Star Wars EPISODE VII News Update. Justin Bieber To Play Major Role…?

Posted: February 23, 2014 in FILM
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Information and spurious “updates” concerning the new Star Wars movies continue to flood the web, with new items emerging seemingly every day, some of which need to be taken with a pinch of salt, some of which might be more meaningful. I’m getting bored already of trying to “sift through the fog of lies”, as Palpatine once remarked.

There is of course a predictable level of excitement about the new trilogy, but there’s almost a fatuousness to this excitement in my opinion. I personally am not particularly excited; more sceptical, guarded. Certainly nothing like as excited as I was in the build-up to The Phantom Menace (oh, that trailer!) or Revenge of the Sith. That’s partly because I’m in the minority that actually liked the prequel trilogy and considers the Star Wars ‘saga’ as already complete, the story told. I therefore view these forthcoming Disney movies not as a legitimate continuation of a story, but as a corporate enterprise by Disney that is not aimed at furthering the Star Wars story/legacy, but at merely profiting from it.

Yes, Lucas’s prequel trilogy was clearly made for profit (grow up – no one does anything without the profit incentive), but George Lucas genuinely wanted to finish telling his story, to complete his saga. However, I’ve already addressed all of that in a previous post, so I’ll get back to the point of this article, which is to deal with the most reliable information we have so far about Star Wars: Episode VII.


Titles so far reported include A New Dawn. This has a resonance to it I guess, as it echoes A New Hope. Other working titles, according to Latino-Review, may be Return of the Sith and Rise of the Jedi. Bad ideas; kids in the future trying to identify one Star Wars film from another in their direct-to-brain download menu are going to get very confused with all these similar-sounding episodes.

Other highly-touted titles include Star Wars: EPISODE VII – The Unnecessary Movie, Star Wars: EPISODE VII – Death of a Saga, Star Wars: EPISODE VII – Why the Fuck Is This Happening, Star Wars: EPISODE VII – Wow, Mark Hamill Looks Really Old Now, and Star Wars: EPISODE VII – Why, George, Why.



When Disney made its huge purchase of Lucasfilm last year, it was revealed that Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) had produced a treatment for a new Sequel Trilogy and was hard at work at the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VII. Since then, J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) has been confirmed as director and the film is set for a 2015 release – that still sounds way too soon. Now it has been revealed via the official Star Wars website that Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, plus Raiders of the Lost Ark – essentially three of the greatest movies of our times) has also assumed screenwriting duties.

This – the addition of Kasdan to the enterprise – is highly encouraging news and makes me a lot more interested than I was prior to hearing this, as it’s fair to say here’s a man who knows the Star Wars universe. And in truth, ESB and ROTJ were probably the best scripted Star Wars movies of the existing six. [*PS: In case you don’t recognise it, the image at the top of the page is NOT one of the oh-so-many fan-made posters for Episode VII, but is a still from one of the Return of the Jedi deleted scenes – actually a pretty awesome deleted scene, at that. If you’ve not seen it before, go seek it out – it adds a brilliant new feel to the opening scenes of ROTJ.]

The other encouraging rumour for me is that Lucas is “constantly talking” to director J.J. Abrams as he prepares Episode VII.

Now to a great many this will be terrible news; they still think Lucas destroyed the Star Wars legacy with the prequels. I personally don’t share this view; and I also find it strange that these people can hate the man who created the whole universe in the first place! The reason I’m happy Lucas is involved is the same reason I’m happy Kasdan is involved; to maintain the creative link to the existing Star Wars movies and to hopefully maintain the continuity of tone (and to keep Mickey Mouse the fuck away, and to make damn certain there are no Elton John or Phil Collins songs at the end; if I have to watch Stormtroopers singing along to Circle of Life, I am going to start killing innocent people – younglings included). It’s also really good news that John Williams is making the music; again, it’ll help keep the link and the continuity.



As far as characters and stories go, speculation is rampant; but until we see a teaser, there’s no point in speculating. There is literally nothing I can think of that would be a good idea. I don’t want to see a return of the Sith; the Sith are finished. You’re not going to invent a new Sith Lord more interesting or evil than Darth Sidious/Palpatine, so what would the be the point?

The prophecy was for Anakin/Vader to destroy the Sith; he did it in Return of the Jedi – Palpatine dies. Story over, circle complete. To come up with more Sith now would simply cheapen and undermine the existing six films.

And that’s the problem I perceive in general with a new trilogy anyway. I suppose we could see some return or reemergence of ‘the Empire’; but it’s never going to be as powerful or as threatening an Empire as in the original trilogy, because its Emperor is gone, the Sith power guiding it is gone, Darth Vader is gone and the Death Star is gone – so again what’s the point?


Cast-wise, Mark Hamill has said in interviews that he’s pretty much definitely involved in the new films, the hint being that Luke may play a similar role to Obi-Wan as in the Original Trilogy – i.e; as a ghost. Hamill might therefore play a role similar to Leonard Nimoy on Abrams’s current Star Trek films. As for everyone else – Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, etc – nothing, as far as I’m aware, is confirmed. Harrisson Ford, despite lots of fans’ wishful thinking, does not appear to be likely to be involved.

And we can probably rule out almost everyone from the prequel trilogy; I’ve read bits and pieces that Ewan Magreggor and Samuel L. Jackson have expressed interest, but it would seem utterly infeasible. The only absolute safe-bets other than Hamill in my opinion are C3PO, R2D2 and Chewbacca. You know what? Just make a movie with 3PO, R2 and Chewbacca (could be an 1980s ‘Droids‘ style expansion)! There you go, I’m happy with that – and leave the Sith and the Empire out of it.

There’s been a great deal of speculation about actors who could fill these parts, including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ryan Gosling Saoirse Ronan, David Oyelowo and Michael B. Jordan, and persistently Zack Efron (Zack Efron?!!), but nothing has been either confirmed or denied at this stage. That list in itself depresses the hell out of me, the idea of any of those actors stepping into the Star Wars universe or wielding lightsabers being just a touch stomach-turning. I mean, hell, just cast Justin Bieber as the main Jedi character. And Miley Cyrus as his love interest. Hey, it’ll get bums on seats!



In addition to the new trilogy, the studios have revealed that the new deal will result in some ‘Wolverine‘-style standalone films set in the Star Wars universe written by Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg, and one of the projects is rumored to be about Han Solo and another about Boba Fett. Whether or not that will actually happen is anybody’s guess. I’m not sure what I think about this, but I’d actually be more comfortable with this than with the new trilogy itself.

This to me would be a much better way forward; make one-shot, standalone adventures – Boba Fett definitely, Han Solo, the two droids (hey those cartoons were cool), and others – and don‘t try to do a new trilogy-storyline.

In fact, going down that route would also enable a wider range of characters to be reprised; Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul (!), for example, could all get legacy-enhancing standalone films or ‘origins’ movies. That could be great; the style could be not dissimilar to the ‘Tales of the Bounty Hunters‘ or ‘Tales from Jabba’s Palace’ books from twenty years ago, which (unlike most Star Wars expanded universe novels) were pretty cool. This way, cool stories can be told to enhance the existing mythology, but very little danger would occur of royally fucking up the Star Wars universe!

PS, ‘Justin Bieber To Play Major Role’ was just to get you to read this post. It’s not going to happen, as far as I know – I made it up. I… what? WHAT?! It IS going to happen? You read it on the Star Wars official site…?


  1. Rusty says:

    This article is bad and you should feel bad.


  2. Rusty, I don’t know what that means; I don’t know what you’re referring to – you haven’t specified why it’s bad.


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