The Empire Returns in New "Star Wars" Movie

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The film is set approximately one year after The Empire Strikes Back. Rebel leader and Jedi Knight, Luke Skywalker struggles to bring Darth Vader, who is his father and a fallen Jedi, back from the Dark Side of the Force.
Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
November 13th, 2012

The Empire Returns in New "Star Wars" Movie

-- Fans of "Star Wars" will once again get a chance to see the film series they love in an all-new version when "Star Wars: Episode 7" hits the big screen in 2015. Following the purchase of Lucasfilm, Disney recently announced plans for the release of yet another series of sequels to the much-loved story. Walt Disney purchased the production company from George Lucas for approximately $4 billion. The word on the street is that "Episode 7" will pick up right where events during "Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi" left off in 1983. Even though Disney has purchased his company, Lucas is scheduled to serve as a creative consultant for the new film.

There are still plenty of questions left to be answered regarding the new film, including which characters will make an appearance. What is known at this time is that the new movie is expected to be significantly different from other films in the franchise. That difference will be made apparent from the first frame of the film, when rather than beginning with the standard Twentieth Century Fox music and logo, the film will begin with the logo and music of Disney.

For his part, Harrison Ford has stated that he is open to the idea of portraying the role of Han Solo in the new film. It has been nearly three decades since Ford last appeared as Han in "Return of the Jedi." Although Ford is now 70, he appears quite enthusiastic about the upcoming film and the prospect of reprising his role as a space smuggler. It is difficult to imagine a "Star Wars" film without Han Solo, who has served as one of the leading roles in the "Star Wars" films since the release of the first movie in 1977. The other leading characters are Princess Leia, portrayed by Carrie Fisher, and Luke Skywalker, portrayed by Mark Hamill.

Hamill has indicated some tentative interest in the upcoming project. When word was first announced that the Empire would be returning to the big screen, Carrie Fisher was mum about her interest in reprising her role as Princess Leia. When recently asked about it, Fisher stated that she would love to appear in the new movie. Although Ford has expressed interest in returning to the film series, he has also indicated that he is waiting to see who will be recruited by Disney to write and direct the new movie before actually beginning negotiations.

There are several names currently being tossed around regarding who will take the helm for directing the new film. One of those names is Matthew Vaughn, who has a number of directing credits to his name, including "Stardust," "Kick-Ass," "X-Men: First Class," and "Layer Cake." Vaughn recently departed his directorial role for the sequel to "X-Men." There has been speculation that his potential involvement in the new "Star Wars" film may have led up to his decision to leave the "X-Men" film series.

It is believed that Colin Trevorrow may also be under consideration to fill the director's chair for the film project. Although Trevorrow does not have a lot of credits to date, he has received quite a bit of acclaim for his role directing "Safety Not Guaranteed." Reports indicate that at least a couple of writers are being considered for the project.

There has been ample speculation regarding the path the new film will take. Although some sources have indicated the film will pick up where "Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi" left off, there are also indications that "Episode 7" will not be based on the "Star Wars" books. Although George Lucas has reportedly prepared treatments for the film, the film is expected to be completely unlike anything we have seen previously. It remains to be seen exactly how the film will shape up.

Disney has stated that there are plans for future "Star Wars" films following the release of "Star Wars: Episode 7." There are also indications that the latest film will be released in 3-D when it hits theaters in 2015. According to Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, there are plans for a new "Star Wars" movie to be released approximately every two to three years following the release of "Episode 7." There is little doubt that the impact of such releases on the box office will be tremendous. In the past, "Star Wars" films have earned a combined total of nearly $4.5 billion in worldwide box-office sales.