Most die-hard Star Wars fans are still trying to process the massive news from yesterday, that Star Wars: Episode VII is finally in the works after Disney purchased LucasFilm for $4 billion. And it will be released in theaters May of 2015.
The talk has now shifted to which story will be told in this first installment of the new trilogy, with many believing that Disney will pull material from the Thrawn novels written by Timothy Zahn. This series of books, which is quite popular with the fan base, has long been considered part of the Star Wars cannon, meaning George Lucas and Lucasfilm view this as what actually transpired after the original trilogy ended its run on screen.
These three books take place after the Rebel victory in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, with the Rebellion attempting to set up a functioning government while cleaning up the last of the Imperial resistance. It features all of the main Star Wars characters, including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca. And it introduces some new faces to the expanded Star Wars universe, including the villain Grand Admiral Thrawn, who plans to crush the New Republic with the help of a Dark Jedi. While it would make for a great theatrical event, don't get too excited, as this is not the route Disney is taking.
Here's what a LucasFilm insider briefly had to say.
"It will be an original story."
Essentially, you don't need to bone up on these books to get ready for Star Wars: Episode VII. We're still not exactly sure what this "original story" will entail, or who will direct and write the screenplays. Or even which classic character will find their way back to the big screen. We can only hope that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill are asked to put in some face time (though given the weight of their current state of being, that might be just a tiny bit depressing. No one wants Star Wars: Episode VII - Fat jedi or Star Wars: Episode VII - Han Torino).
George Lucas has written treatments for Star Wars: Episode VII, Star Wars: Episode VIII, and Star Wars: Episode IX, but he will not produce or direct.