It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, with rumors pouring out of the woodwork nearly every single day – ranging from new main characters to the presence of Mandalorian warriors and Sith witches to Tom Cruise’s cameo – but there’s one in particular that has been picking up more and more steam from a wide variety of locations all across the internet this past week.
What is it? Why, the premise of Star Wars: Episode VII, of course.
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Set 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, the first installment of the sequel trilogy will see the inimitable Han Solo leading a “galaxy-wide search party” for Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, who apparently has gone missing while investigating the imminent reemergence of the Dark Side – whatever form that will ultimately take (this is where the rumors start to wildly diverge, with the various possibilities including a resurrected Darth Sidious and a group of “Jedi Hunter”-esque mercenaries).
It is widely believed that during the course of Han’s search, he unearths all of the “next-generation” cast, including John Boyega and Daisy Ridley (who are expected to be outsiders that are adopted, either figuratively or literally, by the Skywalker family) and the older characters’ various offspring (whoever may be playing them). In this way, all of the youngsters will slowly move to the forefront of the sequels’ narrative by film’s end, becoming the main cast for Episodes VIII and IX.
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AICN in particular has been leading the charge on this front, particularly in regards to the still-swirling rumors that Lucasfilm will be forced to rewrite Episode VII in the wake of Harrison Ford’s on-set injury. As the site’s own Jeremy puts it:
Given what I know about Episode VII‘s story (along with the recent hiring of writer-director Rian Johnson for Episodes VIII and IX), I’m genuinely looking forward to this new trilogy. It took them longer than expected to beat the script into shape, but they’re really happy with it, and there’s zero possibility of a significant rewrite to work around Ford’s injury. Han’s the man in this movie. That’s not going to change.
Put so definitely, it’s hard to argue the point, but with so much money, licensing arrangements, and (eventual) theme park developments all contingent upon Episode VII’s December 2015 release date, it’s hard to see Disney allowing director J.J. Abrams and crew sitting around waiting for Ford to recover for long.
The still-untitled Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters on December 18, 2015. It stars returning cast members Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker and newcomers John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Adam Driver, and Andy Serkis.