A universe once separated along two disparate lines – that of George Lucas’ film ideas and the ones present in the Expanded Universe – is about to be unified. That’s according to Leland Chee, who’s part of the Lucasfilm Story Group, a team set up to oversee the interweaving narratives we’ll see over the next few years.
“[The] Story Group has a hand in all facets of Star Wars storytelling, including movies, TV, games and publishing,” Chee wrote in a series of recent posts on Twitter. “More so than ever, the canon field will serve us internally simply for classification rather than setting hierarchy.”
Further, Chee stated that, in its new home at Disney, the Star Wars universe would form one coherent whole – meaning that he and his team of story builders are now free to take ideas, characters and stories from the Expanded Universe of books, comics and games and fold them in to what will become Star Wars: Episode VII and its potentially huge range of spin-offs, sequels and other media exploits.
It’s a logical enough move, yet one which could have fascinating and far-reaching effects on the Star Wars saga in the years to come. The news comes shortly after the announcement that, as of 2015, Marvel will be publishing all future Star Wars comic books – which will no doubt make it even easier to retain a sense of coherence in the franchise’s universe with all the media under one banner.
Elsewhere, there was apparent confirmation of two longstanding rumours: at some point after next year’s Star Wars Episode VII, we’ll get two spin-off movies based on a pair of the franchise’s most beloved characters, Han Solo and Boba Fett.
According to Entertainment Weekly‘s anonymous sources, the Boba Fett movie could take place between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, while Han Solo’s story would, understandably, be about the character’s younger days before the rebellion, with a younger actor taking over from Harrison Ford.
In an interview with AMC Movie Talk, film director Jon Schnepp claimed to know who was writing the Han Solo movie’s script – none other than Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.
“I will never reveal my source, Kasdan said, “but it is the one written by Lawrence Kasdan.”
To add further to the stew of reports and rumours, Aint It Cool News has waded in with the suggestion that not only are there plans of a Yoda standalone movie, but that it could even be the first of the post-Episode VII spin-offs.
Then the story goes on to float the possibility of a movie based entirely on Jabba the Hutt, and the need to take everything with a hefty pinch of salt really begins to kick in.
Whether we’ll see a Hutt film in the next few years or not, Disney clearly have big plans in mind for the Star Wars franchise. According to the fan site MiceChat, Disney’s quietly revamping Disneyland’s Tomorrowland in time for next year’s release of Episode VII.
The story goes that Tomorrowland’s designers have been given inside information about Episode VII‘s story, and that they’re working on adding Star Wars-themed stuff to the attraction, including recreations of the Millennium Falcon and Cantina:
“The original plan for Disneyland’s Tomorrowland relied heavily on characters and plot points from the first three Star Wars films, with attractions like a Millenium [sic] Falcon walk-thru on the old PeopleMover platform, a wild Tatooine cantina replacing Tomorrowland Terrace, and a speeder bike ride through an Ewok village where Autopia currently sits.”
It’s all intriguing stuff, and the potential for a huge network of interlocking Star Wars films is clearly there. Exactly what happens to the movie universe next is, of course, heavily dependent on how Star Wars Episode VII turns out. No pressure, JJ Abrams.
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