Expanded Universe may yet be of some use to us….

Rumours have it that Adam Driver will play the role of Jacen Solo (or whatever name they give him), Han and Leia’s son.  Daisy Ridley is supposedly playing the role of their daughter Jaina (again whatever name they choose with Solo tacked on at the end).

Jaina_vs_CaedusApparently they are going to take some of the plot lines from the Expanded Universe novels in where Driver’s character plays a Jedi who is turned to the darkside and it’s Ridley’s character that tries to bring him back to the “good” side. The storyline makes a lot of sense and definitely would bring back some of the old conflicts that were present in previous films…Good versus evil…Dark versus light…Sith Versus Jedi. The intriguing part is that it happens to the offspring of Han & Leia and makes it that much more interesting.  It’s also a good way to ensure that, at the very least, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are potentially written off in Episode VII…in the novels, Jacen Solo becomes Darth Caedus and tries to snuff out his parents, deeming them New Republic terrorists.

I would venture to guess that Max von Sydow’s character will play the villain that tempts Driver’s character into becoming a Sith.

On the surface, Adam Driver does look a little bit like a cross between Harrison ford and Carrie Fisher. If this is the plot line that they are taking, which, based on the casting looks to fit, then it should be an interesting story.

Another plot line is that because this Jacen Solo becomes powerful, he pits his power of the Force against what will most assuredly be MASTER Jedi Luke Skywalker.  The master being that after 30 years, Luke has become the same or more powerful than Yoda was. This could also be the way the write Mark Hamill out of Episode VII. Luke would potentially fail to beat Darth Caedus….

I speak to the fact that having Harrison ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill be cast for episodes VIII and IX doesn’t make a lot of sense considering Disney has already stated the new films will focus on the children (of the main characters). So, this plot line seems the most feasible

It’s official…or is it?

Although they haven’t started filming yet, the cast for Star Wars Episode VII has been “officially” announced.  I personally am somewhat disappointed that they haven’t got any really good actors portraying the new characters. header.jpg

The new cast includes John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow.

I’ll admit I’ve never actually heard of most of them except Andy Serkis and Max Von Sydow.  Chances are Sydow’s role will be short lived because of his age…likely some sort of high ranking general or a Sith lord in the newest installment. As for the rest, well. let’s hope the casting director and JJ Abrams know what they are doing.

Although the original cast is being pulled out of mothballs, I find it unlikely that they too will endure beyond this movie and will likely only see cameo roles.

Again I am somewhat upset that the Expanded Universe is being thrown out the window so to speak but I do hope that they try to incorporate some of the elements brought forth by the novelization timeline. I am keeping my fingers, toes, arms and eyes crossed!

Episode VII – No Hope at All

star-wars-poster“No Hope at All” .That would be my title of the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII.  Emulating Episode IV where it all began, could this new episode be the end? I have to question all of it because previous rumours suggested that Peter Mayhew would not be reprising his role as Chewbacca, but now it has been confirmed that he is and that his medical issues are obviously over.

Having said this it is clear that JJ Abrams is tossing out the Star Wars Expanded Universe insofar as the character development that fans have enjoyed through the novelization of their continued exploits.  Sadly this can also only mean one thing: the Death of Han, Luke and Leia.  I say this because lets face it, the real world actors who portray these characters are, shall we say, well past their primes.

Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill haven’t really done any noteworthy acting in decades and Harrison Ford, is well, 72 this year!  I admit they are all pretty pumped about having cameos in the new film, but it occurred to me that frankly that’s all it can be.  They certainly won’t be seen in future Star Wars films because it is likely, based on their age, that they will be killed off in this upcoming film.  It makes sense, because they want to “rework” the whole Star Wars thing and that is why the script is apparently focusing on the children of the original characters.

I suspect they will all die honorable deaths (as Chewbacca did in “Vector Prime”) and that the villain responsible will be the arc of the new storyline. I venture to guess that they won’t survive because it just doesn’t seem plausible to reintroduce the original characters from the first trilogy and keep them on for the next two films after episode VII. JJ Abrams knows this and has to move beyond the original characters quickly in order for the storyline to evolve around the offspring.

Although I am disappointed that the EU has been scrapped, I am happy for Peter Mayhew.  He has always been Chewy!

Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi?

HeirtotheempireWell, it’s been confirmed.  Star Wars Episode VII has been set 30 years after the events of the destruction of the second Death Star.  The casting rumours are floating around still, but lets face it, at least one of the main characters from Episodes IV, V & VI will make an appearance.  Why? Well, think Luke Skywalker in a tank of Bacta Fluid (Episode V).  This stuff heals almost anything and since it will have been only 30 years, at least one of them must have survived!

Sadly, this likely means that those of us who have followed the character development of the main (and some sub) characters through the novels (since Heir to the Empire was released in 1991) will not see this timeline cemented in celluloid, or hard disk, whichever format they use these days!

Personally, after reading 65 of the novels I have grown with these characters and am not quite sure how I am going to accept a totally different interpretation of their lives on the silver screen.  Alternate realities will have to do.

Please don’t screw this up Mr. Abrams…i’m still really to young to be hurt like this 😉

So much for the expanded universe…

star_wars_logoAnother unconfirmed yet reliable source has indicated that Episode VII will be set 30 years after Return of the Jedi. The next films are going to be about Legacy as they will focus on the children of Luke, Han & Leia.

The fact that there is a casting call out for someone to fill the Chewbacca suit leads all of the diehard fans to believe that there will be no continuity (or very little) with the Expanded Universe Novels. The novelization began in 1991 and picked up the story of Luke et al right after the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi.

Since then there have been dozens of novels written that follow a timeline and ensure that every story is connected to the next, regardless of who wrote the book.  The idea was that in order to preserve the characters and the events that unfold after Return of the Jedi, all novelist had to read and incorporate events from previous novels.  Essentially this lead to character development that to date has followed the lives and events of the main characters (and some sub characters like Wedge Antilles) for over 45 years.

In these novels (spoiler alert), Chewbacca dies (a heroic death of course).  To bring him into Episode VII means Disney is not following the character development that has endured in the novelization of the Star Wars Universe for over 20 years.

So there you have it.  Expanded Universe fans are most likely going to be in for a shock and I’m sure there will be a lot of fallout because of it.  Personally I will find it difficult to absorb the next storyline presented in Episode VII but I am confident that JJ Abrams will pull it off somehow.  If he does, he will have done what Irvin Kershner did with Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back…still touted as the best Star Wars film of all time. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Han Solo was a Lizard

theStarWarsMany diehard fans will agree that the original draft of Star Wars was a bit “off-the wall”, to say the least.  It is good to see that George Lucas has decided to release the original first draft to Dark Horse Comics.  Dark Horse has made the original draft into an 8 part comic book series due out in September 2013.

Reading about the adventures of Annikin Starkiller and General Luke Skywalker will definitely be interesting, considering in this draft, Han Solo is a 7 foot lizard and Darth Vader only has one scar on his head/face!

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to buy these before they sellout, which is most likely going to happen within a matter of hours.  I think I’ll mark my place in line now and avoid the rush!

65 novels and counting

I just finished reading the last novel in the Star Wars:Legacy of The Force series.  This is the 65th Star Wars fiction novel that I’ve read to date. All of them, excluding Splinter of the Mind;s Eye (see one of my earlier posts), are about the continuing adventures of the core group of characters from Star Wars: A New Hope.

It all started back in 1991.  Timothy Zahn had just published a trilogy of books, the first one titled “Heir to the Empire”.  Picking up where the original movie trilogy left off, it began an explosion of Expanded Universe media. Following these works, Star Wars novels and story collections by authors such as Kevin J. Anderson and Michael A. Stackpole were released, reinvigorating the Star Wars Franchise that had been largely dormant for years.

Since it’s release, George Lucas decided that if more were to be published, the novels would have to maintain continuity and that characters from one story could not be altered to satisfy a different story.  The novels also started a timeline which grew from what is referred to as After Battle of Yavin (ABY).  The books in the Expanded Universe would indicate how long after ABY the story occurred.

To date they have written stories that are set 138 years after the Battle of Yavin (the destruction of the first Death Star) and a couple of thousand years before it (origins of the Sith and the Jedi).  Although I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m reading about Luke Skywalkers’ descendants,  I have gotten far enough along in the character development to see Luke as an aged (he’s around 62 years old) Jedi Grand Master.

It wasn’t so long ago that he was just a starry-eyed farm boy from Tatooine who dreamt of adventure and excitement in a Galaxy far, far away,…