The internet, the so-called wretched hive of scum and villainy of modern society, may not be a friendly place for newcomers and casual readers, but it can be a vital location for would-be leakers to release information about forthcoming media projects. As such, a user from one anonymous website claims he has access to some important behind-the-scenes details on Star Wars Episode VII – some of these very rumors have been discussed on several sites over the past few months, others have barely been mentioned. Another user from a different website has recently added to the fun and backed up these rumors while posting even more…
Bear in mind – AN ABUNDANCE OF POTENTIAL SPOILERS will be included in this post, presuming that these leaks are accurate, though they’re only an outline – there’s not word on what kind of battles transpire, who falls in love, or if Max Rebo is revealed to have escaped from Jabba’s barge to fight crime with Mace Windu’s severed hand. Even still, there is a character death involved (at the very end of the post, of course), so you should make sure that you’re really ready to spoil yourself before you continue reading.
Still with us? Good. A fraction of the following stuff is admittedly questionable, but this article will quote the information in an objective light before I go into speculative mode. These are pretty huge posts, so be sure you’re comfortable before I start going in-depth on reporting them.
The first set of leaks were released on March 31, 2014. That’s way before some similar rumors were posted on the web by several sites. They came from a certain forum user called Mizzlewump who claims that he has read the 2nd draft of the Abrams/Kasdan script. We know that many of you know about these but we’re posting them again because of their connection with the second part of the rumors.
- Leia is made leader of the Republic after her predecessor’s death
- Han is a retired veteran of the Republic fleet
- Luke hasn’t been seen in nearly 30 years
- the lead character is Han and Leia’s daughter
- the other lead is the child of Lando, and either a male or female depending on who is cast
- the other lead is a Stormtrooper, also either a male or female depending on who is cast
- dialogue for these two characters is very rough in the second draft
- Luke has no known offspring
- The Empire still exists in the form of a number of loyal galaxies and are in a state of cold war with the Republic
- The Empire is simply referred to as the “Empire,” and the Republic is referred to formally only once, as the “Galactic Republic;” no “New” anywhere
- There are no Jedi whatsoever, and people still speak as if they are extinct, with Luke being “the last of his kind”
- The main antagonists are an older student of the Emperor, and his apprentice
- The apprentice takes control of the power dynamic between the two pretty quickly…
- The Republic are excavating ruins on a neutral world for a weapon; the world factors into tense negotiations the Empire have had with the Republic, and is referred to as the “Sith Homeworld”
- Loredump: In the script, the Sith are a couple thousand years old, founded by an ancestor of Palpatine called Ruin; the apprentice in this film also goes by that name
- the ruins within the Sith Homeworld are a control station; the planet itself is the weapon
- Luke saves the day at the end, but in a bad way; he has changed
From March 2014 to August 2014, a 2 users on a different forum stated the following really intriguing tidbits (monitored for months and paraphrased by a member of yet another board who allowed us to post them here. Huge thanks to MagnarTheGreat). We intentionally won’t mention their names because they might stop sharing. First we were hesitant if to post these. First we wanted to see how things will develop but unfortunately one of the accounts and comments were all erased so we decided to go ahead and post them. Again pay attention to the dates of every tidbit.
- Episode VII has a one word code name; it previously just used Foodles (March 20, 2014 – later revealed to be AVCO)
- The prequels will be ignored in the Episode VII story for a “fact” (May 8, 2014)
- Han and Leia are not together (May 2, 2014) (May 3, 2014) (May 18, 2014)
- The title may or may not be “The Ancient Fear”, but do not count on it (May 6, 2014)
- After further research, the title is not “The Ancient Fear” (May 6, 2014) (May 28, 2014) (June 26, 2014) (August 7, 2014) (August 10, 2014)
- Not being natively shot in IMAX (May 19, 2014 – we now know this one is untrue in part)
- Abrams has “sort of” included a “Han shoots first” moment (May 25, 2014)
- Said that the leaked desert set (on starwarsnewsnet.com) photo looked like Pinewood Studios back lot and not Abu Dhabi because he’s personally spent a lot of time at Pinewood (May 31, 2014 – this was true about that set being at Pinewood). Note: this image was only for a few hours on starwarsnewsnet.com and it had to be taken down. In the post Viral explained that the image is indeed from Pinewood and not Abu Dhabi.
- Luke can be a big part of the plot without being on screen (June 6, 2014 – precedes most of “the search for Luke” rumors)
- There are no ‘Jedi Hunters’ (June 18, 2014) (July 4, 2014)
- The rumor about Mandalorians and Sith Witches is not right (June 24, 2014 – LR story about Mandalorians and Sith Witches)
- Han leading the search for Luke is true (June 25, 2014)
- Some of the Mizzlewump 2nd Abrams/Kasdan draft character & plot list lines up with what he’s heard; other things could be distorted. It should be spoiler tagged. (July 3, 2014 – doesn’t deny anything specific)
- Claims to know the broad strokes of the plot (July 12, 2014)
- There are at least 2 villains in the announced cast list (July 14, 2014)
- Flashbacks are in the film (July 17, 2014) (July 18, 2014)
- Intimates that the opening floating-in-space-Luke’s-cybernetic-hand-with-saber rumor is true; example sentences: “Old Luke loses his mechanical hand”; skin could be removed because “things tend to burn up in the atmosphere, don’t they?” (July 20, 2014) (July 21, 2014) (July 23, 2014) (July 25, 2014) (August 11, 2014) (this one is tricky because I’m not sure he’s just discussing the rumor from a position of knowledge or is just assuming it could be true)
- Harrison Ford is in the movie more than Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill (July 23, 2014)
- In response to someone saying that there is no way to know about Luke turning to the dark side outside of people working on the film, he posted a bunch of laughing smiley face icons (August 3, 2014 – vague)
- Cold War situation between the galactic superpowers that could erupt at any time (July 31, 2014) (August 12, 2014)
- Tatooine is not in the film (July 23, 2014) (August 13, 2014)
- Han and Chewie are flying a Star Destroyer (August 15, 2014 – precedes Faraci Badass Digest article)
- Inquisitors are not the villains (August 15, 2014 – precedes Donnelly This Is Infamous article)
- The cyborg villain concept art is false (August 15, 2014 – precedes Donnelly This Is Infamous article)
- Links to Donnelly’s This Is Infamous article because he says most of the day’s rumors are false (August 16, 2014 – says he’s not biased because he doesn’t like this website)
- The opening crawl to the movie will not be immediately followed by a steady pan left, right, up or down with a ship flying as was seen in other movies of the saga (August 16, 2014)
- The story will not revisit Tatooine and Hoth (August 20, 2014)
- The Palpatine rumor is also wrong. (August 24, 2014 – in response to the LR Palpatine article)
There are two details I left out of the initial textdump in this second post, and I only did that because they’re huge spoilers and I’d prefer to include them them as a caption to an unrelated image. (highlight the white text below the image)
Some stuff from this leak that seems to be outdated by more recent rumors is the idea that Luke has been gone for 30 years (it’s more like a single decade), and that Han is retired (he’s piloting a pimped-out Super Star Destroyer). However, the rest seems to be supported by, or at least not conflicting with, newer rumors – and it’s also interesting to see that this stuff leaked out long before major outlets started reporting on them. With that out of the way, let’s get to speculating. (Don’t worry, spoilerphobes – I won’t bring up those above invisotexted spoiler to the table.)
I’ll start with what the leaks say are full of it, starting with Palpatine and going from there. Both Viral Hide and I figured that there was some sort of miscommunication or false lead as soon as that headline leaked – why would they hire someone besides Ian McDiarmid to play the character when he’s stated that he’d love to play the character again, not to mention the fact that he disconfirmed Palpatine’s appearance in the film to begin with? Palpatine’s influence over three-and-a-half decades of galactic politics will probably cast a shadow over the post-Return Of The Jedi Star Wars universe, but make no mistake – Palpy himself is as dead as a doornail, and don’t count on any of his clones (a la the now non-canon Dark Empire Trilogy) or his Force Spirit (which has been thrown out of the question by the final arc of The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions) to come into play. In addition, there’s the matter of a fear which is also ancient. That silly-sounding leak title reminded me of a similar rumor back in March 2004, which stated that Episode III would be called The Creeping Fear, which was thankfully debunked three months later when the title – Revenge Of The Sith – hit the internet. Most likely, The Ancient Fear was a working title used as a placeholder, though it’s a fitting working title if the plot rumors about the Sith are true. Now, on to the good stuff.
There’s a bit of interesting information regarding Mizzlewump’s post, as provided by the same person that relayed the secondhand set of leaks. According to some unidentified people that apparently have connections to Pinewood Studios, they have said that the first leak had some truth in it – one person mentioned that it played out like a game of “telephone”, and that some details didn’t quite match up, while another person mentioned that many details were accurate and stated that there would be a Stormtrooper protagonist. Later on, the second person directly stated that John Boyega’s character is, in fact, Lando’s son – three times, as a matter of fact. Of course, this is all still regarding an older version of the script, so some of this information may be outdated.
Luke will obviously be a central player in this movie and the ones that follow, even if he’s not on-screen for a good portion of the movie – while it’s a given that he’ll play a big part in saving the day in the end, it sounds interesting to hear that he may have lost some of his idealism by the end of the conflict. Of course, Luke’s role itself is being kept under-wraps so well that I can hardly imagine what they’ll do – but I still get the feeling that they’ll pull a “I’m Luke Skywalker and I’m
here to rescue you your father” moment with one of the characters, as it was said that he had no apparent offspring. I think it’s also interesting that these rumors are really the only bit of information on Leia’s role – earning the position of top diplomat to the Galactic Republic over the course of thirty years makes sense considering her political past (which, admittedly, we’ve hardly seen). I believe that her predecessor was most likely Mon Mothma because she was also a political figure during the events of the Prequel Trilogy, and she apparently continued to serve in the government up until A New Hope when the Imperial Senate was dissolved. I also think it’s interesting to hear that Leia and Han aren’t together at the time of Episode VII when Mizzlewump suggested that the female lead (presumably Daisy Ridley) was Han and Leia’s daughter, which would mean that they were either married or they had an affair. Could some kind of falling-out have occurred between the couple, or are they just separated by their vastly different jobs in the Republic?
Speaking of the Republic, I really like the idea that the Empire and the Republic are in a continuous state of Cold War after the Galactic Civil War came to an end (on that note, I hope that the new Emperor is Max Von Sydow’s character). It doesn’t invalidate the victory of the Rebel Alliance, but at the same time it doesn’t follow the unrealistic idea that the Empire just gave up after Palpatine died and a good portion of their fleets were demolished. It leaves a feeling that there’s still work to be done (whether the Empire is still as oppressive as it once was or if they’ve become enlightened despots in response to opposition from its citizens), but that there’s also a fleeting feeling of peace before conflict returns to the galaxy. The idea behind there being some kind of a truce between the Empire and the Republic in regards to excavating the Sith homeworld shows that there may be a certain amount of cooperation between the two large organizations, but that hostilities still run deep years after all the bloodshed.
The appearance of the Sith homeworld is also interesting – it may or may not be Korriban/Moraband, though if Disney is trying to go for a unified Star Wars universe in terms of continuity, I don’t see why they wouldn’t use it to keep in line with previously-established canon. I can’t say that I’m really crazy about the idea that the entire planet is going to be a weapon, as that kind of makes it the Death Star III and thus a bit of a retread, but I’m hoping that it ends up being something akin to the Star Forge from the original Knights Of The Old Republic game instead of a generic planet-destroying doomsday device. While I’m shooting the Sith here, it’s interesting to see that they’re apparently going to use George Lucas’s old notes and bring Darth Ruin into the mix, since he had been created for the backstory of The Phantom Menace but did not appear in the movie itself (the same thing happened with Darth Bane, who was properly canonized with a cameo appearance in the series finale of The Clone Wars). I’m imagining that, if there are flashbacks in the film as the second post suggested, they will be used to relay the ancient history of the Sith instead of being about Darth Vader, or a younger Luke and Leia, as some people have suggested.
All this information is a goldmine for understanding what Episode VII, which won’t be released for another sixteen months or so, is going to be about. With that said, some of this stuff sounds questionable. The first leak went along with the idea that John Boyega’s role is playing Lando’s son, which is confusing not only because of the character’s unexplained ties to the Empire when Lando firmly established himself as a part of the Rebel Alliance, but also because of the other people being considered for the role – going off of IMDB’s trivia page for the movie, Ray Fisher, Matthew James Thomas, Ed Speleers, and Jesse Plemons were all considered for Boyega’s role, and only Ray Fisher was also Black – and many would consider this to be a prerequisite for playing Lando Junior. The second leak also supported the silly floating hand rumor – the authenticity of which has been brought into question by a number of insiders – and mentioned that it would survive re-entry, albeit that the skin would burn up (even though the artificial hand we’ve seen may be skinless, it also looks like it’s able to grip something, which would be a sign that it still works and was never cut off to begin with). The same leaker also mentioned that the movie won’t be shot in IMAX, which we have since learned isn’t true. It’s likely that a bit of this could be deliberate misdirection from Bad Robot, Lucasfilm, and Disney, as rumors are wont to do. Still, these rumors are too plentiful and potentially important to ignore; we shall continue to watch for more leaks with great interest.