Your Questions Answered: What We Know and Speculate About ‘Star Wars Episode VII’ and Disney’s Purchase of LucasFilm
Posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
What We Don’t Know:
by Germain Lussier
How far into the future will Episode VII be and what might it be about?
This is the question of questions, isn’t it? Just because this film will take place after Return of the Jedi doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll feature the same characters. Star Wars games and novels have written extensively about the period after the ending of Jedi, dealing with the offspring of Han and Leia, Luke’s rebuilding of the Jedis, finding a love interest, and any number of other subjects. Some properties have even gone thousands of years into the future.
However, popular discussion has always assumed these films would take place a few decades later to continue the overall story. The universe is finally recovering from the rule of the Empire, the Jedi have returned, and the main characters have passed along what they learned. Luke is now more like Obi-Wan, Han is now more of a leader, etc. And to truly complete the circle of the prequels, the droids would have to be in it. Don’t forget, most of the principal actors are still alive, too, so never say never on them reprising the roles. Also, it’s important to remember that the rise and fall of Darth Vader was the throughline for Episodes I-VI, so the story has to feature some of that.
It seems obvious, but Wikipedia has a great entry on this.
Since the original publish date of this article, a source has come out claiming that ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Will Be Original Story; How Do Lucas’ Old Story Outlines Factor In? Find out here
Will Episode VII continue the extensive use of CG sets, or will it go back to more “physical” production?
One of the major complaints about, and technical advances of the Star Wars prequels, was that they were primarily filmed in front of green screen, and enhanced by computer-generated imagery later on. This gave the films a much “cleaner” look than we were used to with Star Wars.
Fast forward a decade to Episode VII. Technology is now exponentially better than it was when Episode III was created, but the story doesn’t take place at the height of the Republic as in the prequels. It’s in a post-Empire world (though when and where is up for debate, as said above) so one would imagine things are still grimy but improving. Not to mention almost all of Disney’s live action films (the Marvel movies, Oz, Lone Ranger) are using CG but in conjunction with huge practical sets.
Add all of that together and while nothing will be set until a director is chosen (more on that below), odds are these films will be a more physical production.
Who might direct Star Wars Episode VII?
We know that Episode VII is in the early stages of development and George Lucas has already been working on it tangentially. He also says that he wants to pass the franchise on to the next generation. That said, any filmmaker – be it an Oscar winner or a first timer – would likely be equally scared and excited to do something only three people have ever done, direct a Star Wars film. (And don’t tell me about Ewok movies, people).
Fans can dream about people like Christopher Nolan, the Wachowskis or Steven Spielberg but, the truth of it is, they’re too established. This is a make or break job on the grandest scale and I’d assume someone with experience, but not a huge body of work, gets the nod. Think of where J.J. Abrams was when he did Star Trek.
For some more educated guesses and an ultimate filmmaker wish list, read Angie Han’s article 10 Filmmakers Who Should Direct the New ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy – And 5 Who Shouldn’t
What could this mean for the long in development Star Wars live action TV series?
Probably nothing. That series takes place between Episodes III and IV so they can’t use those supposed scripts for the new movies, and the fact that LucasFilm has a new home doesn’t change the main reason the show has yet to take place. The technology to cheaply make a Star Wars movie a week for television doesn’t exist yet. I’d imagine these are still on the books, but no closer to happening.