Here's how this fits into the larger web of Episode VII story rumors - Note, while not confirmed, this could be a pretty accurate breakdown:
- The premise starts with a dark future 30 years after Return of the Jedi. Things have not been easy, as The Empire has not simply rolled over and died with the defeat of the Emperor. It's been a long haul fight for both sides, and the universe.
- The story starts with John Boyega as a stormtrooper (or stormtrooper type) who is shot down on over a desert planet (which may or may not be Tattooine). There he encounters Daisy Ridley's character, who helps heal and protect him, thereby starting his transition to the good side.
- After encountering a severed hand holding a lightsaber, Ridley and Boyega try to return it to Jedi forces. That quest ultimately leads them to Han Solo and Chewbacca, who recognize the lightsaber as Luke Skywalker's.
- With the kids in tow, Han and Chewy set off to find Luke, who has supposedly been missing since the events of Episode VI. Doing what we don't know.
- Lupita Nyong'o and Adam Driver could be "Jedi Hunters" who catch scent of the hunt for Luke.
- Gwendoline Christie, therefore, is the commanding officer of Boyega's character, who wants him tracked down for desertion.
- Ridley and Boyega's characters are rumored to learn of their own force powers after encountering Luke in act two; if this new rumor is true, Christie's character could reveal her own hidden nature as a Sith Lord somewhere in there, too.
We have NO idea if this is the real layout of the film; but I do know that I want to be. It's one of the better setups I've personally heard - and it's not a bastardization of the Star Wars expanded universe literature, which is even better. The idea of a war that has gone on longer and made the universe darker has obvious real-world parallels, and the notion of Luke Skywalker being this absent presence in the middle of it all (and quite possibly, the Jedi Order along with him) is especially intriguing.
It would be a geektastic ode to the intro of Obi-Wan in Episode IV if Abrams and Co. truly earn that moment when Skywalker finally does appear, removing his hood like he did at Jabba's place in Episode VI. We're talking goosebumps, people.
As stated at the beginning, we don't truly know anything. But this layout doesn't sound half as bad as it could have. For now, that can be enough.
Star Wars: Episode VII opens in U.S. theaters on December 18th, 2015.