Rumor Patrol: ‘Star Wars 7′ Characters Based on EU; Michael Arndt Writing Episode 8

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Star Wars 7 Characters Based on Expanded Universe Rumor Patrol: Star Wars 7 Characters Based on EU; Michael Arndt Writing Episode 8

Star Wars: Episode 7 is a lot like Batman vs. Superman. Because there isn’t much in the way of official information about the film, all manner of rumors and speculation have popped up and filled the void. Will Benedict Cumberbatch play a Sith? Will Judi Dench (Skyfall) play Mon Mothma? What about Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving – are they going to be in the film?

Everything’s pretty tenuous at the moment and will likely stay that way until we hear some official announcements from Disney and Lucasfilm. In the meantime, today we have more Star Wars rumors to dissect – one having to do with the Episode 7 characters being based on those from the Expanded Universe, and another to do with Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) writing Episode 8.

These rumors come courtesy of The first one pertains to EU characters like Mara Jade (Luke Skywalker’s wife), Jaina and Jacen Solo (Han and Leia’s offspring), and Ben Skywalker (Luke’s son) being used as inspiration for the characters in Episode 7. Check it out below:

Right now they’re looking at using the basic descriptions of EU characters with different names. Luke’s wife will follow the same template as Shira Brie/Mara Jade. Red hair, Green eyes, attitude etc.

The same with the kids of the big three. [...] Jaina will be the inspiration for the Solo daughter, Jacen for the Solo son and Ben for the Skywalker son.  Most of the new characters in the new continuity are based on characters from the old continuity. Fans should not expect to see Kyle Katarn, Corran Horn or Cilghal, but characters who are very much like them.

This can not be made clearer, the post [Return of the Jedi] EU launched in ’91 is dead. No story from Outbound flight forward counts. That’s why Bob Iger said they would use the 17,000 character for inspiration for new characters.  Shira Brie and Mara Jade are the templates for Luke’s wife/Love interest.

So, if true, what does this all mean? That there will be a bunch characters that look and act just like EU characters, but will, for some reason, not have their names? What’s the point of that, exactly?

Well, perhaps it’s as simple as J.J. and company just not liking those names, or maybe the involvement of some of these EU-inspired characters will be minimal. (Placing a major focus on, for example, a Kyle Katarn clone could be a bit redundant, considering he was already sort of a Han Solo clone and Episode 7 will feature the real deal front and center.)

Michael Arndt Writing Star Wars Episode 8 Rumor Patrol: Star Wars 7 Characters Based on EU; Michael Arndt Writing Episode 8

We know from Leland Chee – manager of the Lucasfilm Story Group – that going forward, some of the EU will be in canon and some (probably much) will not. So perhaps there’s some credibility to this story, or perhaps some Star Wars fan took advantage of that news and made up a rumor to go with it.

The second rumor, again, has to do with Michael Arndt. As you’ll recall, Arndt wrote the story treatment for Episode 7 and was initially expected to write the whole script. Instead, J.J. Abrams and The Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan pulled scripting duties. According to StarWars7News, none of this means that Arndt was let go – rather, he’s moved on to writing Episode 8 instead.

Their argument for why there’s validity to this scoop is that Arndt, an Academy Award winner, has yet to move onto another project. That said, Arndt did write the script for Pixar’s upcoming movie, Inside Out (2015), so it’s very possible he’s still doing work on that project.

As always, the veracity of these rumors should be completely suspect until we hear something concrete from director J.J. Abrams, one of the producers, or even just a Lucasfilm PR person. Having said that, what’s your take, Screen Ranters? Do you want new characters to be based on those from the Expanded Universe? Would you like to see Michael Arndt write Episode 8? Drop us a line in the comments.


Star Wars: Episode 7 hits theaters December 18th, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.


Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. Just use the same names, please. If you use the attributes, but not the names then you aren’t fooling anyone. If true, Disney is just choosing a different battle. (Not adapting everything exactly vs. loose adaptation with a different name.) Fan-boys are going to complain either way, so just use the names and incorporate them into the movie how you would like.

  2. Thanks for posting this SR! ;)

    One thing that is mentioned in the source article for all you Ranters is that at some point not long ago, Abrams met with Timothy Zahn (perhaps multiple times) in some sort of consultation manner. I have always felt that Lucas and company have treated Zahn’s trilogy with the most reverence of all the EU, and it appears this is continuing with Abrams and Disney.

    • No, Abrams most definitely did not consult with Tim Zahn. Lucas was not a fan of the Thrawn Trilogy. He was always more partial to the comics.

  3. wouldn’t Luke having a family be bad. Anikan tried that and looked how that turned out

    • It all depends on how he raised his family and it depends on the company his children keep. You can raise your kids right, but once they are adults, and even before then…they are influenced by peers/friends and different elements out there.

      • There was a dumb rule established in Episode 2 that Jedis can’t date, for some reason. If Luke has a wife and family, that needs to be addressed.

        • *waves hand* Prequels do not exist

    • See that’s not the message Lucas wanted to show, this is why I think the prequels weren’t executed well. The idea was that the Jedi had become flawed and irreparably corrupt; stealing babies at birth, brain washing, and so ineffective they never saw the Republic crumbling around them. The Sith were a necessary evil that was rising to purge the old order. Anakin was the chosen one in the sense he was to purge the galaxy of both the Sith AND the Jedi Orders, leaving behind Luke to start over. The problem is the prequels didn’t make this clear (and Lucas wrote this with much spite towards his ex wife Maria).

      • Um…no! Lucas wanted to show how good things become bad. You see that with Anakin becoming Darth Vader and the Republic turning into the Empire. Your take on the Jedi’s actions are just one opinion on the Order. And the fact that you think the Sith were a “necessary evil”, well…I don’t even know where to start with how wrong that is. The philosophy that the Force is based on would say that anyone adhering strictly to either yin or yang would be bad, which would exclude the idea that the Sith would ever be necessary. In Taoism, bad is bad and good is good. If the Sith were necessary it would be more like it’s OK to do evil things if good people are doing bad things too. Say what now? That’s Anakin’s justification to himself for doing what he does, but he’s just a wee bit evil so…

    • To some up what I’m saying, one of the flaws of the old order that Luke would have needed to mend is the “no love, no family rule”. In fact Lucas has said multiple times that the whole point of the prequels was the love was the most important emotion in the force, there was even originally a scene where force ghost Qui-Gon tells Yoda love is the emotion that allows him to live on as a spirit. Personally I think the conflict in the new trilogy will come from Luke trying to establish an order TOO MUCH like the old one.

  4. If they’re going to use EU characters, why not use the names as well. It would be smart for Disney because they can re-release all the EU under Disney now and they wouldn’t have to throw anything away.

    • Yeah especially Mara Jade!

  5. Forgive my ignorance, but what/who in the EU, is the picture at the top referencing? I love it! Kick-butt fan art!

  6. Jacen and Jan Solo, can’t remember the youngest kids name (Han and Leia Kids). Mara Jade and Ben Skywalker (Luke’s Wife and Son).

    • It’s Jana and Jacen Solo. Jacen goes on turning to the dark side as Darth Caudus and is killed by his twin sister. Anakin Solo was the youngest Solo child. It is an amazingly interestng storyline. Shame they are not using it for the movies

  7. Use the names too or come up with something new entirely. It’s pointless otherwise.

    • The youngest is Anakin Skywalker, named to honor their reformed grandfather.

  8. All the more reason NOT to see this new trilogy.

  9. The disrespect to the EU, the thing that got people to care about Star Wars again, it the main reason I will NEVER see this. This movie doesn’t exist and will NEVER exist to me.

  10. Gleeson more or less confirmed as Luke’s son, red-headed. He takes after his mother. Do the math.