As Hurricane Sandy stranded millions without power last week (including yours truly), Disney still went ahead and announced what is perhaps the biggest piece of movie news in 2012: They've purchased the Lucasfilm brand from George Lucas and will release three more Star Wars sequels into theaters beginning in 2015. Now Star Wars isn't all they bought from Lucas (there are LucasArts games and the Indiana Jones franchise, among all sorts of other stuff), but it's what most people are concentrating on right now since it was its first big announcement as part of the deal.
Naturally, all sorts of crazy rumors are already arriving online -- from what the new sequels will be about to who will direct -- so here's a little roundup of what's out there right now.
Mark Hamill Talks Episodes 7, 8, 9 back in 1983
This interview has made the rounds before, but now it's even more prevalent as the sequels have been officially announced. Back in 1983 Mark Hamill teased two additional Star Wars trilogies -- one being a prequel series and one being sequels to the original trilogy -- and while he wouldn't divulge many details, he did confirm that Lucas had ideas as far back as the release of Return of the Jedi. Skip to a little before the four-minute mark to see what Luke Skywalker had to say about his inevitable return.
Even crazier -- to show you how Lucas timed it all -- here's an interview from 1983 where Hamill even admits to Lucas asking him to reprise the role of Luke Skywalker in 2011 to hand down the reigns to the next generation.
New Trilogy to Focus on Luke Skywalker's Kids
It would be silly of Disney to make sequels to the original trilogy and not have the storylines directly tie to characters featured in that trilogy. The prequel series followed the origins of the Skywalker family, and we fully expect these sequels to return to the Skywalkers since they're the heart of the franchise.
In an interview with EW, sci-fi author Timothy Zahn -- who was behind the popular "Expanded Universe" series of Star Wars books entitled the Thrawn Trilogy -- agreed that the next logical step would be to focus on Luke's kids. “The original idea as I understood it— and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now – but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him [in the prequels], and if there was another seventh, eighth or ninth film, it would be Luke’s children."
We already know Lucas has met with both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, and while we don't expect them to be major players throughout the next trilogy, we wouldn't be surprised if they both popped up in pivotal roles in Episode 7 in order to sort of hand over the franchise to a new cast. Does that mean Harrison Ford might return as Han Solo? Hey, we can dream, right?
Steven Spielberg, Neill Blomkamp and Darren Aronofsky Among Rumored Directors
With the Star Wars franchise being handed over to Steven Spielberg's longtime friend and producing partner Kathleen Kennedy, it's extremely likely that Spielberg will direct one of the installments himself. With the director moving on from Lincoln to Robopocalypse, it likely won't be Episode 7, but we could see Spielberg circling back to direct Episode 9.
According to MarketSaw, who cite a few well-placed sources, some other directors being discussed include Neill Blomkamp (District 9), Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men), Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) and Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan, Noah). While one or more of these men could certainly do wonders with a Star Wars movie, let's not count any chickens before they hatch.
Yes, the enormity of this franchise will almost certainly call for a proven director who knows how to balance dazzling sci-fi with relatable relationship storylines, but there are more names to consider than the ones mentioned here.
Who would you like to see direct Episode 7,8 and 9? Should folks like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher play a role in the movies, or is it best to leave them out?
Let us know your thoughts below.
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