April 6, 2014

My eleven year old is obsessed with Star Wars, thanks to a binge watch marathon with my brother-in-law last summer. In the space of less than a year, Star Wars memorabilia and books have appeared in the house at levels not seen since my brother was eleven. Of course, she thinks it's a sign of her great discernment to like the original trilogy (IV, V and VI) to the second trilogy. I haven't been able to break it to her that everyone agrees. And now she's waiting with bated breath for the new trilogy, penned by JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Looks like her greatest hopes are well on their way:

Surprise, Star Wars fans — the next film in the franchise has already begun shooting, and casting is almost complete.

The announcements about Star Wars: Episode VII were made by Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn during a panel at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles on April 2. He also acknowledged that there had been problems with the script, but he’s confident in the version director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have worked on, which is based on a previous draft written by Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt.

“It’s all about the screenplay,” Horn said. “It has to be screenplay, screenplay, screenplay.”

As for the main actors, the Disney chief said, “We have a lot of them [in place],” though he wouldn’t disclose names. “We’re just not completely done yet.” Would he give any hints? Maybe about the rumors that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill would be returning? “Patience you must have,” Horn said in his best Yoda impression.

Keep in mind that it has been more than 30 years since Ford, Fisher and Hamill appeared in a Star Wars franchise. To account for those years--which have been kinder to some than others--Episode VII is set 35 years after the events of Episode VI. It is scheduled to be released in December 2015.

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