Star Wars Bits: Luke Will Be Bearded In VII, New Rumors, James Earl Jones, Domhnall Gleeson, Gary Whitta And More

In today's edition of Star Wars bits, I round up all the latest Star Wars information including a confirmation from Mark Hamill that the bread he is sporting in the recent photos is a beard he grew for his appearance in Episode VII, a bunch of new Episode VII rumors which includes a possible female villain, we find out if James Earl Jones have an appearance or a voice appearance in the new film, the lengths JJ and crew are taking the preserve the secrecy of the production are revealed by Domhnall Gleeson and the Healer Twins, Disney Store responds to fan requests for Princess Leia merchandise, and a quick photo from screenwriter Gary Whitta who is currently busy in development on the first Star Wars spin-off film. All this and more, after the jump.

While appearing on stage at Star Wars Weekends 2014 at Walt Disney World Resort earlier today, Mark Hamill revealed that his current beard is for his appearance in Star Wars Episode VII. See the below tweet from InsideTheMagic:

Meanwhile, LatinoReview has published a new set of rumors they have heard about the new film that they claim "have solidified enough through different channels to be reportable":

  • The story features a female villain who might or might not (50% chance) be a... wait for it... wait for it... a Sith. Well we already have heard that Adam Driver is likely playing a villain role, so I'm not sure how this new rumor mixes with the previous stuff we've heard.
  • In the 30 years since Return of the Jedi, a New Republic has not been formed.
  • That armor similar to that we've seen on Boba-Fett "is around." I'm not sure exactly what that means. I know there was a fake photo someone created where they photoshopped Boba Fett's helmet into the background of one of the leaked TMZ set photos. But that photo has been confirmed fake. LR says that Boba Fett illl "probably not" appear in the film, theorizing that it could mean more Mandalorians or further Clone drama. I hope not. Lets move on.
  • And lastly that John Boyega isn't a Jedi or a Padawan in training at the start of this story. Instead he is "the one that has the story arc that brings him into Star Wars' greater universe". We've previously heard that Boyega is the main character of the new generation of characters in this film, so its very likely that we will follow him closely as he enters this new world.
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    We've previously talk you about musical sisters, Lika and Thea Shengelaia aka The Healer Twins (seen above), who claimed weeks ago that they were on the Abu Dhabi set of Star Wars Episode VII for four days. The twins have since spoken to Albawaba (found via SWU) about their experience on the set. Here is an excerpt:

    "We went to the Abu Dhabi desert two weeks ago, and Lika and I were given the same special costumes and make-up to wear. Apparently they had spent four months preparing the sets. It was quite exciting. We were outdoors in the middle of the desert, and there were two main actors there for shooting – John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. But we didn't have lines, just reaction shots. I can't talk about the nature of the scene though!" ... "He [JJ Abrams] was there, and he came to talk to Lika and I because he really liked what we were wearing. He asked us our names and said who he was – as if we hadn't guessed!"

    About the secrecy of the production, the twins revealed that "Even some of the assistant directors didn't even know the script. They just told us what to do." So not much can be learned here other than that John Boyega and Daisy Ridley were the two main actors performing in the Abu Dhabi desert planet marketplace set (although we could have already figured that out from the instagram videos of them riding camels to set).

    Domhnall Gleeson

    As for the secrecy behind the production, reports that Episode VII star Domhnall Gleeson "has had to keep the script for the highly-anticipated flick under lock and key, even from his legendary actor dad Brendan."


    And Variety caught up with Darth Vader voice actor James Earl Jones and asked if he might be returning to a galaxy far far away:

    "Oh no. I've got no illusions that I will or even hankerings to be in them, but I'm very proud to have been part of the original."

    While I don't think anyone expects James Earl Jones to return, there was always the possibility of some kind of voice over or Jedi ghost appearance. Jones says "perhaps" he will see Star Wars: Episode VII when its released and hopes they can "sustain the success" of the previous films.

    princess leia action figure

    Fans have been upset that there isn't any Princess Leia merchandise in Disney Stores and finally Disney consumer products has issued a statement to TIME:

    "The current assortment of Star Wars products at the Disney Store launched earlier this year, and is just the beginning of what is to come," Disney spokeswoman Margita Thompson told TIME. "We're excited to be rolling out new products in the coming months, including several items that will feature Princess Leia, one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars galaxy."

    Meanwhile, screenwriter Gary Whitta instagramed a photo of him and his agent outside LucasFilm where he is, as previously reported, hard at work on developing a Star Wars spin-off film with Dodzilla director Gareth Edwards.