[Update: Other sites are claiming these rumors are “100% inaccurate.”]

The Star Wars franchise began more than thirty years ago in 1977, and it has managed to succeed beyond everyone’s wildest imaginations with two sequel films, a prequel trilogy, two animated series and countless comics, books and games. But despite an overabundance of material from which to choose, only the storyline found running through the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels series as well as the six live-action films is said to be truly canon.

This fact has created a conundrum of sorts as to how the upcoming new trilogy will fit into everything that has come before, seeing as how Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi ended with the destruction of the Galactic Empire and death of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine. With the Sith gone, the galaxy seemingly at peace and Han Solo and the Skywalkers happy at last, some believed there wasn’t really anywhere else to go with their storyline.

Well, some new rumors on MakingStarWars.net that come from individuals working at Pinewood Studios – where Star Wars: Episode VII has been filming – now call that very idea into question. Again, the source is hearsay from people in a unique position to know what’s going, but without access to the script, so take it all with a grain of salt.

Here’s what they had to say:

  • Those close to production have been calling the villains “Jedi Hunters.” They’re dressed in black and use lightsabers to hunt Jedi for the Empire. They also have foot soldiers that look like Storm Troopers but wear black and chrome uniforms.
  • Three of the Jedi Hunters will be played by Lupita Nyong’o, Adam Driver, and David Oyelowo. Nyong’o was even seen wearing yellow contact lenses.
  • The Jedi Hunters worship the Sith and have been tasked to insure their survival, which includes enacting plans to resurrect them in Episode VIII.
  • Jedi Hunters are the reason there’s still no New Republic. Luke Skywalker has been fighting to stop them for the last thirty years, but he is now in need of help.

[UPDATE: The Force.net, a well-known source for information on everything Star Wars-related, is offering its assurances that the above Episode VII details are “100 % inaccurate” and stresses that none of the sources behind the original story have actually read the script for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars film.]

We first heard about the possibility of a female villain and the absence of the New Republic just a week ago when it was speculated that Gwendoline Christie might be playing a female Sith while Nyong’o took on the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s granddaughter. This latest rumor that Nyong’o will instead be the villain makes more sense, however, since the original reports about newcomer Maisie Richardson-Sellers placed her as Kenobi’s granddaughter instead.

Then there’s the fact that these rumored Jedi Hunters sound a lot like The Inquisitor who has been “tasked by Darth Vader to hunt down the remaining Jedi Knights” in the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels.

Although Oyelowo was most recently attached as part of the voice cast for Star Wars: Rebels, he also auditioned for a role in Episode VII. So while it’s possible these latest rumors refer to Star Wars: Rebels rather than the films, it’s also just as likely that the storyline from the series might lead into the films. In that case, could Oyelowo potentially be in both projects?

Assuming these rumors are true, what do you think about the storyline and cast for the new trilogy, Screen Rant readers?

Star Wars: Episode VII opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015.

Source: MakingStarWars.net (via /Film)

Update Source: The Force.net