Only yesterday, many Star Wars fans had their world rocked when it was confirmed that the Expanded Universe would be rebooted to coexist with forthcoming trilogy of movies. As Lucasfilm embarks on this new era of the franchise, all future events and storylines will be overseen by a master “story group” that will be responsible for coordinating the Star Wars canon across all media into one cohesive timeline.
While a momentous decision, this doesn't imply every element of the EU has been discarded. In fact, the upcoming animated series, Star Wars Rebels, features more than a few story elements that first appeared in EU material. And though stories like Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy no longer factor into official canon (comprised of Episodes I-VI and Star Wars: The Clone Wars), many of the rumors that have been swirling around for months hint at characters and other story elements similar to those in the EU could serve as inspiration for the new Star Wars movies.
Still, with Episode VII's release roughly 18 months away, fans are understandably frustrated by the lack of official updates about the direction of the new Star Wars trilogy. This may change very soon, however, as a BIG Star Wars announcement is expected on, of all days, Star Wars Day - May 4th, 2014.
At the moment, the word of an official Star Wars announcement coming in eight days is pure rumor, but the timing sure sounds right. Disney Chairman Alan Horn only recently confirmed casting isn't quite done, but filming is already underway and the Episode VII script is finished. Knowing this, either a partial casting announcement or perhaps a release of Episode VII's most basic premise is surely right around the corner. Latching onto the widely celebrated nerd holiday, Star Wars Day, would be a smart move, especially considering Horn wants to see future Star Wars films move to a May release schedule.
If Lucasfilm is indeed planning to finally spill some details about Episode VII, then its announcement that the new Star Wars trilogy will be comprised of original material and not adapt the EU makes all the more sense. Before we're introduced to the new characters and ideas of the next chapter in the Star Wars saga, it needed to be made clear what is and isn't considered official Star Wars canon. (Guess this means the Star Wars Holiday Special is officially out, doesn't it?)
Obviously, we'll need to wait and see if any Star Wars news actually breaks on May 4th, but some are ruling out an announcement of Episode VII's title until this summer's San Diego Comic-Con. This is a strategy that has worked out well for Marvel in the past, having waited until Comic-Con to announce the Captain America sequel would be titled The Winter Soldier.
Does this mean Episode VII's title will hint as clearly at its plot and direction as The Winter Soldier's title? Well, with the EU no longer considered a part of the Star Wars saga, there really isn't a future for Episode VII's title to hint at. Though surely whenever a title is finally announced it will be analyzed to death seeking out some hint of what's to come.
What do you make of these rumors that a big Star Wars announcement is coming May 4th? It does seem about time Lucasfilm share something official about Episode VII - could a synopsis or partial cast announcement come soon? Let us know what you're thinking in the comments below!
Star Wars: Episode VII will release in theaters December 18, 2015.