The role of family in Star Wars: Episode VII


When sitting down to write the prequel trilogy, George Lucas made the conscious decision to make those films’ narrative mirror the originals’ as closely as possible, playing on the motif that the trials and travails of the Skywalker family repeat out over the course of generations.

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That new writers J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan – and, apparently, Rian Johnson – would continue this storytelling modus operandi hasn’t been anywhere near confirmed, but it has been widely accepted as gospel amongst the rabid fanbase (and with good reason, it must be said; should Abrams decide to suddenly take the 40-year franchise off into left field, narratively speaking, it would come off as exploitative rather than inventive, particularly given the large amount of money Disney has paid for the film series’ rights).

This would seem to explain the ever-more-prevalent “John Boyega is playing Lando Calrissian’s son” rumors, although another likely source for the story would be both Boyega and Lando actor Billy Dee Williams’s statuses as only one of the few African American members of the cast across all seven pictures.

Perhaps because of these suspect origins, originally set out to debunk the Boyega-as-Lando, Jr. rumor, although, in the process of their report, they might have ended up doing more to validate it. In their update to the article, the site states that “the guy who was right about a lot of set details over at IMDB is now insisting that Boyega is Lando’s son,” quoting the individual in question’s posts over at that website.

Believe me, he’s Lando son.

Makes no difference in this case – Boyega is playing Lando’s son.

If this is the case and the actor is, indeed, playing the next generation of the Calrissian family, Episode VII’s filmmakers run the risk of playing it too conventionally; after all, despite Lucas’s decision to hew as structurally close as possible to the original trilogy, he eschewed at nearly every corner the desire to insert any family member other than Anakin himself. (Although he did, on the flip side, end up making C-3PO something of a step-[droid]-brother to Luke and Leia.)

The most that audiences got in this regard was a cameo appearance of Chewbacca in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – although that could very well be the narrative function that Boyega will end up playing, as well.

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.