When Disney announced last fall that they had made the monumental acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise, they coupled the news with the exciting confirmation that the saga would continue with Star Wars: Episode VII in the summer of 2015. It wasn't long before J.J. Abrams, who spearheaded the return of the Star Trek franchise, was brought on board to direct the first installment of the trilogy.
Rumors then pointed towards the possibility that the film would be delayed to the fall, something unusual for Disney who have are crafting strict plan not unlike their other major acquisition in Marvel Studios, to blown out the franchise and build a Star Wars cinematic universe with annualized releases of spinoffs and core episode installments. The latest rumors point to a possible date for Episode 7 and a potential imminent announcement.
The first unsubstantiated rumor comes from Jedi News with a seemingly random "source," labeling their own scoop as a rumor. We're three levels deep into questionable territory with this one but the info is interesting, should Disney actually move the release date of Episode 7 away from the summer to capitalize on both it and the fall season (The Avengers 2 is their summer blockbuster already).
"A non live-action teaser trailer will be aired on 4th April 2014, the release date of Marvel Studios Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The teaser will be similar to the recent Star Wars Rebels trailer in style and will be the first official reveal of Episode VII's release date of 11th November 2015 (11/11/15)."
That post was taken down for a day or so but we recovered it via the wonders of Google caching (it appears to be back now). The rumored release date is 9 days before the final installment in The Hunger Games series, a film that would split audiences, which again puts its validity in question.
Another rumor from Ali Arikan, chief film critic of Dipnot TV, who put his credibility on the line by tweeting about an imminent Star Wars announcement. With the rumors frenzy hitting a boiling point, and Disney needing to start focusing on Thor: The Dark World promotion very soon, the timing of a major announcement should be very soon or far later - but the latter would allow for more months of out of control false reports.
So here's what I'm hearing about Episode VII. Casting and title announcements are imminent, possibly today or tomorrow. But that's not all.
— Ali Arikan (@aliarikan) October 8, 2013
I've heard word that there'll be an announcement trailer/teaser featuring Luke. Tweeting this so I look like Nikki Finke if/when it happens.
— Ali Arikan (@aliarikan) October 8, 2013
These tweets were four days ago and of course, nothing. That doesn't mean an announcement isn't coming, it means that everyone claiming to have inside knowledge has been wrong so far, or at least, not correct.
There's also the rumor yesterday about possible titles for Star Wars 7, working titles that don't seem to jive with the naming scheme of each trilogy opening installment so far and seem rather uninspired and generic. If anything, Disney could announce an official date and title for Episode 7 if they have yet to hammer down a deal with Harrison Ford. Although for fans, the best play would be to announce the return of him, alongside original trilogy co-stars Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill, coupled with info on the title and date.
With production beginning next year being a certainty, and a 2015 release being a must for the studio, it won't be long before we can put an end to the annoying headline-driven confusion and rumors. After all, the studio is also working on Star Wars spinoffs for 2016 and 2017 so there's a lot of work to be done and several rosters of characters that need to be cast. Abrams and co. are currently in the process of auditioning actors for Episode VII so let's hope they lock-down talent soon.
When do you expect Lucasfilm and Disney to make official Star Wars announcements?
Star Wars: Episode VII is tentatively slated to reach theaters by Summer 2015, though it could wind up delayed until the Winter Holiday Season.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.
Sources: Jedi NewsStar Wars: AMC Theaters to Show 27-Hour Skywalker Saga Marathon
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