With so many casting rumors about Star Wars: Episode VII swirling about, it's difficult to decide which ones are bogus and which ones have (at the least) a nugget of truth in them. For example, co-writer/director J.J. Abrams recently confirmed that Jesse Plemons (Breaking Bad) is, in fact, an actor that he's met with for Episode VII, but he also indicated that reports of his soon-to-be-official involvement might be exaggerated - not that you should take everything Abrams says at face-value, of course (cough, Khan!, cough). Thank goodness, then, for Carrie Fisher.
It was Fisher who flat-out-announced her return in Episode VII some 10 months ago - before her agent hurriedly passed it off as a "joke" - and now the actress/script doctor has confirmed what we've all known for some time (despite the lack of an official announcement from Disney/Lucasfilm): that she and her Episode IV-VII costars Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill will be working on Abrams' Star Wars movie.
Here is the excerpt from the TV Guide report, where Fisher also reaffirms when, exactly, the trio expect to reunite for a new adventure in a galaxy far, far away:
As for the next Star Wars film, Fisher says she, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are expected to report to work in March or April. "I'd like to wear my old [cinnamon buns] hairstyle again — but with white hair," she says. "I think that would be funny."
Star Wars creator George Lucas revealed that Fisher, Ford and Hamill were in final talks for Episode VII near the same time that Fisher originally spoke out, so today's news is about as "surprising" as when Marvel finally confirmed Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen for Avengers: Age of Ultron. At this stage, the 57-year old Fisher and 62-year old Hamill have apparently spent more than 6 months dieting and working out for Episode VII, so no doubt they're as eager to move forward as everyone else is.
In recent weeks, claims have been circulating that Abrams and Episode VII co-writer Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) have retooled the original story in the script draft engineered by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3). According to sources close to the project (dispatched by THR), Arndt's version of Episode VII was more focused around the new generation of Skywalker and Solo offspring and kept Luke, Leia and Han more in the background as key supporting players.
If so, then it sounds as though Arndt intended for Episode VII to be to Episodes IV-VI what Legend of Korra is to the Last Airbender animated TV show - keeping the series continuity intact but also progressing the mythology and embracing the next generation of characters - an approach that Abrams didn't agree with, or so the unconfirmed reports indicate (read: take all this with a grain of salt). Abrams and Kasdan are said to have shifted the attention to the big three of Luke, Leia and Han instead - and infused Episode VII with a greater sense of nostalgia, in the process.
That's not to say that giving the original Star Wars cast more screen-time is a bad idea, per se, though it's a different approach than when Abrams transitioned from the Star Trek of old to new with his 2009 movie reboot; and thus, the final outcome may be less predictable, ranging in quality from a rejuvenation of the Star Wars brand that pleases a lot of people (thinks The Muppets model for success) to a project that earns a more lukewarm reception from longtime and new fans alike (think Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull).
Remember, though, none of these plot details are official yet, and for all we know Abrams could have something else in mind altogether for Episode VII; best that you not forget that, while discussing/debating his Star Wars movie in the comments section of this article.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015.
Source: TV Guide
Artwork by En-Taiho @deviantART