With the Star Wars: Episode 7 rumor mill beginning to heat up again, many of you are probably wondering, as I am, how accurate the new information actually is. According to the author of the article highlighted below, it’s a rather mixed bag. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD…
Well, the past 24 hours have seen a sudden surge in new rumors about Episode 7. As fun and exciting as this has been, it’s not a bad idea to remember that we are still at a relatively early point in production, and that many of the rumors we’re hearing may very likely turn out to be considerably less accurate than they may currently appear to be.
Billy Donnelly at This Is Infamous has posted a rather extensive look at the latest batch of Episode 7 rumors. While I think it wise to take his information with the same wary skepticism as we would any other rumor source, Billy touches on some points that I have also wondered about.
First of all, the big question is whether the latest rumors hold water or not.
Well, I hate to be Debbie Downer… or the bearer of bad news… or the party pooper… or the one to rain on your parade…
It was really all for naught, as just about everything you’ve heard, seen, read or been told today… well, it’s not true.
Now, as you’ll see in the remainder of the article, Billy overstates the matter just a wee bit here. According to his sources, it seems that not all of the new rumors are bunk. Let’s take them one at a time.
Let’s start with the Stormtrooper helmets. Those are absolutely 100% the real deal. That’s what a few variations of them will look like, and so you shouldn’t be surprised when the EPISODE VII Troopers have a bit of a different appearance when they start marching, come December 2015.
This comes as little surprise. The photos that we saw yesterday seemed fairly legit, and the fact that there was a photo of a fan-made replica in addition to the pic of the allegedly official stormtrooper helmet design seemed to back this rumor up reasonably well. I’m still not convinced of the notion that Episode 7 costume designers arbitrarily eliminated one of the two circular vents on the helmet’s lower face to create an asymmetrical look, and still think that this is assumption is due to our not having seen a straight-on frontal view of the helmet. Still, I think we can probably assume that we do indeed have a pretty good overall idea of what some of the Imperial troops in Episode 7 will look like – at least from the neck up.
Han Solo’s appearance? This one is a bit iffy […] However, this one isn’t a deal breaker one way or the other, because all these images showed was some concept art showing what exactly an older Harrison Ford would be wearing at different points in the film. Costume changes are costume changes, but after some later information was clarified for me, I’m leaning toward believing that these could be his duds or they could not be.
He goes on to point out, later in the article, that these could very easily be early concept art that wasn’t ultimately used. I tend to agree, especially since both drawings seem to basically show Han’s clothes from Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The blue parka and cold-weather gear are virtually identical to what Han wore on Hoth, down to the badge on the left side of his chest. The sketch of Han in the brown duster looks very much like what we saw him wearing on Endor, only without the camouflage.
Could these be what we’ll see Han wear onscreen? Sure. It would certainly make sense to show Han in familiar outfits in light of the production’s stated commitment to connecting Episode 7 to the Original Trilogy. Speaking for myself, I also kind of dig the visual nod to the Firefly Browncoats (whether it’s intentional or not.) However, these could just as easily be early concept sketches in which the artist(s) warmed up a bit by drawing Han in his old OT outfits before moving on to newer ideas.
While my sources have been a little nervous about giving up information about who specifically [Adam Driver would] be playing (that’s how tightly those details are guarded on Abrams’ set), time and time again it has been stressed to me that he will NOT be an Inquisitor, as some rumors would have you believe, and, furthermore, I have been told there are NO Inquisitors in the film at all. No one on set has used the term “Inquisitors,” and whatever evil forces are at play in this galaxy far, far away, they will be called something else, but definitely not Inquisitors.
This is another rumor that I’ve gone back and forth on. Yes, the main villain in the new Star Wars: Rebels cartoon is an Imperial Inquisitor. However, it’s never really made sense to me that the Inquisitors would be assumed to have continued to be a force behind the scenes during the Galactic Civil War and then to have risen to power after the Emperor’s death, given that they play no part in the OT (due of course to the fact that Lucas hadn’t invented the damned things yet!)
Okay, so my tongue darted ever so briefly into my cheek on that last bit. But still, if the ST is going to have continuity with the OT, it makes little sense for the screenwriters to retrofit a new villain to have played a significant role in the Imperial hierarchy during the OT era when they simply were not there. True, we could stretch it a bit and assume that the trio of rather obsequious Imperial dignitaries in the Emperor’s throne room in ROTJ were Inquisitors, but to my mind they just had too much of a boot-licker vibe about them to buy them as the new galactic threat in the ST. I have no idea if Billy’s source on this is credible, but FWIW what he’s saying does tend to ring pretty true for me.
And don’t forget that Star Wars: Rebels Executive Producer and Episode VII consultant Simon Kinberg said: “In terms of a responsibility for the Rebels to sort of connect to Episode VII? We haven’t really talked about that. And there is such a huge time gap between them that really what we focus on is the connection and responsibility to Episode IV.” So, unless he isn’t telling us the whole truth on this, it appears that the Inquisitors will only appear in Rebels.
Stemming from that, there is also an image making the rounds late, which is claimed to be this Inquisitor character, which once again isn’t an Inquisitor. It is a very cyborg-looking bad guy with mechanical parts and robotic upgrades. My intel coming in is that this main villain character does not look like this one bit. At one point, it was an idea being tossed around, and this depiction is early concept art as to what the character’s appearance could be. However, that was scrapped for something very different. This new character design also debunk’s Badass Digest’s claims that J.J. Abrams’ tweet of a robotic arm belongs to this villain. It does not. In talking over details over the character, which have been hard to come by, it was stressed to me that one of the things I could be told safely was that he is NOT robotic in nature at all.
Now, this is one rumor that I really don’t have a firm opinion on either way. On the one hand, it would make sense to carry over the theme of “more machine now than man – twisted and evil” from the previous trilogies. On the other, it would seem like this cyborg villain would come across as little more than an ersatz Darth Vader, which would run the risk of moviegoers comparing the two and wishing that they had the actual Vader back instead. With that in mind, this is one aspect of Billy’s debunking efforts that I hope actually pans out. While I won’t have a problem with it if the main Episode 7 villain turns out to be a cyborg, my personal preference is for something a little different and more surprising and unexpected.
As for the casting of Carrie Fisher’s daughter Billie Lourd, she will in fact have a part in the movie. It will in fact NOT be a younger Princess Leia. Flashbacks will be a decent part of relaying information in EPISODE VII, but they won’t involve Lourd as Leia.
What they might contain though is the appearance of Darth Vader. I’ve been sitting on this information for awhile as it has been tough to confirm, but my understanding from multiple sources is that Vader will be in the film in some capacity, in either a flashback or a vision, but I haven’t been able to narrow it down as to his exact function.
Okay, a lot of nuggets of potential spoiler info here. While I would hope that they would stick with the saga’s established style and not resort to flashbacks for their expositional scenes, it is certainly possible that we might see some flashbacks. Ideally, though, what we’d see would not be flashbacks, but visions through the Force, which do have a great deal of precedence in the existing Star Wars films.
I don’t get the sense that too many of us took the news of Billie Lourd’s casting as evidence that she was going to play a young “flashback” version of Princess Leia. She doesn’t look all that much like her mother (though I certainly see a bit of Debbie Reynolds there) and it’s far more likely that she’s going to have a small role in the film in much the same way that Lucas’ children did in the PT films.
Darth Vader in Episode 7, though? Much as the nostalgic old Star Wars nut in me enjoys drifting back to the brief moment in time (circa late 1977 or early ’78) when the rumor was that the Star Wars sequel would be titled “Darth Vader Lives”, I really don’t see Abrams and company literally bringing Darth Vader back to life in Episode 7. If he is included in the movie, I tend to think that it will be in the capacity that Billy mentions – as a flashback or a vision.
Hmmm… Is there anything else? Oh, yeah… Oscar Isaac’s character definitely does NOT have the Millennium Falcon in his possession, at least not at the outset of EPISODE VII. He may wind up piloting it later, but it’s not his ship as we pick things up after the opening crawl.
This has seemed rather unlikely to me too. After Han made such a point of making Lando promise to bring the Falcon back from the Endor battle “without a scratch”, we’re to assume that he what, lost her in another card game? Sold her because that’s what married smugglers do with their rides? No, Han Solo’s relationship with the Millennium Falcon is such that any plotline involving him losing her or giving her up would be important enough to be shown onscreen rather than just told in verbal exposition. “Hey, remember that time when I…”
That said, it’s possible that Oscar Isaac’s character could be the one to whom Han ultimately passes the Falcon’s “keys”. Of course, it could be damned near anybody else in the cast too, for all we know. My own preference is for Han, Chewie and the Falcon to all go out in one last blaze of day-saving glory, but so far JJ has shown no signs of responding to my numerous and admittedly feeble attempts at telepathic spamming. ;^)
So, there we have it – another perspective to consider (or not, as your preference may be) when poring over the latest spate of Episode 7 rumors.