Rumor Patrol: 'Star Wars 7' Characters Based on EU; Michael Arndt Writing Episode 8

Star Wars 7 Characters Based on Expanded Universe

Star Wars: Episode 7 is a lot like Batman vs. Superman. Because there isn't much in the way of official information about the film, all manner of rumors and speculation have popped up and filled the void. Will Benedict Cumberbatch play a Sith? Will Judi Dench (Skyfall) play Mon Mothma? What about Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving - are they going to be in the film?

Everything's pretty tenuous at the moment and will likely stay that way until we hear some official announcements from Disney and Lucasfilm. In the meantime, today we have more Star Wars rumors to dissect - one having to do with the Episode 7 characters being based on those from the Expanded Universe, and another to do with Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) writing Episode 8.

These rumors come courtesy of The first one pertains to EU characters like Mara Jade (Luke Skywalker's wife), Jaina and Jacen Solo (Han and Leia's offspring), and Ben Skywalker (Luke's son) being used as inspiration for the characters in Episode 7. Check it out below:

Right now they're looking at using the basic descriptions of EU characters with different names. Luke's wife will follow the same template as Shira Brie/Mara Jade. Red hair, Green eyes, attitude etc.

The same with the kids of the big three. [...] Jaina will be the inspiration for the Solo daughter, Jacen for the Solo son and Ben for the Skywalker son.  Most of the new characters in the new continuity are based on characters from the old continuity. Fans should not expect to see Kyle Katarn, Corran Horn or Cilghal, but characters who are very much like them.

This can not be made clearer, the post [Return of the Jedi] EU launched in '91 is dead. No story from Outbound flight forward counts. That's why Bob Iger said they would use the 17,000 character for inspiration for new characters.  Shira Brie and Mara Jade are the templates for Luke's wife/Love interest.

So, if true, what does this all mean? That there will be a bunch characters that look and act just like EU characters, but will, for some reason, not have their names? What's the point of that, exactly?

Well, perhaps it's as simple as J.J. and company just not liking those names, or maybe the involvement of some of these EU-inspired characters will be minimal. (Placing a major focus on, for example, a Kyle Katarn clone could be a bit redundant, considering he was already sort of a Han Solo clone and Episode 7 will feature the real deal front and center.)

Michael Arndt Writing Star Wars Episode 8

We know from Leland Chee - manager of the Lucasfilm Story Group - that going forward, some of the EU will be in canon and some (probably much) will not. So perhaps there's some credibility to this story, or perhaps some Star Wars fan took advantage of that news and made up a rumor to go with it.

The second rumor, again, has to do with Michael Arndt. As you'll recall, Arndt wrote the story treatment for Episode 7 and was initially expected to write the whole script. Instead, J.J. Abrams and The Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan pulled scripting duties. According to StarWars7News, none of this means that Arndt was let go - rather, he's moved on to writing Episode 8 instead.

Their argument for why there's validity to this scoop is that Arndt, an Academy Award winner, has yet to move onto another project. That said, Arndt did write the script for Pixar's upcoming movie, Inside Out (2015), so it's very possible he's still doing work on that project.

As always, the veracity of these rumors should be completely suspect until we hear something concrete from director J.J. Abrams, one of the producers, or even just a Lucasfilm PR person. Having said that, what's your take, Screen Ranters? Do you want new characters to be based on those from the Expanded Universe? Would you like to see Michael Arndt write Episode 8? Drop us a line in the comments.


Star Wars: Episode 7 hits theaters December 18th, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.


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