Star Wars Episode VII: All the Latest Film and Video Game Rumors

Source: Lucasfilm

Ever since Disney (NYSE:DIS) obtained the rights to the Star Wars franchise with its purchase of Lucasfilm in October 2012, fans of the sci-fi series have been happily speculating and sharing rumors about the upcoming films and video games. However, despite the high level of fan interest, Disney has revealed very few details about the cast and storyline for the next trilogy of Star Wars films. On the other hand, fans of Star Wars video games have received a bit more information about Electronic Arts’ (NASDAQ:EA) plans for several upcoming video games based on the highly-successful sci-fi franchise. Here’s a roundup of the latest rumors and information about the next generation of Star Wars films and video games.

First, let’s recap information about the upcoming Star Wars film that has already been officially confirmed. As most fans who have been following news about the film’s development already know, J.J. Abrams was tapped to direct Star Wars Episode VII early last year. According to The Los Angeles Times, Abrams is also handling screenwriting duties alongside Lawrence Kasdan, after Michael Arndt was dropped from the project.

Disney CEO Bob Iger recently confirmed a few more details about Star Wars Episode VII at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, reports The Guardian. Iger confirmed that the events in the upcoming film would take place thirty years after 1983’s Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. The official Star Wars website confirmed that principal photography on the film will start in May 2014 in London’s Pinewood Studios, and the film will be released in theaters December 18, 2015.

Millenium Falcon Star Wars

Source: Lucasfilm

However, Iger remained tightlipped about the cast of the upcoming film and only confirmed that R2-D2 would appear in Episode VII. Similarly, the official Star Wars website stated that “No further details on casting or plot are available at this time.” However, the website also hinted that R2-D2 would not be the only returning cast member in Episode VII. The film “will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces,” according to the official Star Wars website.

There are several rumors circulating about which “familiar faces” would be returning in the next film. Last month, entertainment blog MarketSaw cited an insider source who said that Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and Warwick Davies (Wicket) would all make an appearance in the new film. MarketSaw also noted that Benedict Cumberbatch and Gary Oldman had both been contacted for the same, as-yet-unknown role.

MarketSaw also purported to have details about the plot of Episode VII. According to the entertainment blog’s source, “Ultimately it’s about twins, and which will take a path towards darkness and which will follow in their fathers footsteps, or at least that is what it used to be, that may come later as I think changes are being undertaken to bring the original cast into the forefront of the story leading to ramifications that lead up to the next generation of Skywalkers.”

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson recently revealed a few details about the company’s approach to the Star Wars video games it will be making during its ten-year licensing deal with Disney. According to CNN Money’s Fortune, Wilson noted that the Star Wars video games will not strictly follow the films’ storylines, and he cited the Warner Bros. Batman Arkham series of video games as an example of Electronic Arts’ approach.

“What Warner Bros. did with Batman was take the core roots of that IP and manifest that inside the walls of Gotham City and delivered an interactive experience that had real ties to what you would see in the films and what you had read in the comics, while having its own life because it could provide such deep and more immersive storylines,” said Wilson. “When we look at the Star Wars properties that’s how we’re looking at it. We’re not trying to build a game that replicates the storyline of any particular film.”

According to IGN, Star Wars Battlefront is currently in development by EA game developer subsidiary DICE for Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox One and Sony’s (NYSE:SNE) PS4. Various job listings posted by EA Canada and spotted by IGN also suggest that the company is working on an open world Star Wars game. However, release dates and other information has not yet been revealed for either video game.

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