We won't see the next episode in the Star Wars saga for about two more years, and that's if we're lucky. But already it's one of the most gossiped-about upcoming productions in recent memory.
The latest scuttlebutt around the future of the Force has to do with the Episode VII storyline that's apparently been scrapped and thrown into Hollywood's huge garbage compactor of ideas for the Dianoga to feast on.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the reason that Oscar-winning writer Michael Arndt left the project back in October was not about time-frame problems, as was reported at the time. Instead, the Hollywood Reporter claims to have been told by "multiple insiders" that the split was really about what direction to take in Episode VII.
Arndt is said to have wanted to focus on a younger generation of heroes, specifically the children of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, with the original stars playing supporting roles. Apparently director J.J. Abrams wanted to keep the classic protagonists in the spotlight for one last hurrah for the fans before they are likely dispatched to the annals of science fiction future history (or something like that) in Episode VIII.
We'll now have to wait a while longer to get to know those new, younger characters. Reportedly, some characters have disappeared from the Arndt version of the Episode VII script completely and been replaced with new ones. Let's hope it's not the fickle juggling of cast and characters we saw from Abrams in "Lost" that drove the series into complete silliness and a narrative storyline that became impossible to resolve in a satisfying way.
Abrams and "Empire Strikes Back" co-writer Lawrence Kasdan are now reworking the script and auditioning potential cast members. The Hollywood Reporter says that Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving, and "Girls" star Adam Driver are among the latest to be considered for roles and that an actress is being sought for a role rumored to be the daughter or granddaughter of Obi-Wan Kenobi.