Lucasfilm and Disney made the Internet buzz earlier this week with the announcement that principal photography for the long-awaited Star Wars: Episode VII will begin in May. However, that wasn’t the only news that got long term fans excited.
According to the official Star Wars website, limited plot details were confirmed in regards to the sequel. Episode VII is confirmed to take place 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The studio also confirmed that Episode VII “will star a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces,” leading to speculation that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will be in the film. There have been no confirmed castings for the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, unless you count the confirmation that R2-D2 will appear in the film. Unlike the original and prequel trilogies, Kenny Baker will not reprise his role as the beloved astromech droid.
With the confirmation of Episode VII’s timeline, it is unknown how this will effect the expanded universe (licensed media content that is cannon outside the six films, such as television shows, novels, comic books, and video games). The film will either acknowledge the stories such as the popular Heir to the Empire trilogy of novels by Timothy Zahn or ignore them completely.
The setting of the film taking place 30 years after Return of the Jedi seems fitting; Episode VII’s principal photography starting in May, 2014 is 31 years to the month when Return of the Jedi was first released in 1983.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be released on December 18, 2015.