Taking a trip through the Star Wars Episode VII rumor mill is a lot like playing the slots or spinning the roulette wheel; it's all all chance. You're as liable to land on the truth as utter fabrications, and in fact less so. J.J. Abrams is, after all, nothing if not protective of his projects' innermost secrets, whether it's a Super 8 or a Star Trek Into Darkness. That we know so little about the story behind his contribution to Star Wars canon is pretty much par for the course.
But amidst swirling gossip storms regarding this, that, or the other detail, it seems that we've finally gotten our first honest glimpse into the inner workings of Star Wars Episode VII's heavily guarded plot. Given that there's no official synopsis for the film, the process of rumor mongering has started to feel akin to begging for table scraps, so any solid leads on the shape of Abrams' narrative are more than welcome. Whether or not the latest report on the direction of the film will end up bearing actual fruit is, of course, another question entirely.
That said, the newest tidbits about Star Wars Episode VII's premise come packaged with a plethora of assurances from the crew at Badass Digest; that's to say they sound more legit than anything else about the picture that's surfaced to date, and there's enough behind the scenes sourcing here to give them credibility. Ultimately, that still only leaves us with possibility, but if these rumors do indeed faithfully capture the film's set-up, then Star Wars Episode VII sounds like it's in good shape on paper.
For the spoiler averse, it may be in your best interest to stop here. The summary that follows is quite basic, but it gives away enough information to break purity on the film's story. For everyone else, well, read on to see what's going on in Abrams' far, far away galaxy...
Potential MILD SPOILERS for Episode VII Ahead.
...though be well warned that this reads like a modern echo of the plot to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Abrams opens on the iconic opening scrawl that defines all Star Wars films, and as that little introductory text rolls off screen, a severed hand, blithely floating through space, slowly moves into frame. But there's more to the macabre image: the hand happens to be clutching a lightsaber as it moseys along through the vacuum. The plot thickens.
Eventually, that hand finds its way into the possession of Daisey Ridley and John Boyega, the film's two young leads. Unsurprisingly, the pair identify the lightsaber as one of the instruments of the Jedi's trade, and so they take it on themselves to bring the object back to its rightful owner; their mission to do the right thing puts them square in the path of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who immediately note that the weapon in question belongs to none other than Luke Skywalker. With all of these pieces in place, Star Wars Episode VII turns into a quest to find Luke, as it turns out that he went AWOL after the events of Return of the Jedi, and neither Han nor Chewie has seen the master Jedi since.
There's more going on in the margins here, too: the desert planet Ridley and Boyega begin their journey on might not be Tatooine after all. Meanwhile, Boyega - if all of this is true - does indeed begin the film as a Stormtrooper before switching over to play ball with the good guys. And all the while, as our heroes try to uncover Luke's whereabouts, villainous forces gather in the background (on an icy planet that may not be Hoth), upping the Death Star ante by devising a weapon that can destroy entire solar systems.
We're talking fairly boilerplate stuff here - there's a lot of in-depth stuff that the source articles don't go into - but it's by far a stronger foundation for Star Wars Episode VII than we've see thus far, even if it raises more questions than it can hope to answer. Was the empire really defeated in Return of the Jedi? Is that Luke's hand we see in the first few moments of the film? If Boyega is playing a Stormtrooper, does that mean he won't transition to the Jedi discipline? Where in the universe are he and Ridley hanging out, if not Tatooine? There's also the matter of using A New Hope as inspiration for the new film; it's a touch derivative, but at the same time it gives the story clear momentum.
What say you, Screen Ranters? Does this sound like a good start for Star Wars Episode VII?
Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters on December 18th, 2015.