Just a few days ago, we wrote about how “Breaking Bad” star Jesse Plemons is up for an undisclosed role in J.J. Abrams’ massively anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII. Apparently this announcement spurred on the folks at The Hollywood Reporter to do their own digging to see what they could come up with regarding the new movie, and while they confirm Plemons is auditioning for Abrams this week, they also uncovered a heck of a lot more information on top of that. Prepare thyself, you should.
Most importantly, THR’s piece confirms something we’ve been wondering ever since Michael Arndt was let go from the production: the storytelling direction of the new trilogy is dramatically changing. Ardnt reportedly wanted Episode VII to focus on the offspring of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, but Abrams wants Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher to be main characters in this entry, “so audiences could have one more chance to enjoy them before a fitting send-off.”
As much as I like Abrams as a filmmaker, I must admit: I’m with Ardnt on this one. The original cast already had their trilogy. Dragging them out to be the main characters in one last hurrah seems like exactly the kind of overly nostalgic crap that I was hoping this new trilogy would avoid. Want to include them in the new film? Cool. Sounds good. Want to have them be in the background, maybe giving advice to the new protagonists or something along those lines? Great. But making them front and center again, and waiting until Episode VIII until the younger players get their full time in the spotlight seems (on the surface) like a questionable decision.
It’s supposed to be a new trilogy, and if we’re following new characters throughout the second and third films, making them supporting characters in the first of three movies seems like it would diminish the audience’s emotional connection to them. But hey – I’m not in the writer’s room, and Kasdan wrote Empire and Raiders of the Lost Ark, so I guess we should at least wait to see what he and Abrams can cook up before passing full judgment.
Also in THR’s report is word that Michael Fassbender, “Girls” star Adam Driver, and Hugo Weaving are among the latest names to be linked to the production. While it hasn’t been revealed what roles Fassbender and Driver would play, Weaving apparently auditioned for – you guessed it – an Imperial commander. Sounds right up his alley. The latest rumor surrounding the film is that Abrams and Lucasfilm are searching for a 20-something mixed race actress to play either Obi-Wan Kenobi’s daughter or granddaughter.
I promise we won’t talk about every Star Wars rumor that comes across the web because I know it can get exhausting (especially considering how much things have changed in the past few months, and how a lot of that early speculation has now been rendered completely irrelevant). But we’ll periodically check back in with the rumor mill, and hopefully Abrams and Lucasfilm will go on the record one of these days and give us some official news to chew on.
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