Posted on Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 by Germain Lussier
By Germain Lussier and Russ Fischer
October 30, 2012 was a monumental day in sci-fi film history. It was the day Disney announced not only had they purchased Lucasfilm, they would be making new Star Wars movies. Seven and a half years had passed since the last Star Wars film and fans had come to terms with the fact no more movies would be made. One year ago today, our preconceptions about the future of Star Wars shifted 180 degrees. Seemingly every day for the past year, Star Wars Episode VII has loomed large on the minds of film fans.
So what’s changed in a year? A lot. A year ago we wrote an article about what we knew, and could speculate, about Star Wars Episode VII. At the time is wasn’t much. But 365 days later, and we have a pretty significant update. Lucasfilm has announced screenwriters, a director, a composer and spawned even more rumors and speculation than anyone could have expected.
Below we’ll tell you what this year has held in the world of Star Wars. We’ll detail what we 100% know for certain about the film, what we believe to be true , what we believe not to be true, plus some of our expectations and speculation about what we’ll see on screen in 2015.
J.J. Abrams is Directing Star Wars Episode VII - January 24, 2013
After the original announcement of the film, several months passed with multiple directors rumored to direct Star Wars Episode VII. That all ended earlier this year when news broke that J.J. Abrams would be directing. (Which was odd, because reports came out he’d passed a few weeks earlier). A day later, Lucasfilm released an official statement including this quote from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy:
It’s very exciting to have J.J. aboard leading the charge as we set off to make a new Star Wars movie. J.J. is the perfect director to helm this. Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise. He understands the essence of the Star Wars experience, and will bring that talent to create an unforgettable motion picture.
J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are Writing, Though Michael Arndt Was Hired First – November 9, 2012 and October 24, 2013
Before Abrams was hired, oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt was tasked with writing Star Wars Episode VII. His name was continually mentioned in regards to the film, until recently when Lucasfilm announced Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams would be writing. As for Arndt, Kathleen Kennedy said “Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point .” More on this in a following section.
John Williams Will Write the Score – July 27, 2013
Star Wars Celebration Europe took place right after Comic-Con and the big news was John Williams, Oscar-winning composer of the six previous Star Wars films, would return.
Episode VII Will Film in the United Kingdom – May 10, 2013
In order to pay tribute to the “origins” of Star Wars, Kathleen Kennedy revealed filming on the sequel would take place in the United Kingdom. A few months later, the exact location was revealed: Pinewood Studios.
Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are Writing “Origin Story” Spin-offs – February 5, 2013
Disney isn’t stopping just at Episode VII when it comes to Star Wars films. Though there had been speculation months before, in February Lucasfilm officially revealed Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were writing spinoff films “that will expand the mythos and depths of the Star Wars universe in previously unexplored ways.” While rumors have run rampant about what, exactly, that means (see the rumored section), a Disney executive later referred to them as “origin stories” and confirmed they’ll be released after Episode VII.
Crew Has Been Hired – October 24, 2013
With the change in screenwriters, Lucasfilm officially announced many of the below the line people who’ll be working on Star Wars Episode VII. Among the names are Star Wars mainstays Ben Burtt, Gary Rydstrom and Matthew Wood.
Episode VII Will Be Shot on Film – August 22, 2013
Lots has been said about Abrams and Kennedy being faithful to the original films, which is one of the reasons why director of photography Dan Mindel revealed the movie would be shot on film.
Location Scouting, Production Design, Casting, and Costume Design Are Underway – October 24, 2013
While actors have been rumored to be auditioning for Star Wars Episode VII for several months, it wasn’t until recently that Lucasfilmconfirmed casting was happening along with a few other major facets of pre-production. Two actors, Saoirse Ronan and Michael B. Jordan, both even confirmed they’d read for the film.
Header image: Paul Shipper