After months and months of nothing but rumours, this week saw a small amount of detail confirmed about the first of the upcoming Star Wars sequels. We already knew that everybody’s favourite droid R2-D2 would be making a reappearance, and that the new trilogy would most likely be set some time after Return of the Jedi; it has now been confirmed that the first of the three planned films will be set thirty years after the big Ewok hoedown at the end of Episode VI.
Disney’s co-chief executive officer Bob Iger revealed the news on Tuesday at the company’s annual shareholders meeting. Filming for the new trilogy will begin in the UK in May this year, but other than to re-confirm the presence of R2-D2 Iger did not make mention of any other castings.
There have been plenty of rumours concerning the three most crucial original cast members Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), all of whom have expressed interest in returning to the franchise. Their involvement has not been officially confirmed (although George Lucas did let slip that he was in contact with the three actors), however the official Star Wars website posted this week that the film will feature ‘a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces’, so we may yet see cameos from members of the dream team.
Episode VII will be directed by JJ Abrams, and has a planned release date of December 18th 2015.