Episode VII: Just the Facts


It could be argued that the next episode in the Star Wars saga is the most hotly anticipated film of all time. Disney and Lucasfilm have been slow to release much information about the movie, yet most people on the internet claim to know all there is to know about it. DSOTF is here to help you sort through all of this info and to clarify what is fact and what is most likely fiction.

This past weekend brought a slew of new Star Wars rumors, so it’s understandable if you haven’t caught up with all of them yet. One things’ for sure; the amount of information being thrown at us about Episode VII is overwhelming.

Here’s a list of TEN things that we do know to be true about Star Wars: Episode VII:

 1. The movie is set to release on December 18th, 2015. Recently, there was rampant speculation that the release date may have been pushed back in the wake of Harrison Ford‘s ankle injury. It was rumored that J.J. Abrams and President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy were begging Disney C.E.O. Bob Iger for more time, but Iger has reportedly stuck to his guns. Merry Christmas!

2. Episode VII is to take place roughly 30 years after the events in Return of the JediThe plot will not involve any stories from the novels, video games or comic books that have been published in the last twenty years. The writing team of Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams will be presenting a story that has heretofore never been seen.

3. Lucasfilm has confirmed shooting locations in Abu Dhabi and at Pinewood Studios in London. Director Abrams has appeared in at least two videos from each location himself, both in part to promote the Star Wars: Force for Change campaign. We’ve included both of the video clips below for you, in case you’re that far behind.

The first look at the Episode VII set in Abu Dhabi featured J.J. Abrams and a puppet friend:

J.J. Abrams revealed the new X-Wing fighter from Episode VII in this video promoting Force for Change:

4. The cast of Episode VII is impressive… most impressive. While there have been a lot of names thrown around when it comes to this movie; including Tom Cruise and Benedict Cumberbatch, the number of actors that have been confirmed are many. The initial casting announcement from Lucasfilm came on April 29th, 2014 and included Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker and Peter Mayhew; set to reprise their iconic roles from the original trilogy. The newcomers included John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max Von Sydow. On June 2nd, Lucasfilm confirmed that Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o and Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie would also join the cast. On July 6th, Lucasfilm announced the casting of young unknowns Pip Andersen and Crystal Clarke. British actress Christina Chong is also reported to have been cast, although there has been no confirmation from Disney or Lucasfilm yet.

The cast of Star Wars: Episode VII at Pinewood Studios in London, April 29th.

5. They’ve been shooting this thing for THREE MONTHS already! Principal photography on Episode VII began on May 16th, 2014. Since then, Abrams and his crew have been spotted in the aforementioned Abu Dhabi; as well as the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, the island of Skellig Michael in Ireland and apparently parts of Iceland.

6. Yeah, John Williams is scoring the movie. At Star Wars Celebration Europe 2013Kathleen Kennedy confirmed that the maestro would return to provide the musical score for Episode VII. This will mark the first time that an Abrams helmed film has not featured the work of composer Michael Giacchino.

Hear the legendary film composer John Williams discuss his work on the new Star Wars film:

7. Parts of Episode VII will be shot in IMAX. Even though Episode VII cinematographer Daniel Mindel had confirmed that the movie would be shot using 35mm film instead of using digital cameras, it has since been confirmed that Abrams is also using 700mm IMAX film. SlashFilm‘s Germain Lussier had the report posted on July 8th.

On July 8th, Bad Robot posted this photo to their Twitter account, presumably from Abu Dhabi.

8. Harrison Ford got hurt, but he’s okay now. The Episode VII star was injured on the set at Pinewood Studios in June and initial reports were that his entire left leg had been crushed. We’ve since learned that it was only Ford‘s ankle that was hurt. He’s made a quick recovery and was recently reported to have returned to London to resume shooting on the new film, though not before the crew was forced to take a two week hiatus. It’s been rumored that it was actually the door of the Millennium Falcon that fell onto Ford but it’s never been confirmed. We’ve got to admit though; that at 71 years old, the man who brought you Indiana Jones and Jack Ryan is still a badass.

9. “Get clear, Wedge! You can’t do anymore good back there!” Back in May, British news site The Courier reported that Denis Lawson; the actor who portrayed fan favorite Wedge Antilles in all three original trilogy films, had turned down the chance to reprise his role for Episode VII. When asked why, Lawson said that “They asked me but it just would have bored me”. Dude.

10. Mark Hamill has a sweet beard. In June, the Jedi Master himself appeared in Orlando for Disney‘s Star Wars Weekends, sporting some impressive facial hair. He was later interviewed in London during the premiere of Marvel‘s Guardians of the Galaxy and had some very positive things to say about the production of Episode VII. Watch Mark Hamill and his awesome facial hair during an interview with the BBC’s Lizo Mzimba, here.

Mark Hamill posing outside of the Pinewood Studios set in London.

Join us later this week as we delve into all of the latest Episode VII rumors, spoilers and leaks. We’ll continue to bring you plenty of breaking Star Wars news, Dork Siders!