Speculating In A Galaxy Far, Far Away
The Hollywood Reporter yesterday reported a few more names that have been in discussion for roles in J.J. Abrams' highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII as well as some interesting reports of a shift in the story since Michael Arndt's departure as screenwriter.
According to this story, Michael Fassbender, Adam Driver and Hugo Weaving join the countless number of actors, including the recent Breaking Bad's Jesse Plemons, to be in talks for roles in the film. Nothing has been set in stone as these are all talks.
To me, though, the more interesting part of the story is this:
"According to multiple insiders, the reason for the parting of ways was not due to a timeframe issue, as has been reported, but rather due to a difference in opinion of which characters to emphasize.
Arndt is said to have focused on the offspring of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), with the original trilogy heroes taking on supporting roles. Abrams, however, wanted Episode VII to focus on the classic trio of characters, so audiences could have one more chance to enjoy them before a fitting send-off. The new characters, the offspring, will now be in supporting roles, according to these sources, and take center stage in Episode VIII and IX. Some characters have disappeared from the Arndt script and new ones are being drafted."Again, it is important to note that this is all insider reports and, again, no final storyline has been set in stone. But, I do find it interesting to have a story that emphasizes on the classic heroes (one would hope Chewbacca would also be included in this mix and, as many people have pined for, Lando Calrissian).
This is also the closest we've come to seeing that this next trilogy will indeed pull from the Expanded Universe characters, particularly Jacen and Jaina Solo, offspring of Han Solo and Princess Leia. But, I guess that wasn't too much of a stretch, especially in the light of recent news that Lucasfilm has charged Leeland Chee and Pablo Hidalgo from the offical Story Group to merge the universes together.
That said, I'm not sure how I feel about Episode VII changing its focus from the offspring to the classic heroes. I love the idea of being able to enjoy these characters for a final time in starring roles, but I do worry about taking away time from the characters from whom this new trilogy is supposed to revolve. Let me point out that Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace spent an entire movie of pointlessly following a young Anakin Skywalker that did nothing to really advance the plot of the trilogy. It took away time to tell stories about the Clone Wars, the single event that we knew should have bridged the first two trilogies together.
So, would focusing the first episode of this new trilogy be taking away time from whatever tale they plan to tell about the offspring? That said, J.J. Abrams and Star Wars veteran writer Lawrence Kasdan are much different writers than George Lucas.
Again, it's all speculation at this point, but thought I'd share my two cents on this still early news.