Known for an (in)famously secretive approach to moviemaking, it should come as no surprise that very few concrete details for J.J. Abrams' upcoming Star Wars film - the yet to be subtitled Episode 7 - have hit the Internet. Set photos have provided a sneak peek at new alien creatures and a familiar locale but, even though Lucasfilm has unveiled the full cast, which was later supplemented with two more female characters, very little official information has been made available.
Producer Kathleen Kennedy has promised that the new Star Wars production will not be overly secretive, to the point that moviegoers might feel deceived by the filmmakers (see: Abrams and Star Trek Into Darkness); yet, she maintains that certain surprises will be held under lock and key until an appropriate time. As a result, we've been attempting to sift through all of the rumors and speculation surrounding the project - in an effort to find connections that might separate unsubstantiated claims from those that echo or support prior reports. Today, new (unofficial) details suggest that a fan-favorite race is going to make a fresh appearance in Episode 7 - a people with direct ties to iconic bounty hunter Boba Fett.
The new report comes courtesy of Latino Review, who claim to have carefully vetted this latest round of Star Wars: Episode 7 details. As regular readers know, Latino Review slips-up from time to time but they also possess a commendable track record for breaking major industry news. For that reason, it's worth taking the following details with a minor grain of salt but, as mentioned, the site's latest write-up contains intriguing connections to established (and future) Star Wars universe story arcs.
The report lays out two primary pieces of information and both bullet points jive with earlier write-ups:
- Star Wars: Episode 7 will feature a Sith Witch (or Witches).
- The Mandalorians will also appear - possibly as a group of mercenaries that pursue the Jedi.
Unfortunately, the post is short on context for either the rumored Sith Witch or Mandalorians - so we are left to speculate as to how the characters would fit into the Star Wars: Episode 7 storyline.
In the case of the Sith Witch (or plural Witches), anyone who has followed The Clone Wars TV series will probably assume that Abrams is planning a big screen appearance from the Nightsisters of Dathomir. In canon, Dathomir was the home world of two especially infamous Sith Lords - Darth Maul (apprentice to Darth Sidious in Episode 1) and Asajj Ventress (apprentice to Count Dooku in The Clone Wars). While the Nightsisters aren't the only Star Wars culture that would fit the "Sith Witch" label, earlier reports have suggested that Lupita Nyong'o may be playing an alien villain in Episode 7 - so it wouldn't be a major stretch to think that the writers intend to play-off of established canon storylines and that her character could be a new member of the Nightsisters who has expanded her powers by embracing the Dark Side.
As for the second detail, though some Star Wars viewers might not know the Mandalorians by name, even the least informed moviegoing fans will recognize their iconic armor - which serve as the foundation for both the Boba Fett and Jango Fett character designs.
The civilization has shifted its allegiances over the years - meaning that we cannot be sure that the Mandalorians, assuming they are featured in Episode 7, will be antagonists. During the Imperial occupation of their home world, many Mandalorians turned to bounty hunting - as guns for hire the characters could be situated on either side of the Episode 7 conflict. After all, female Mandalorian, Sabine Wren (voiced by Tiya Sircar) will play a major hero role in the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels animated series.
Nevertheless, it's very possible that Mandalorian characters could make up the rumored "Jedi Hunters" (even if they aren't called Jedi Hunters explicitly) - which, according to certain reports, will be chasing the Episode 7 heroes around that galaxy far, far away. With such a rich history to draw from (in live action and animation) - it's likely that Lucasfilm intends to feature the characters across multiple mediums with interconnected storylines. If so, the Boba Fett spin-off movie, which predates the new trilogy in canon chronology, may provide some narrative backstory for the Mandalorian race - to help flesh out any respective Episode 7 characters.
The idea would fit with how Lucasfilm is expected to approach the movie spin-offs - which will act as solo adventures for iconic Star Wars franchise players while also sewing in new threads that can payoff in Episodes 7, 8, 9, and beyond. This isn't to say that the two films will be directly connected but, if Mandalorians are taking a prime spot in Episode 7, expect the filmmakers to seed in plenty of connective tissue. Existing Star Wars fans are chomping at the bit for a Boba Fett film but the character plays a relatively minor role in the live-action Star Wars series - for that reason, the studio may entice younger viewers (the ones who will buy the toys, t-shirts, and video games) by including familiar Episode 7 (8 and 9) elements into the spin-offs to drum up added interest.
Fans might be hesitant at the thought of Lucasfilm shoving in storylines that bind old characters to new stories but, from a studio business standpoint, the more filmmakers can connect their upcoming slate of movies (and animated series), the more tickets they can sell.
Disney has utilized the same strategy with their shared Marvel Cinematic Universe, there's no reason to think they won't test a similar approach with Star Wars and its spin-offs.
Star Wars: Episode 7 opens in theaters on December 18th, 2015. The first Star Wars spin-off (whatever it may be) is expected to reach theaters in 2016.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Star Wars, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.
Source: Latino Review