Who knew back in 1977 that Star Wars would become a multi-generation phenomenon, spawning toy lines, comic books, video games, cartoons, TV specials and more? After the prequels, creator George Lucas had pretty much burned out on the adventures set in a galaxy far far away. Luckily a new team of film makers will be taking up his mantle and blazing a new trail that will take fans deeper into that long ago time. In addition to three new movies set after Return of the Jedi, a series of ‘Anthology’ films are also planned. For the first time in a while, Star Wars feels new and exciting again. It’s a good time to be young (and a bad time to be a poor parent!).
Episode VII: The Force Awakens – December 18, 2015
Thirty years after the destruction of the second Death Star, JJ Abrams film reunites the stars of the first trilogy (Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker) while introducing new stars (John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Gwendoline Christie, Crystal Clarke, Pip Anderson, Christina Chong and Miltos Yerolemou).
Fans will get to see Han Solo and Chewbacca pilot the Millennium Falcon again but also meet new villains such as Kylo Ren (seen in the first trailer with the cross-shaped red lightsaber).
All we have so far is conjecture, but I have pieced together the following from various sources: The story will involve The Resistance (formerly the Rebel Alliance) fighting the First Order (formerly the Empire) across several new worlds. The baton will be passed to a new generation (perhaps literally as Luke can be seen handing his lightsaber to someone) as Poe Dameron (along with his astromech BB-8), Rey and Finn renew the battle against evil led by Kylo Ren. Award-winning actress Lupito Nyong’o will portray an alien pirate named Maz Kanata, but details on other cast members are very few aside from the ‘Chrome Trooper’ Captain Phasma. What parts will be played by Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow are still unknown, though many think that Gleeson may be Luke Skywalker’s son Ben.
Regardless of what happens and who is who… this looks to be the most impressive new chapter in the Star Wars mythology. Additionally, it just ‘feels’ like Star Wars while the CGi-heavy prequels lacked that signature charm. More as it comes.
Rogue One- 2016
Directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla 2014), starring Ben Mendelsohn and Felicity Jones. The first ‘Star Wars Anthology’ film will be set between Episodes III and IV and involve the theft of the Imperial plans for the Death Star. Mendelsohn will play a rebel soldier leading the mission but Jones is rumored to play an important role.
The teaser played at Celebration 2015 featured a voice over from Sir Alec Guinness and a scene of X-Wing fighter flying in low under the cover of a dense forest to reveal a glimpse of the Death Star.
Boba Fett- TBD 2018
Details are slim on this one, but Fantastic Four director Josh Trank just left production with no word from Disney as to why.
Introduced in Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back), Boba Fett was essentially Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name in space (the sound of spurs can even be heard in the film when he enters a room). A cold and calculating bounty hunter, his face was covered by a helmet marred from previous battles. Scalps from old wars hung from his arms, an arsenal of weapons was embedded into his armor which was covered in details from a million unknown adventures.
He was possibly the coolest character ever in Star Wars and barely said a word. Of course he was unceremoniously ‘killed’ off in Episode VI and brought back as a clone of Jango Fett in Episode II… but this movie could establish the ‘origin’ of character.
It’s a real head scratcher because fans have already seen young Boba in film and in the excellent Clone Wars cartoon where he teams up with a gang of bounty hunters. But this could be the one spinoff film fans have been waiting a very long time for (and maybe Fett creator Joe Johnston will direct!).
I still remember when Boba was an exquisitely designed new character donning a beach towel (as seen in this rare film).
I do like the rumor that the Boba Fett solo film will establish a new Fett, one who kills the whiny kid seen in Episode II and takes his place. It’s almost definitely not the direction the film will take, but we can dream.