Star Wars Episode VII
, is the first film in the Star Wars
Sequel Trilogy, directed, by J. J. Abrams
, co-written by Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan
, and Michael Arndt
, co-produced by Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Bryan Burk, and Kasdan, and scored by John Williams
. Though George Lucas
is not writing the filmnote
, he is serving as an executive producer and creative consultant that the crew of the film regularly talks with - especially Abrams. It is slated for release on December 18th, 2015.
The film will star John Boyega
, Oscar Isaac
, Daisy Ridley, Max von Sydow
, Andy Serkis
, Lupita Nyong'o
, Gwendoline Christie
, Domhnall Gleeson
, Adam Driver
, Crystal Clarke, Pip Andersen, and Christina Chong, along with most of the leading cast from the Original Trilogy (Mark Hamill
, Carrie Fisher
, Harrison Ford
, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker). Boyega has also noted that his father will appear in the movie in an unspecified role, and several rumors indicate that Carrie Fisher's daughter, Billie Catherine Lourd, will also make an appearance (though the size of her role is unknown). Additional rumors indicate that another unknown actress, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, could be in the movie. Miltos Yerolemou
is apparently involved in the movie, but it is unclear if he is an actor in the film or just a swordmaster meant to help the lightsaber-wielding actors and actresses get adjusted to their weapons.
Little is known of the plot, as J. J. Abrams is well known for keeping quiet about his productions. However, it has been confirmed that the film will take place 30 to 35 years after Return Of The Jedi
(which is just about how much time has passed in real life since the release of said movie, averting Comic Book Time
). Filming has been confirmed to take place in Abu Dhabi for a desert planet (widely believed to be Tatooine, though no confirmation exists yet) while other environments will be used for other planets. England's Gloucestershire, Puzzlewood Forest, and Greenham Common have been indirectly confirmed as a site for filming according to a variety of eyewitness accounts, as well as Ireland's Skellig Michael Island. In addition, filming has been rumored to have taken place in an unspecified location in Iceland. Set-based filming will also be done in London, as is tradition for the franchise. The film is also the first Star Wars
movie since the Original Trilogy to be filmed on a non-digital format (35 mm film), will favor city models over digitally-created cities, and will have a greater emphasis on utilizing Practical Effects
(such as Muppets
and animatronics) over use of Computer Generated Images
(though digital editing will be utilized for post-production purposes).
The film also launched the "Force For Change
" initiative, a UNICEF-supported charity operation that gives a lucky fan a shot at appearing in the movienote
, along with granting rewards to those that donate money to the cause. People from at least 125 countriesnote
have donated money to the cause. The formation of the initiative raised over $4,000,000 from fans, and received an additional $1,000,000 donation from Disney, and the cause will continue to raise money over time.
Tropes Featured in This Film:
- 3-D Movie: The movie will have a 3-D conversion in time for release, in regular and IMAX formats.
- Artificial Limbs: A prosthetic arm was shown to be part of the movie as part of the Force For Change drive.
- Badass Beard: Luke Skywalker will have one, as Mark Hamil was instructed to grow one for the film.
- Changing of the Guard: Progressively - according to J. J. Abrams's rewrite of Michael Arndt's script, that the cast of the Original Trilogy has a greater presence over the new cast. However, the new cast's presence will still be felt, and will likely have a greater presence in the other two movies in the Sequel Trilogy.
- Con Lang: Of the written variety - the Aurebesh language makes an appearance.
- Conspicuous CG: The production team plans to avoid this by a return to practical effects.
- Continuity Reboot: Not for the movie series itself (which treats the previous six Episodes, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and a handful of other works as being canon), but for the entire Expanded Universe. The reboot officially happened after 2014 as a way for forthcoming media to tie in better with the new films and television shows, leading to most of the Star Wars Expanded Universe being restructured as Star Wars Legends, which fits snugly into its own Alternate Continuity.
- Cool Old Guy: The character that Max Von Sydow was hired to play was described as someone in their seventies with "strong opinions and tough demeanour".
- Dawn of an Era: The movie takes place 30 to 35 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, with the New Republic apparently existing as a small-but-growing institution while the Empire's presence is weakened, but still felt.
- Five-Man Band: The new young members of the cast from the original call were described characters that were "independent, [with a] good sense of humour, [and] fit", "witty and smart, [and] fit but not traditionally good looking", "fit, handsome and confident", "tough, smart and fit", and "intellectual [but] doesn’t need to be fit". However, it is ambiguous if these new characters all work together.
- Four-Star Badass: The character (presumably) played by Adam Driver was described in the casting call as being a "military type".
- Gender Flip: Apparently, the character that has been assigned to Gwendoline Christie was originally written for a man to play, but was considered gender-neutral enough for a change from being played by an actor to being played by an actress to not have a significant impact on the role itself.
- Happy Ending Override: This movie overrides the idea that the Galaxy would be at peace once Emperor Palpatine died - the Empire is fractured, but it still has a presence in the Galaxy.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: There are eighteen actors and actresses confirmed to have major roles in the movie, and even more are expected to be announced.
- Mooks: Stormtroopers are in this movie, along with all-new armor. Only time will tell if they're better shots this time around.
- Muppet: Apparently, many of the background characters that aren't Human Aliens will be this. Among these a strange-looking merchant that carries several caged bird-creatures upon his back and a giant creature that is operated by five people and resembles both a boar and a rhinoceros.
- Mythology Gag: The X-Wing◊ that appears in the second "Force For Change" video (and according to the official Star Wars twitter account, the one that will be in the movie) is based on artist Ralph McQuarrie's original design◊ for the starfighter.
- Passing the Torch: Part of the relationship between the new stars and original cast.
- Power Trio: Luke, Han, and Leia return.
- Put on a Bus: Wedge Antilles's original actor has confirmed he turned down the offer of making a return.
- Putting the Band Back Together: In real life, and possibly in-universe as well.
- Retcon: Probably one of the biggest in entertainment history. The Star Wars Expanded Universe (now re-labeled as Star Wars Legends) has been declared to be a series of Alternate Continuities (that have some degree of influence on the franchise from this point on), definitely settling the question of whether the film would be an EU novel adaptation. However, according to the Lucasfilm Story Group (which supervises the new and unified canon), Expanded Universe content released from 2014 onward is canonical unless Disney expressly says otherwise. The sole exception to the pre-2014 rule is Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which does fit into the new continuity due to Lucas's involvement with it, as well as its influence on Star Wars Rebels. However, Shadows of the Empire and The Force Unleashed have not yet been confirmed to be canonical stories in spite of Lucas's involvement with both multimedia projects.
- Retraux: Halfway. Although a number of old-fashioned techniques are being used for the film, modern techniques (such as CGI and digital editing) are being implemented to avoid having Special Effect Failures.
- Serkis Folk: Surprising absolutely no one, Andy Serkis's character is going to be an alien rendered with motion-capture. The article in question also indicates that additional characters in the movie may be given this treatment.
- Signature Team Transport: The Millenium Falcon is back in business.
- Single-Biome Planet: As is tradition.
- Shifting Sand Land: Filming of a desert planet was done in Abu Dhabi. Tatooine is assumed to be this very planet, possibly being the only planet to consistently appear across every trilogy.
- The Lost Woods: The scene(s) filmed in Puzzlewood Forest will likely be this. The Skellig Michael Island location could also qualify.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The scene(s) filmed in Iceland most likely will be this.
- The Smurfette Principle: While the original cast released created fears of this (although it featured two women instead of just one), Lupita Nyong'o, having just won an Oscar for 12 Years a Slave, and Gwendoline Christie, best known as Brienne Of Tarth, were later announced as part of the production. Later still, up-and-coming actress Crystal Clarke was announced as another part of the cast, followed by Christina Chong.
- Token Minority: As with the above, averted - at least three cast members are black. Possibly played straight with Christina Chong, who so far is the only Asian actress involved in the production.
- Written-In Infirmity: Harrison Ford injured his ankle during filming, but it has been suggested that he will still be filmed from the waist-up following his return to the set. It is likely that the injury will still be explained in the movie as one that Han Solo received.