Star Wars: Episode VII is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2015. Rumors surrounding the film’s plot and characters are practically an everyday occurrence, amusing some and annoying others. Personally, as thrilled as I am that we’re getting more movies, I’m not in an Episode VII state of mind (at least, not yet). My immediate focus is on Star Wars Rebels. Although I’ve been a fan of the franchise my entire life, Star Wars: The Clone Wars made me the fan who I am today, and I look forward to watching its successor this October. In the meantime, there will be plenty of Episode VII spoilers that will come and go. To join in the conversation and speculate with the rest of the community, here are some of the major rumors that caught my attention.
Han Solo as the Lead
I have to admit that I still harbor some worry when it comes to the sequel trilogy. I try to not build expectations surrounding the plot and its characters, but my desires often sneak their way in. Will I hate the movie if it doesn’t live up to my expectations? Of course not because it’s Star Wars and I’ll love it regardless. However, there may be some disappointment aimed at certain creative decisions. One of those decisions would be if the old trilogy cast had a more prominent role than the new characters.
In this particular rumor, Han Solo has an extensive role and claimed to be the “lead” of the film. Not only does the rumor disappoint me, but I also believe it goes against what was laid out in the previous films. First, I am an avid supporter of seeing less of the old trilogy cast, Han Solo more so. However, I understand Disney’s need to cash in on the nostalgia, but if the story surrounding the new cast is strong enough, cameos would suffice for this particular fan.
That said, since most of the conversation surrounding the film points to the old trilogy cast having more screen time, I believe the larger roles should fall on Leia and Luke–not Han Solo. Considering the many possibilities left in the dark concerning Leia’s character (will she become a Jedi?), she should have the main focus. Luke’s role should obviously have the most impact, since he is the gateway to learning the path of the Jedi. However, there are other rumors that involve Luke missing and the search dispatched to find him–a search that, if true, should be conducted by this new generation.
Han Solo played the role of the love interest and best friend. Despite his popularity in the fan community, I never saw him as a lead. For Han Solo to jump from a supporting role to a lead, in my opinion, is a result of Harrison Ford’s name and his status in Hollywood. Once again, this is my perspective on the matter. I am a Han Solo fangirl, but his role in Episode VII should remain in that supporting role as the potential father of a future Skywalker (regardless of the surname they take).
Boba Fett’s Stand-Alone Film
The allure behind Boba Fett is just as mysterious as the man behind the helmet. Some fans find him overrated and others can’t get enough. For a brand new generation of fans, however, he’s a character with untapped potential and possibilities prior to his death in Return of the Jedi. The last time we saw Boba Fett, he was a troubled young boy during the tumultuous days of the Clone Wars. His story would have continued in a story arc centered around bounty hunters in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the video game Star Wars 1313 before both were canceled.
If a Boba Fett stand-alone film is in the works, then I look forward to the story, as long as it’s written well. Most of his upbringing has been relegated to the Star Wars Legends brand, opening up a whole new realm of possibilities when it comes to establishing his background as a bounty hunter. Lucasfilm is constantly reusing material. Perhaps, we’ll see those Clone Wars stories or game content incorporated into the rumored film.
“But why him?” Some have asked. Why does this minor character get a film all to himself, if the rumors are true? Personally, I love Boba Fett because of his armor and the tactic he used in following Han Solo during The Empire Strikes Back. Although he hardly made an appearance in the movies, the mystery surrounding him made him an intriguing character for me. Would I like that mystery to be unveiled and find out what’s under the helmet? Yes, very much so. I’m the type if fan who wants to know every detail about that character and how they came to be. The same desire to discover more about him is the same want I have to know what happened to Ahsoka Tano and where did she go as well as what did she do following her decision to leave the Jedi Order. I want to know these things, and Boba Fett’s background is definitely included.
That said, as much as I love Boba Fett, I would much prefer a Leia Organa film. If we’re going back to the time of the rebels and setting the stage for the sequel trilogy, then a stand-alone film focusing on Leia and her role in the Rebel Alliance would make an equally interesting movie.
Mandalorians and the Witches of Dathomir
Both Mandalorians and the Witches of Dathomir had their canon debut in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. If any of these characters are included in the film for whatever reason, I hope the writers and the Lucasfilm Story Group tap into those established stories as well as the scripts that remain untold following the cancellation of the series.
Let’s first start off with the Mandalorians. In The Clone Wars series, we leave Mandalore in the hands of Prime Minister Almec after Darth Maul took over following his deadly duel with Pre Vizsla, leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch. After the series premiered in Netflix, Dave Filoni released a set of sketches from untold stories, and in those drawings, we find Ahsoka Tano and Bo-Katan working together and consulting with the Jedi Order. Seeing Bo-Katan involved, we immediately have to assume that the matter revolves around Mandalore. Simply put, Bo-Katan would not concern herself in other petty matters from across the galaxy; her main focus would be on Mandalore and Mandalore alone. If I recall correctly, Pete Morrison of Rebels Report had once mentioned that the Mandalorians would one day return to the warriors previously seen in the Expanded Universe (now know as Star Wars Legends) based on a conversation with Leland Chee.
Now, all of that could have changed, but assuming that’s the trajectory the Mandalorians would have taken, we could see True Mandalorians, as Pre Vizsla once strove to achieve, in the future and not the New (pacifist) Mandalorians that we saw in the series under the rule of Duchess Satine Kryze. What does all this have to do with Episode VII? I honestly don’t know if Mandalorians will be involved in some way, but if they do make an appearance, I hope we see Mandalorians as the warriors seen in Legends, who eventually evolved from what was established in the animated series.
As for the Witches of Dathomir, unlike Mandalorians, I find it extremely difficult to believe that these characters are in the film. In The Clone Wars, we witness the massacre of Mother Talzin’s tribe, which Asajj Ventress was fortunate to escape. I’m sure there are other sects and groups, and with time, the Witches grow in numbers once more, but so much has been left unanswered concerning the Witches of Dathomir that incorporating them into another story seems out of place for me.
One thing is certain and that is that both groups share a single connection: Darth Maul. Although only two issues of the Son of Dathomir comic book series have been released, we know that Darth Maul will survive based on the concept sketches for season seven that Dave Filoni had released. I’m not saying that Darth Maul will be in the film, but his unknown fate could possibly lead him back to the big screen one day.
John Boyega’s Character
Besides the plot, the role for each actor will also be the most talked about and speculated aspect in Episode VII. John Boyega’s character is rumored to be an Imperial Stormtrooper who gets shot down over Tatooine and finds himself under the care of Daisy Ridley’s character. The first thing I think about when it comes to stormtroopers is the height requirement. Humorously speaking, isn’t John Boyega a little short for a stormtrooper? He seems to be a few inches below the requirement.
On a more serious note, I am intrigued by the idea of a possible lead character being a stormtrooper. Unlike clone troopers, stormtroopers are volunteers and individuals who enlisted to support the Imperial cause. Are they blindly following and falling for the propaganda or do these soldiers carry malicious intent? Where does Boyega’s character fall in the spectrum?
Seeing Boyega as a stormtrooper is a wonderful twist, in my opinion. As far as we know, he’s not a Jedi, Sith or bounty hunter, the three categories most people would resort to. He’s a servant of the Empire, trying to make his way in the universe. Of course, it should be stated once more that this is a rumor–and one that I hope has a basis in truth.
Gwendoline Christie as a Silver Stormtrooper
Honestly, when I read “silver stormtrooper,” I immediately thought basic description for a Mandalorian in gray armor. Female Imperial officers are a rare sight, most of which only exist in Legends now. A female Mandalorian bounty hunter in gray armor? Now that makes more sense to me. With Christie’s physique and ability to become an imposing character, she could very well be a Bo-Katan for the sequel trilogy. She also fits the New Mandalorian look and the True Mandalorian tough exterior from Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Going back to the original description, she could, in fact, be a stormtrooper. Despite the lack of females from the past films to support that, she could be our first female in the Imperial ranks. Also, as we have seen in some promotional images for Star Wars Rebels, the Inquisitor also wears armor and carries a shield. (A shield that I believe to be made of Zillo Beast hide because Palpatine was obsessed with that thing, remember?) Based on a past rumor from Making Star Wars, perhaps Christie is a “Jedi Hunter” in silver (dull gray) armor. Whatever part she plays, I’m sure her performance will be captivating.
There is one rendition of Lupita Nyong’o as Asajj Ventress floating around, and although it’s a beautiful piece of art, it frustrates me beyond belief. First, it would bother me (and many others seeking diversity in the films–and media in general) to see Lupita Nyong’o covered up in makeup and transformed into an alien. Our one chance to visibly see a woman of color in a Star Wars film and she’s an alien in white makeup? That would be highly disappointing and a wasted opportunity.
Second, fans continue to depict Asajj Ventress as a villain, which demonstrates the lack of knowledge beyond the films. Despite appearing in thirteen episodes, Ventress was one of the few secondary characters who underwent a brilliant character arc. By season five, she was calling her own shots and defining her own life. The hate and anger that once fueled her had dwindled. For her to fall back on old ways for the purpose of being the movie’s villain is a disservice to the character and the fans who have watched her develop throughout the series.
I highly doubt Ventress is in Episode VII and there seems to be a general consensus in the community that Nyong’o is not playing Ventress. It was an interesting thought at the time, but there are so many possibilities with the story that I hope the writers are thinking outside the box and bringing us fresh material with brand new characters. Additionally, Jason Ward of Making Star Wars found an interesting tidbit over at the new Star Wars Databank, “Ventress fought with twin red-bladed lightsabers, and clashed with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker many times. But her destiny would not lie with the Sith…”
It appears everyone has been cast for Star Wars: Episode VII as of late. Whether it’s John Boyega’s father or Carrie Fisher’s daughter (Billy Lourd), rumors of additional castings keep popping up. Lourd, in particular, may appear as young Princess Leia in a flashback. Some fans are completely opposed to the idea of seeing flashbacks in the sequel film, but if done properly, the tool may add some depth to the story. The prequel films had glances into the future, specifically when Anakin Skywalker saw Padmé’s death. The premonitions helped fuel Anakin’s drive to find a way to save Padmé’s life, but like a self-fulfilling prophecy, he brought about his own downfall.
The flashbacks may not serve the same purpose, but adding background to events taking place 30 years after Return of the Jedi may enhance the story. On the other hand, they may not. A&E’s Longmire (which also stars the voice of Bo-Katan, Katee Sackhoff) contained a good use of flashbacks for the main character, Walt Longmire. The occasional flashback enticed viewers with the mystery surrounding the scars on his back and his wife’s murder. Personally, I have no problem with flashbacks just as long as they are used sparingly and they serve the purpose of the story.