[WARNING: This post contains POSSIBLE SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Force Awakens]
In terms of Star Wars marketing, J.J. Abrams' fast-approaching Star Wars: The Force Awakens remains priority number one for Disney/Lucasfilm. However, behind-the-scenes, the studio is busy plotting and planning its upcoming slate of projects set in a galaxy far, far away, which includes the final two installments of the sequel trilogy.
Looper helmsman Rian Johnson will be the one to make Star Wars: Episode VIII, which is set for a May 2017 release. As the director makes his way through pre-production, casting is one of his chief tasks. For starters, it appears Benicio del Toro will be playing a new villain in the film, and the Oscar-winner won't be the only new main cast addition in Episode VIII.
GeekNation is reporting that Lucasfilm is looking to cast a "strong, young female character" who will serve as one of the main leads for Johnson's film. This character is so important that the director is even heavily involved in the process, though at this time there are no frontrunners for the mystery role.
Where things get a little more interesting is the identity of the character. Citing an "anonymous source," GeekNation is saying that the part is that of Han Solo's daughter. That's sure to raise more than a few eyebrows because ever since Daisy Ridley was cast to play Rey in The Force Awakens, the prevailing belief is that she is Han's daughter. But like most things about the Episode VII narrative, that's based on speculation for the time being.
It's still possible that Rey could be the offspring of Captain Solo; Abrams did admit that her last name is purposely being kept a secret for the film. But so far, there's been very little evidence to back that theory. In fact, multiple people allegedly close to the production have claimed that none of the new hero characters in The Force Awakens are a Skywalker or a Solo.
Some might argue that it would refreshing if that turned out to be the case. It could be perceived as low-hanging fruit to make some of the youngsters related to the returning original trilogy characters, and there's no rule that says the children of Luke, Han, or Leia (if there are any) have to be featured in the first installment of the sequel trilogy. Perhaps Rey is just an ordinary person tossed into an extraordinary situation she has little knowledge about, much like Luke and Han in the original movie. That's not to say it would be a disservice if Rey (or maybe Kylo Ren) ended up being connected to the old guard.
Still, if Rey's last name is that much of a spoiler (as Abrams has insinuated), the hypothesis that she is Han and Leia's daughter will continue to burn strong until officially proven otherwise. After all, this is a director who has a fickle history with keeping names a mystery (see: John Harrison).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the young Han Solo film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars standalone film in 2020.
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