the Millennium Falcon anymore; they have a new ship, and according to sources, it’s a Super Star Destroyer. There has also been concept art popping up of Han wearing Imperial rank markers. What he’s doing wearing Imperial garb we can only speculate, but we hope it’s just a disguise. Apparently we get to see him use a light saber again, too. As for the plot? From what we hear, him and Chewy are taking two new characters on a journey across the galaxy to rescue their estranged and captured friend, Luke Skywalker.
Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
We’ve heard that the film opens with an image of a severed hand flying through space, still clutching a lightsaber. The camera follows the hand until it lands on a desert planet. Who do the hand and lightsaber belong to? None other than Luke Skywalker. His friends haven’t seen him since the events of Return of the Jedi 30 years ago, but that isn’t because he’s been a bad friend; it’s because he’s been captured. Whom he’s been captured by, we don’t yet know. Apparently Luke will become an influential Obi-Wan Kenobi type character in the film (robe and all).
Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
The only news that we really have for Princess Leia is that she will definitely be in the film and will definitely be played by original cast member Carrie Fisher. In what capacity? We’re not sure. Fisher’s biological daughter, Billie Lourd, will also have a cameo in the film as a younger Princess Leia.
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca
You can’t put Han Solo in a Star Wars film and not have his loyal companion, Chewbacca, by his side – at least not without an uproar from fans. Thankfully the 7’3” original actor, Peter Mayhew, is returning to play everyone’s favorite Wookie. Word on the streets is that Chewbacca and Solo are still traveling through space together and this time they’re on the hunt for the missing Luke Skywalker.
Kenny Baker as R2-D2
It seems virtually impossible to have a Star Wars movie without the independent and fearless little droid, R2-D2, in it. That’s why Kenny Baker, who played R2 in all six of the Star Wars films, is getting back into the robot for Episode VII. The new R2-D2 will be built by Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples who are members of the R2-D2 Builders Club (yes, that’s a thing that exists). We’re not sure what his role in the film will be yet, but we’re just glad that he’ll be there to beep, whistle, and spin his top for all of us die-hard fans.
Anthony Daniels as C-3PO
You know that if R2-D2 is in the new film, then they’ve got to include his uptight and overly cautious protocol droid counterpart, C-3PO. These two droids have a love-hate relationship that rivals that of an old married couple’s. Luckily, they’ll be together again in Episode VII for more bickering and nagging. Original cast member Anthony Daniels will once again play the shiny gold chatterbox.
That’s it for the original cast of characters, but take a look at who’s going to be joining the seasoned actors in a galaxy far, far away.
Daisy Ridley as Kira
Ridley is virtually a newcomer whose short resume is made up mostly of British television shows, but it sounds like she’ll have a big part in Episode VII. Ridley will be playing Kira (at least that’s what they’ve been calling her on set) who lives on a desert planet in the ruins of an AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport aka an Imperial Walker – pictured below). How cool is that?! Apparently the Walker was destroyed long ago in a battle and lays on its side, half covered by the desert sand, and Kira has placed cloth over the opening in the stomach to protect herself from the elements. The movie is rumored to start when Kira’s friend brings her a lost lightsaber. Once the duo realizes it’s a jedi weapon, they begin a quest to bring it back to its original owner – who just so happens to be a captured Luke Skywalker.
John Boyega joins the cast as an Imperial soldier (maybe a TIE Fighter pilot or a Stormtrooper) who ends up switching sides to the Rebel Alliance after he crash lands on the planet that Kira lives on. She saves him from the wreckage and their bond begins. It’s rumored that it’s Boyega’s character who finds the severed hand holding the lightsaber and brings it to Kira, thus prompting the duo’s quest for Luke and the Jedis. We’ve also heard that Boyega has a pretty huge role in the film.
Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow plays an old man who has seen it all: he’s lived through the Clone Wars, seen the galaxy ripped apart by the Civil War between the Emperor and the Rebels, and witnessed the disarray left in Palpatine’s wake. Now he sits drinking in a bar most nights, pieced together after countless battles. He’s more machine than man at this point – he has an ocular viewing device where his eye should be and cybernetic limbs in replace of real ones. Rumor is, if you find an old weapon, you can bring it to where he sits drinking alone and he’ll tell you all about it. Apparently he has dementia and just rambles to himself, but he suddenly becomes lucid when he sees the lightsaber that Kira and Boyega’s character find. We’ve read that upon seeing the jedi weapon, he makes a mysterious call to an unknown person and simply says, “It’s here.”
Oscar Isaac is rumored to be playing a descendent of Han Solo, possibly his son, in Episode VII. What we know for sure is that Solo’s prized ship, the Millennium Falcon, is now in Isaac’s character’s possession. Isaac always had a big role in the film, but after Harrison Ford injured his leg, rumors started circulating that the writers beefed up Isaac’s role even more to compensate. Oscar is a great actor, but we love Harrison so we’re hoping these rumors aren’t true!
Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones)
So remember how we said that John Boyega’s character is an Imperial soldier who deflected? Well rumor has it that Gwendoline Christie plays his commanding officer and she’s pretty angry about his desertion and is on the hunt for him. It’s easy to assume that she’s simply an Imperial officer, but word on the streets is that the actress has been training with a lightsaber. Could she possibly be a Sith? Another cool rumor circulating is that her character was originally written for a male, but because the role was fairly gender neutral, it was gender-swapped in casting so that Christie could play her. We’re all for the progressive rewriting of a character for an actress, so we hope the rumor’s true!
Composer John Williams
John Williams, the famous composer who wrote the scores for the original Star Wars movies, will be back composing the music for Episode VII. Besides Star Wars, he’s known for composing some of the most recognizable scores in cinema history including Jaws, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. This guy is obviously the man and we have no doubt that the music will be epic!
Some other interesting tidbits:
The main villains in the movie are rumored not to be Imperial soldiers or Sith lords, but beings called Inquisitors who also use the Force. Apparently these Inquisitors are under Sith command. Their mission? Track down any remaining jedis. They are rumored to be seen serving Darth Vader (yes, apparently he makes a cameo!) during a flashback, so we know that they’ve been tied to the Sith for a long time. Apparently there is a main villain who is controlling the inquisitors who wears a black robe, has red eyes, and is a cyborg.
Another major rumor circulating in the villain-sphere is that none other than the ultimate source of evil, Emperor Palpatine, will be coming back! We all assumed he died after Vader threw him down that shaft, but we’ve seen how characters can survive in the Star Wars universe. Luke had time to pull Vader out of the Death Star II before it exploded, so maybe someone rescued Palpatine, too. Maybe what was left of him was pieced back together and made into a cyborg like Anakin Skywalker. Could he be the cyborg who’s in charge of the inquisitors? Or perhaps he comes back as a ghostly presence like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda did. We’re not sure, but if this rumor turns out to be true, that would be a pretty awesome twist!
When Han, Chewbacca, and company find the captured Luke, he tells them his story. This triggers… a flashback! This flashback is a pretty big deal since it’s the first ever in Star Wars history. Billie Lourd, Carrie Fisher’s biological daughter, is playing a younger Princess Leia in the flashback sequence. We’ll also get to see the inquisitors serving Darth Vader. We’re not sure what else to expect from the flashback, but perhaps this is where we’ll see Emperor Palpatine.
A Familiar Setting
Episode VII is rumored to take place on a host of new planets with new creatures, but there’s one spot that will look familiar to die-hard fans. Apparently there’s a shot of the Millennium Falcon parked at the same base from A New Hope. That’s right, the Rebels are back on Yavin IV!
The film began shooting in May and so far scenes scenes have been shot in the Abu Dhabi desert and Pinewood studios in England. If you want to see a bunch of images of the set in Abu Dhabi, TMZ leaked them HERE. Bad Robot also tweeted an image of J.J. Abrams with an IMAX camera, so at least some of the film is being shot in IMAX.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned: we’ll update you when we hear more!