‘Star Wars: Episode 7′ Release Date May Change; To Feature Female Protagonist?

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disney lucasfilm star wars 7 Star Wars: Episode 7 Release Date May Change; To Feature Female Protagonist?

The months immediately following Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm brought countless rumors about who’s directing Star Wars: Episode VII, with just about every fathomable choice (or fan-dream candidate) being mentioned at some point. Nonetheless, last week’s revelation that Star Trek rebooter J.J. Abrams is overseeing the seventh Star Wars live-action installment came as a surprise (either pleasant or unwelcome, depending on who you ask).

Disney/Lucasfilm previously announced a 2015 release date target for Episode VII, but insiders are claiming that could change now that Abrams is onboard. In related news: details on what heavily-rumored Star Wars director Matthew Vaughn – who was a legitimate contender for the job – had planned suggest the new trilogy may end up featuring a female protagonist.

Newly-appointed Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy confirmed Abrams as the Episode VII director a day after the news leaked, setting in motion the first wave of debates about the selection. Paramount released a statement around the same time, assuring that Abrams remains committed to producing – but not directing – both a followup to Star Trek Into Darkness and fifth Mission: Impossible (among other movie projects and TV pilots). However, that may delay Star Wars‘ return to theaters.

THR, in its report on Abrams’ confirmation, mentions the director isn’t committed to a 2015 release, meaning Episode VII may be pushed back “if the development process requires it.” Obviously, it’s too early to determine whether or not anything will come of that, but Abrams does have a track record of not rushing production in order to meet a planned deadline (as happened with the first two rebooted Star Trek installments). Similarly, Disney already has The Avengers 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 scheduled to arrive that year, which could figure into the final decision about when to unleash Episode VII on the viewing public.

JJ Abrams Star Wars Episode 7 Star Wars: Episode 7 Release Date May Change; To Feature Female Protagonist?

It’s worth noting that screenwriter Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Oblivion) is well into the scripting process on Episode VII, drawing from his own story treatment; not to mention, Luke Skywalker himself (Mark Hamill) revealed development on a new Star Wars trilogy has been ongoing since at least last summer. Moreover, rumors point to Disney modeling its Star Wars movie output after the Marvel Movie Universe, which means setting (and keeping) release dates planned far in advance. Still, if there’s anyone with enough clout to slow down Disney’s well-oiled machine, it’s a filmmaker like Abrams.

On a related note: Abrams boarding Episode VII has prompted speculation that we may be getting a proper female protagonist for the first time in Star Wars film franchise history; after all, this is the same man who gave us the Felicity, Alias and Fringe TV shows, while also upgrading Uhura’s presence in the Trek reboot. /Film dances around that topic in its own report on Abrams’ confirmation for Episode VII:

Our sources have been telling us for a while now that Steven Spielberg was really pushing Kennedy to hire Abrams. The story goes that Abrams was the first filmmaker approached after Spielberg, but was very hesitant. Kennedy talked to other directors including Ben Affleck and also Matthew Vaughn who may have pitched to have Chloë Grace Moretz in the lead role. Our sources say that Spielberg was instrumental in convincing Abrams and Kennedy to make it happen.

That Vaughn was pitching Chloë Grace Moretz (who’s returning as Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass 2 this summer) in the lead not only sounds like a cool idea, it also indicates that Arndt’s script features a female lead; or, rather, that an early draft did. Again, as mentioned before, Abrams seems the type who’d be willing to center the action around, say, either Han Solo and Leia Skywalker’s daughter or maybe even Luke’s offspring (assuming Episode VII continues to follow the Skywalker clan). In other words: there’s a reasonable chance that something will come of Vaughn’s proposal after all.

Chloe Moretz is Hit Girl in Kick Ass 2 Star Wars: Episode 7 Release Date May Change; To Feature Female Protagonist?

Who wants to see Hit-Girl play a Jedi in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’?

The decision to use a female protagonist for Episode VII also makes sense from a marketing standpoint. That is, Disney absorbing both Lucasfilm and Marvel (and maybe even Hasbro, if rumors are to believed) was partly motivated by a desire to expand the company’s appeal to the male demographic. Hence, making Star Wars more friendly to female geeks – in order to pull in more women, while also updating the franchise for the current zeitgeist – is a smart maneuver, since it’s a given the fanboys are going to show up no matter what.

Star Wars: Episode VII remains tentatively set for release in 2015. We will let you know if (when?) that changes.

Source: THR, /Film

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. No Chloe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Já não basta inventar de mudar a data de estréia de 2015 para 2016 ainda vai mudar o personagem principal de um homem para uma mulher só pode ser brincadeira,já tá virando bagunça esse j.j abrams é o pior.

  3. YES! Chloe is awesome put her in Star Wars!

    • Terrible!

  4. Why is a female lead so bad? If you read the “legacy of the force” series, you’ll understand that’s a great move.

    • because its stupid. Women in lead action roles is just dumb.

      • Joss? You are sexist.

  5. From the photo in this article, is J.J. Abrams subtly giving us “the finger”?!!?!

  6. I have been a Star Wars fan for years, but I actually wonder how Episode 7 will fair, knowing that the last Episode that was released was released many years ago. Will that huge gap in time kinda dampen the hype for Ep 7? And the younger kids these days don’t even know what Star Wars is too.

  7. So what this guy is saying is that this is speculation at this point? Meaning no done deal, no actual evidence and no confirmed plot, setting, or even characters? Then why are you guys so excited over a supposed female character being starred in a lead role? I myself wouldn’t mind if there was a lead female protagonist if it wasn’t star wars. Star Wars seems to have this style that the story on the form of a male lead protagonist taking center stage while the female protagonists took on a vital but supporting role in the film. I don’t know why but it just doesn’t seem right to me to have a female lead protagonist. I’m not sexist but I do know that there is a formula for Star Wars, and having a female protagonist would seem very close to destroying that formula (though I don’t think the prequels really did such a good job on keeping up with the Star Wars formula as they should have).

    • Claud, who are you kidding? You’re a sexist.

  8. The idea of a female protagonist for the Sequel Trilogy is a mistake any way you slice it. The Skywalker saga of Episodes I-VI has been a story of fathers and sons (just ask Ian McDiardmid) and as the new films are a continuation of this storyline, the best choice for the role of protagonist is a son for Luke Skywalker.

    This is not to say a great female role in the ensemble lead should’t be included (it always has been, after all) or even that a female protgonist in a Star Wars film shouldn’t happen. It should. Just definitively not in the ST.

    • Then perhaps it is time things were done differently. If they can have a George Lucas story being directed by J J Abrams, perhaps they can have a female-led story in a traditionally male story.

      Or, we can just side with you and live our lives in arrogance.

      • Nah, Patricia and Claud are right.

        Making fundamental changes to the continuity of a saga’s arc, just because its “time things were done differently” is maybe the most short-sighted thing I’ve heard from a Star Wars fan’s mouth (or keyboard) in a long, long time.

        Star Wars has never been a platform for social reform, and it shouldn’t be expected to be something it’s not. It’s a story of myth, told in film, which should pay heed, first and foremost, to the needs of the all-important story. As Episodes 7, 8 and 9 will be a direct continuation of the story of I-VI, it’s vital that certain themes and elements are carried forward in the narration.

        There’s no reason there cannot be a female lead character in any one of the many, many, many Star Wars movies to come in the future, but for very good, perfectly valid artistic reasons, I agree that Luke’s son should be the lead character in Episodes 7, 8 and 9.

        It’s not about being sexist, or being “arrogant,” or any other pejorative anyone wants to throw out there in an attempt to cast a negative light on an opinion which someone happens not to agree with.

        • If JJ uses any content from the books then 7,8,9 can’t be about Luke’s son because he’ll be too young. There’s about a 15 year age gap between Jain & Jacen Solo and Ben Skywalker. Please in the name of all that is Holy do not give us the Star Wars version of Harry Potter with a young hero. I’ve also had enough of hearing about the Skywalkers for a while so it’d be good to show the Solo characters some love.

          • Ben Skywalker was around 18-19 years old at the time the books left off.

            That puts him at exactly the same age as Luke and Leia in Episode IV and Anakin in Episode II.

            I’m not saying the novels will be adhered to (in fact, other than maybe using the names “Ben” and “Jaina” for the new heroes, I imagine that the novels probably won’t mean much in the story of the ST), I’m just pointing out that in the books, whereas Jaina is around 36 or so, Ben Skywalker is actually the perfect age to take up the new lead.

  9. I’ve done some more thinking and i would actually enjoy Mortez as a jedi apprentice under Skywalker i think (i’m getting a celebrity crush on her lol) I think Abrams would work well with her and she’d just be a great addition i wouldn’t want her to play anyone’s kid though i personally hope that they avoid that route for the story. I would like it if she plays Luke’s apprentice and they have the friendly mentor chemistry that Luke had with Obi-Wan but at the same time the challenging teacher and lesson relationship that Luke had with Yoda i would really like her to be in star wars

  10. I firmly believe that Ellen page would be first choice for jaina solo. Second being Jennifer Lawrence.

  11. Consider the age of of the original actors, Jaina isn’t a teenager any more, Chloë (age 16, 17 in 2015) would be better suited to play the schizophrenic Jedi Tahiri Veila.

    I’d much rather see Lacey Chabert play Jaina

  12. Quick apology – Tahiri is more dissociative than schizophrenic.

  13. Chloe Moretz would be perfect as the female lead

    • In a stand alone Jedi Acadamy story – yes! That would be totally sweet no argument but Harrison Ford is 70. Just a bit too much suspended disbelief for me to see 70 year old Han with a 16 year old daughter.
      They could make it about Han and Leia’s adopted grandchild Allana Solo (Chloe)being mentored by Luke, that could be very cool indeed but then Jaina would get relegated to a supporting character too.

      I fully support a female lead for Ep VII

  14. I would love to see Jaina as the main character!

  15. YES!!!!!!!!!! Chloe Moretz is perfect as Jedi in Star Wars! They must have her now! I can’t wait!

  16. WHY??!!!!! A female protagonist changes the entire concept of Star Wars! DON”T DO IT! The thought makes me lose my excitement about the new movies! YUK! I won’t go.

    • Connie,

      if you feel that strongly then don’t go…. but please know this… You are wrong. this is 2013 not the 1950’s.

  17. Mickey, I am your father???? really?

    JOKE x10

  18. if the main character is a female I wont be watching. I’m getting sick and tired of the trendy tough girl routine. Its not believable and action movies that feature a female lead usually suck.

    • I feel exactly how you do its stupid boring and regurgitating I hate that theme and can’t wait until it dies.

  19. No chole I hate kick ass thats the stupidest s*** and isn’t worth to even be related to star wars

  20. Anyone in here saying a female lead is a bad idea DID NOT read “Legacy of the Force” which is a “canon” continuation of the Star Wars story !

    *** spoiler

    Han and Leia have twins, a boy and a girl. The boy turns dark and is killed by his sister. It is an incredible story ! Go read it and then come in here and say it’s not a good idea….. NOT GONNA HAPPEN !

  21. Okay,I really like starwars is my favorite movie so I just wanna say that I’m waiting view the next movie.and knowing that Disney is making ths movie makes me so exited! I hope they could make a grate job by doing this beautiful movie. 😉 :

  22. Combine the NJO with Legacy series. Yuuzhan Vong invade, capture Jacen. Embrace of pain turns him dark. Jaina undergoes Fett training to get the edge on Jacen, kills him. Jaina as lead female is perfect in that scenario.

  23. NOOOOO!!! Chloe would ruin the whole movie!! I suggest they put in someone who isn’t so famous. And!! Just sayin’ that I don’t think female lead role is a good idea, because most movies these days has female leads and I am gettin’ kinda sick of the ”Oh look how freakin’ tough I am, even though I am a girl” thingy. I think male lead is great when it comes to Star Wars. Don’t take me wrong people, I am a girl and I LOVE Star Wars. I just think that they should have male lead, but maybe a female sidekick similar to Leia and Padmè.

  24. I think they should put Darth maul back but as a Jedi and is a badass with his lightsaber

  25. Just because she’s a bad ass doesn’t mean she would be a good jedi, it’s a really weird cameo that wouldn’t at all fit in with the Star Wars timeline as kickass was set in the present day and Star Wars is clearly set “a LONG time ago in a galaxy far far away”

  26. YES put Chloe in star wars!!!!!!