There’s one Star Wars rumour in particular that seemed to be picking up a bit of credibility in the shadows, and The Hollywood Reporter have gone ahead, stuck their neck out and put their name to it.
The gossip says – and if THR have sources good enough to trust on this, I’m buying it – that one of JJ Abrams central missions in rewriting the script for Episode VII is to give Luke, Leia and Han bigger roles, making the film “a proper send off” for the characters.
Michael Arndt’s original focus for the screenplay was on a next generation of characters that included, as many have been expecting, the children of Luke, Leia and and Han. The same children as featured in the Expanded Universe? Well, that’s still a mystery but the very existence of The Story Group seems to suggest so.
It’s worth noting that, if Episode VII really does constitute a “send off,” then we shouldn’t expect Luke, Leia and Han to carry over to Episode VIII, let alone IX. So perhaps the shift in focus wasn’t motivated by Abrams, per se, but by a need to close out the story arcs of “The Big Three”? Did Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford set this particular agenda?
Also of note in the same story is the new list of names that JJ Abrams would like to meet or is otherwise considering for roles in the film. The list is getting long now, but you should also add Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving and Adam Driver.
Driver has been put in the frame for franchise shenanigans with both Star Wars and Superman-Batman. I wonder if he’s also been earmarked by Marvel?
As Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan continue their rewriting, several roles are being changed up considerably and a number of actors that might have been contention until now are no longer appropriate. Not only are the ages of the characters changing, but the very characteristics of their personalities too.
And new characters appear to have been added to, including a young woman, described as “mixed race or black” who may, apparently, be the daughter or granddaughter of Obi Wan Kenobi. Perhaps.
Things are hotting up again for Star Wars casting. Expect a lot more news in just the next week or so.