It’s an exciting time to be a Star Wars fan. Not only is J.J. Abrams bringing the core saga back later this year with The Force Awakens, but audiences will also be treated to standalone spinoff films that will be released between the new episodes of the sequel trilogy. Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) is calling the shots on the first of these projects, and his movie has been in the news a lot recently, as casting and plot rumors have come about in the last week.

Today brings about more rumors, as there are new reports that don’t just pertain to the first spinoff, but Force Awakens as well. Apparently, when we go on our return journeys to the galaxy far, far away, we’ll be spending some quality time with the Hutts, the alien race best known for being crime lords on Tatooine.

Word of this development comes to us courtesy of Latino Review, who indicate that there will be multiple Hutts appearing in Episode VII, and that those creatures were practically built. The idea is that Force Awakens and Edwards’ spinoff will share the Hutt models as a means of saving costs, which plays into the earlier belief that the two films would use the same resources (mainly thought to be spaceships and set interiors).

If it is true that the Hutts will be back on the big screen in December, it’s just another element of the film that will be open for plenty of fan theories. How they can be included should become an interesting debate. Certain shots in the Force Awakens teaser trailer seemed to show off the Tatooine landscape, but since we don’t officially know which locations we’ll see in the film, that could very well just be a similar desert planet. In their writeup, LR says that there was concept art showing Princess Leia meeting with the Hutts, but they are unsure of how the aliens will be incorporated into the final product.

Han Solo with Jabba the Hutt Star Wars Spinoff Rumors: Hutts Involved; Tatiana Maslany Cast

As for how the slimy slugs can be a part of the spinoff, that’s easier to see. We’ve long heard that bounty hunters will be the primary focus of the narrative, with the principal rumor being that a team of them are hired to steal the Death Star plans. Whether or not that’s still the case, the latest reports seemed to confirm the bounty hunter aspect, since Boba Fett and Han Solo are believed to be in the same film together. Anyone with knowledge of Star Wars lore knows about their connections to the Hutts, so it’s plausible that the two will have some kind of interaction with Jabba or his kin considering they are in the spinoff.

Speaking of who might be in the spinoff, we could have our first official cast member. Total Geeks is reporting that their sources say Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) has signed on for the lead role, beating out competition that included Felicity Jones, Rooney Mara, and Kate Mara. There are no details as to what the part might be, just that it is apparently the main character. Given that actual plot details are unknown, and a new writer recently came on board, that could mean several things.

Tatiana Maslany Orphan Black Season 2 Episode 1 Star Wars Spinoff Rumors: Hutts Involved; Tatiana Maslany Cast

The chief bit of evidence regarding Maslany’s casting is an EW piece covering the actress’ decision to drop out of an Off-Broadway play due to film scheduling conflicts. That play, titled The Way We Get By, is slated to premiere on April 28, which is around the time Edwards is hoping to start shooting his spinoff.

As we await official confirmation from Lucasfilm, we can fill in the blanks to say that all signs are pointing to the Golden Globe nominee becoming part of the Star Wars universe. Hopefully, as we inch closer to principal photography, this picture becomes clearer.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be in theaters December 18. The first Star Wars spinoff hits theaters December 16, 2016.

Sources: Latino Review, Total Geeks, EW

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