‘Star Wars Episode VII’ Set 30 Years After ‘Return of The Jedi’

Published 9 months ago by , Updated March 19th, 2014 at 7:24 am,

Star Wars Episode VII fan Poster Star Wars Episode VII Set 30 Years After Return of The Jedi

Star Wars fans have been eager for some solid news to break up the never-ending rumors or casting choices that seem to have a fair number of people scratching their heads. For every discussion about how much of the story will be dedicated to re-visiting old characters, or what Expanded Universe material the filmmakers could be using for the sequel trilogy, there’s been just as much (if not more) curiosity about what the story will be about, what new characters we could see – and of course, how J.J. Abrams’ Episode VII fits into the overall timeline of the Star Wars saga.

As to that latter point, we now have answer for the chronology of Episode VII: it takes place 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

The Episode VII chronology was revealed by a source named Ben Fritz (via Twitter), reporting from an Disney earnings calls where Bob Iger reportedly dropped some Star Wars details:

Hardcore Star Wars fans are no doubt going to dissect that time setting for possible clues as to Episode VII‘s plot – and a likely starting point is once again going to be EU literature.

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NEXT: Episode VII Expanded Universe Speculation

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  1. $&%^ the expanded universe.

    I so hope they do not pull one single idea from that stale bucket of garbage.

    /soapbox

    • Some of it is garbage, but c’mon, I think you’re painting with an awfully broad brush there.

      • Agreed. SOME of the EU is garbage, but stuff like the Thrawn Trilogy is great.

      • I sure hope rogue squadron is still around 30 years later.. need me some wedge and tycho and winter, hands down best EU since Thrawn.. it feels like star wars should be.

    • Yes, totally agree. Glad the fans had something to enjoy between movies but I hope 7,8, and 9 are completely original stories

  2. Like people care about star wars! Its all childish

    • just most of the world, dumdum

  3. WTF is up with all the hate? Don’t comment if you don’t like it.

    • The site is called screen Rant, not Screen Asskiss.

      • screenasskiss.com has a nice ring to it…..hmmmmm.

  4. I hope they don’t turn this new trilogy into a “bug hunt”. Stick to Jedi vs Sith.

  5. While I enjoyed the killik trilogy, I don’t think having giant ant aliens is a good way to reintroduce the Star Wars universe to people. Something more grounded. I feel the same about the yuuzhan vong story line, even though those might be my favorite. Giant alien insects could be this generation’s gungans. The reason the original trilogy was so well accepted is because you didn’t have to suspend your disbelief too much (until ewoks lol). The force was the wildest thing but it wasn’t that crazy. I feel like they should take the same approach for these.

    All that being said, two more things. One, I hope they do use EU characters and try to keep the books as close to canon as possible since there are so many that are unified. It’s not like they don’t go together. For the most part the authors and publishers did a good job making them all go together and it would be a shame if you had to forget those stories to enjoy this movie.

    Two, I would totally go see a movie based on the killik storyline. I just don’t think it will succeed money wise or at popularizing the subject material again.

    • The vong ARE this generations gungans. I hated the entire storyline, from book 1 to book 297 or whatever. It was too long, too convoluted, and THEY KILLED CHEWIE! There was good stuff from the EU, before the vong at least, that can and should be used in the new movies, with the Solo and Skywalker children being the easiest to work into what ever story the decide to go with.

      • The comparisons to Gungans is ludicrous. I can understand not liking the Yuzzan Vong, but they could not be farther from the Gungans. And yes I realize that the comparison may be based on “dislike,” but they’re sooo different.

        Also, the New Jedi Order (i.e. Yuzzan Vong storyline) was published at the same time as the prequels. So it was kind of nice to have an offset. One product cute and kiddie, one dark and hardcore. I did not love the NJO, but it served a purpose, at least breaking new ground for Star Wars.

        • There’s no way there’s going to be Vong, but they will surely carry across some EU elements. Just most of it is scrapped, it isn’t how Lucas envisioned Luke’s life to play out following return of the ewoks.

  6. HAHA! It’s TPLA’s Master Nonymous in that first picture, very cool.

    I can’t wait to see this flick, after finishing TCW, I need more Star Wars.

  7. Talk about beating a dead horse. Here’s what we really know:

    1) The sequel trilogy will be based off of George Lucas’ story treatments.
    2) They will be original stories.
    3) The average movie-goer knows nothing about the EU. They don’t care about Thrawn, Jaina Solo, Mara Jade or anyone else. As a result, neither does Disney.

    So please people, for the love of all that’s holy, stop speculating about stupid, baseless rumors.

    • The average moviegoer also knows nothing about George Lucas’ old plans, or original stories that no one knows about, by definition.

      Moviegoers know the name ‘Star Wars’ and the original big three of Luke/Leia/Han are likely going to be in it. That is all the familiarity needed.

      Your reasoning does not hold up. Everyone likes a good film, and using the best characters makes the most sense. Also, official denials, especially from the likes of JJ Abrams, really mean nothing. They may very well be pulling EU characters. Mara Jade is very popular among fans, and there is no reason why she could be with larger audiences, too. Disney knows that.

      • *not be

      • I, my entire family, my fiancee, her family, her friends, all have watched the Original movies but don’t give a &*!# for this so called “expanded universe”.

        Stick to the movies and that’s it.

        • It reminds me of Mr. Pinkett’s reviews of the Star Wars prequels-he says something along the lines of “I don’t care if it’s told to us in a f***ing book! What matters is the movie.”.

      • Yes, they know nothing about Lucas’ plans, but I think you missed the point. What incentive does Lucas or Disney have in following the EU? None.

        And my reasoning isn’t faulty when you consider the facts. It is a fact that Lucas wrote the story treatments for the sequels and Lucas doesn’t really care about the EU.

        “I don’t read that stuff. I haven’t read any of the novels. I don’t know anything about that world. That’s a different world than my world.” George Lucas, Starlog Magazine, December 2005

        So, if the EU were in play, you’re telling me Lucas went back and read all about the EU before he started working with Michael Arndt? I guess it’s possible. But then again it’s possible that flight 370 was taken by aliens. In other words, it’s so unlikely that it’s not worth seriously discussing.

        • You do know Lucas is NOT writing this one, right? JJ is writing it with Larry Kasdan, and they are bound only to telling a good story, NOT sticking to any 30 year old treatment Lucas wrote. Disney wont care one way or the other, as long as it makes them money.

          • Gotta get your facts right. Lucas started working on the sequels over a year before Lucasfilm was sold to Disney. One of the sticking points of the sale was that Lucas insisted Disney use his story treatments. So these aren’t 30 year old treatments, the script that JJ and Larry wrote is based off Lucas’ story and Disney has already agreed to this.

            • Lucas wrote the outline for ALL the Star Wars movies over 30 years ago. The treatment he gave to Disney was based on it, as were all the prequels. I would say the best news in all of this rumor and speculation(cause that’s all it is, your claim to facts notwithstanding) is that JJ has deviated from that plan, moving things in a different direction than Lucas was planning.

              • Oh really? Then perhaps you can explain why Darth Vader wasn’t Luke’s father in the original draft of ESB or Leia not being Luke’s sister but an entirely different character that wouldn’t show up until Episode 7?

                And as for my “claim to facts”…

                http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-07/how-disney-bought-lucasfilm-and-its-plans-for-star-wars#p4

                There it is in black and white.

                With regard to JJ’s change of plans, you do realize that Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas hand-picked replacement to head Lucasfilm, is JJ’s boss and she has ultimate say? Lucas was brought in to discuss the changes (which uses the same story but focuses more heavily on the original characters) and he approved them.

                ::drops mic::

                • Seriously.
                  The original script of RotJ had a live Yoda and the ghost of Obi-Wan fighting Vader and the Emperor in a volcano throne room inside of the capital of the Sith: Abaddon.

                  All the claims of “Lucas planned this” are bogus. He’s always made it up as he’s gone along. That’s just what they’re saying to placate fanboys.

                • First off, from the article you linked, “As any serious aficionado knows, there were always supposed to be nine(movies).” & “Disney, not Lucasfilm, would have final say over any future movies.” They will use a light hand, like with Pixar, but would still be in charge. Second, the treatments discussed in said article are not dated, but are most likely new. The thing is, Lucas changes his story about the origins and outline for future SW movies every year. You can go with this years story if you want, but I’ll stick with what he said before.

                  • You’re totally contradicting yourself. First you say that Lucas had the whole thing planned out and then you say that he changes his story all the time. Which is it?

                    And yes, the treatments are new. If you look up, I said that Lucas had started working on them a year before the sale.

                    You could just say “thanks, I didn’t know that” and just move on instead of continuing to pretend you know what you’re talking about.

    • Fans love speculating. I have years of traffic numbers that prove it. It’s probably more fun than what we’ll ultimately get. You should tell us what YOU want to see, Bif1138. If that is even your real name.

      • “You should tell us what YOU want to see, Bif1138.”

        I can do you one better and tell you what we will see…

        Lucas once said that the sequel trilogy would be about “moral choices and the wisdom needed to distinguish right from wrong, justice, confrontation, and passing on what you have learned.”

        Once the Empire was defeated, you’d have a serious power vacuum. Former Separatist worlds won’t be quick to join the Republic 2.0, the neutral systems will be happy to go back to being neutral and those systems loyal to the Empire will resist a new government attempting to assert their authority. Squabbles and disagreements over a whole host of issues could easily bring about conflict, so there’s your confrontation.

        The final Clone Wars story arc is another huge clue. Dave Filoni talked about how Lucas said that the Yoda in ESB was different from the Yoda in the prequels because he had seen where the Jedi went wrong. They became soldiers instead of peace keepers, hence his line “Wars not make one great.” Luke will have to pass on what he’s learned. When is it time to fight and when do you negotiate? How do you tell right from wrong?

        So the conflict won’t necessarily be so black and white in this trilogy. Ironically, this will be very relevant to what’s going on in the world today with situations like Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.

        • Lol, you have just described the core elements of every EU Book, you hypocritical scoundrel. You are requesting of us to stop speculating when it is you committing to such objectives as well.

          • I don’t know which books you’ve been reading. Can you name a specific EU story where the Jedi were legitimately acting as peacekeepers and not fighting on behalf of the New Republic?

            • The entire Jedi Apprentice series, for starters.

              • Well that just kind of proves my point since that series takes place before the Jedi decide to become generals and lead a war.

    • 1) Valid Point
      2) I could see this as partially true from what we’ve read. The line where original story and EU plots could be blurred
      3) True, the average movie-goer know nothing about the EU or its characters, but that shouldn’t matter to these viewers. Regardless of whatever the story ends up being, it will be new to these average viewers. A completely original story versus an EU story won’t matter to them because they can’t tell the difference. They basically take what they get. As long as there is at least one large enough group that will expect something familiar (original trilogy for average viewers and EU for hard-core nerds), then there’s no reason why Disney can’t address them both.

      • “A completely original story versus an EU story won’t matter to them because they can’t tell the difference.”

        Bingo. That’s the point that seems to be missed when people keep saying “no one cares about the EU.” No, they don’t, but that means that they don’t care either way and it will not be bad for good EU characters to be used in the films.

    • Didn’t Disney recently announce that all canon outside of what they are now controlling inside is null and void?

      I think that’s why the dark horse EU license was cancelled.

      I read some comment from a Dark Horse insider that said while they were sad to see it end, they were also relieved, as they would not have wanted to continue under the narrow remit Disney are to dictate.

  8. Yeah, I’m ready for some real news. They only confirm things we already know.

  9. As a kid, I loved a lot of the EU stories (Stackpole and Allston’s X-Wing series still holds tremendous nostalgia for me), but, looking back, there are precious few of those stories that would be worthy of cinematic adaptation. Give us an original story, written solely for the big screen, without being fettered by the vast and often ridiculous EU.

    One of the many failings of the prequels (particularly II and III) was that they sacrificed a truly coherent narrative for the sake of allowing room for in-between TV shows, novels, comics and games to take place. Too much was glossed over in the films only to be filled out in subsequent, second-rate material. Let’s not go down that dark path again.

    Give us something original, coherent and mind-blowingly awesome. Send our old heroes off with all the glory they deserve, give us new heroes that we can cheer on and a new journey that will resonate with us.

  10. I am a hardcore Star Wars fan, and although I haven’t read all of the EU books and such, I will say without hesitation that aside from The Empire Strikes Back and maybe a few other fleeting moments, the best of Star Wars (best stories, best characters) has been in the Expanded Universe. Not all of it is good, of course, but nobody is talking about that stuff anyway.

    What they should do, and what I kind of expect, is that they will approach Star Wars like the Marvel adaptions – taking the best characters and story arcs and combining them in new ways. I certainly do not expect a straight adaption of Heir to the Empire or Vector Prime (books) but I would not be surprised at all if characters and bits of plot from those sources is used.

    Personally, I would much rather see Thrawn or the Yuzzan Vong (or even a weird Dark Jedi than another Sith). Star Wars is so much richer than just Sith villains.

    I guess that I am just always so surprised to see negativity directed at the EU material. I never expected to see that; to me, the EU is at its best the beacon of hope for Star Wars.

    • One big difference between Marvel and Star Wars is that the spinoff movies will not tie in to the main saga. Given that they have an entire galaxy to play in, I see this as a very good thing.

      • Yeah, the spinoffs should be separate for Star Wars.

  11. I read everything up to and including the Yuuzhon Vong war and stopped after that. But there was a literary gap between 20-25 years after ROTJ that Lucas said nothing could be written in. So all the pre-Vong books end 20 years after ROTJ and then the Vong war kicked off at 25 years and lasted 2 or 3.
    So if this story is 30 years after ROTJ then canonical continuity is out the window because that Vong world screwed up A LOT in that galaxy and killed a lot of old (and new) characters.

    So basically, the EU is out the window as far as Disney is concerned. I got no problem with that. But if they throw some fanboy cameos from the EU (Mara Jade, Black Sun, Rogue Squadron or even some of the new Jedi) that’d be cool.

  12. im sorry but agent smith would be a better thrawn than cumberbatch

  13. 30 years puts it around the end of the Yuuzzhen Vong invasion. The Dark Nest Crises takes place 35 years after the Return of The Jedi.

    • According to Wookieepedia:

      Return of the Jedi takes place in 4 ABY: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/4_ABY

      The Dark Nest Trilogy Begins in 35 ABY: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_Nest_Trilogy

      So 31 years, if we’re getting technical.

      • I was basing it off the timeline in the books, which, unlike wookieepedia, is official.

        • If you have enough of those books, you should know they alter that “official” timeline pretty often. Wookieepedia does a much better job of being consistent.

          As of now, the DNC is 35 ABY though.

  14. But you know what the main stumbling block is in the idea that Lucasfilm will use anything from the EU?? Lucasfilm (and George Lucas by extension, who has been keeping an “advisory role” in this from the beginning) don’t give a toss about the EU and/or their audience’s stake in the franchise.

    They’re frequently editing or reordering it so that it fits with whatever twisted plans they have in the pipeline, completely ignoring cries from millions of fans.

    So I wholly expect that this new trilogy will be completely separate to the current EU and those EU elements that no longer fit will disappear completely.

    (I’m still upset about the Republic/Imperial Commando series…)

    • If LucasFilm didn’t give a toss about the EU, then how come the capital world of the Republic is called ‘Coruscant’ as conceived by the Expanded Universe.

      • If they did care, why did they ignore Boba Fett’s EU backstory? Why did they change Korriban to Moraband? Why did they change the look of Darth Bane? Heck, why did Lucas change the pronunciation of Coruscant?

      • …and why did they change the persona of the entire Mandalorian planet and culture in the Clone Wars tv series despite it having been developed to the contrary in other EU media years before?

  15. I think that it’s a little arrogant for any of the writers of this movie to think that they’re better than every single writer that has ever took part in building the Expanded Universe.

    The EU suffers from Too Many Cooks as a whole, but there are plenty of individual stories that are well written and feature plots and characters far more similar in tone to the Original Trilogy than the Prequel filsm, for example.

    I think the absolute best thing to do, from a writer’s standpoint, is cherry pick here and there. Take what works, leave out what doesn’t. If I was the screenwriter, I’d take Jaina Solo (perhaps changing her name so it isn’t so 90s, but leaving the character mostly in tact) while dropping both of her brothers. Jacen’s fall to the dark side completely undermines the original trilogy and Anakin dies before he does anything useful, but Jaina is a fan favorite character for a reason.

    Disney is unlikely to make a female character the main character of the franchise, but I honestly think Jaina, or someone Jaina-like, would make a fantastic character to build the new trilogy around. If for no reason other than it prevents the main character from being Luke Skywalker 2.0, which is surely what his son will become.

  16. Aside from VII, and speaking on the EU I’d love to see a Bane movie as one of the spinoffs they have expressed interest in doing. That story was really solid and I think it would adapt well into film.

  17. Some of that Expanded Universe stuff is so entrenched in the collective minds of the hardcore; that if they don’t follow a small part of that in EPISODE VII, it’s going to upset a lot of people. And for good reason. At the VERY least, Han and Leia should be maried with kids. Luke should be married to Mara Jade. I see no reason why that can’t be included in the new movies.

  18. To hell with the EU. The Expanded Universe books are glorified fan fiction. So you can see how I feel about that.

    • Well, I would add to that that the prequel films are like fan fiction written by someone who isn’t even a fan.

  19. The Expanded Universe kept me sane while the Star Wars prequels were ruining the franchise with each installment. I’m not a fan of everything that happened (Chewie being crushed by a Moon, Jacen turning to the darkside) but at least they were more entertaining and well written, planned and thought out than any cinematic Star Wars story we got from 1999-2003. I say bring it on, Kofi is absolutely right because the amount of stories, characters and concept they could mine from should make a great trilogy/continuation of the Star Wars franchise. I don’t care or worry about what movie audiences do or don’t know and neither should J.J. Abrahms or Disney. Six years ago the average movie goer had no idea who Tony Stark was and now people love him. If they do their job correctly everyone, even the EU haters would/should come around to liking Jacen, Jaina & Ben (and hopefully Lowbacca, Tenel-Ka, Grand Admiral Thrawn and Em-Teedee).

    • I concur with your points, sir. The Tony Stark comparison is good.

  20. Killiks? … No Sith, No fun.

  21. for your own sanity do NOT expect anything from the books

  22. I find this news interesting especially the part with 3 young leads but I really don’t want anything from the EU I’ve read some of it and it just never interested me at all bottom line I am no fan of the Expanded Star Wars universe I just want to see them do something on their own with Star Wars I guess. Really looking forward to this.

  23. If the expanded universe is taken into account then this film should take place in the 6 year gap between the new Jedi order series and the dark nest trilogy, according to the timeline.

  24. I really just think it comes down to the aging of Ford, Hamill, and Fisher. It’d be hard to play them off as mid-30-somethings now.

  25. I vote for Joruus C’baoth and Thrawn….but as a last resort I would settle for the return of Dark Lord of the Sith, Jar Jar….how rude!

  26. The children of Han Solo/Leia Skywalker will be featured in Episode VII. That’s why JJ have been casting young cute actors.
    As for Thrawn, don’t hold your breath folks.

  27. Maybe they’re going for the How I Met Your Mother route. Mara Jade died and Luke’s telling her backstory to Ben. The description for the 3 kids when they sent out cast descriptions for auditions didn’t really fit in with Ben Skywalker and the twin Solos.

    • “Kids, the thing about your uncle Han was…” LOL. That’s a fun thought.

      But then does that make Callista the “Robin” of the story. LOLx2

  28. Geeks coming out the woodworks to post baseless rumors…This and CBM articles get the most comments.

    Anyway, 30 years sounds kinda right to match the age of the original 3 heroes. Hopefully they try to use updated sci-fi imagery.

  29. Lucasfilms and Disney already mentioned multiple times that the Ep 7 story will be completely original. They may get small bits and pieces from the EU.. but to create a saga based from EU story lines aint happening.

    • Very Interesting discussions. I remember watching the originals in the theaters, the first time around, and have read a lot but not all of the EU books. Some were very good, some not so good. I just want to see a well done, captivating story, that include appropriate elements from whatever sources. I think you can do a story with some EU elements and not have to bring in all EU elements and still have an original story. It would be odd to have major points contradicted. (No Solo children, no Mara Jade, etc)