Star Wars Ep. VII: Expectations for our Galactic Journey Returning to the Big Screen

The Battle of Hoth – Star Wars Ep. V

In 2015, we will be reunited with the galaxy everyone knows and loves, with J.J. Abrams leading the charge into this new adventure. What can we expect will come with Star Wars: Episode VII? More of the older, authentic Star Wars appeal? More things borrowed from the prequel films? Most likely the perfect combination of both.

What will we see when sitting with our buckets of popcorn, staring at the big silver screen?

Vintage Look, Vintage Sound

Original 35mm Camera
George Lucas with original 35mm camera

Abrams is taking a more vintage approach to filming the movie. He is going to film it the old-fashioned way, with film. It will not be shot digitally nor with IMAX, according to CNET. Going back to filming using the same type of camera used in the originals can help add that vintage Star Wars feel a lot of fans are craving.

“The problem with IMAX is it’s a very loud camera, it’s a very unreliable camera, there’s only so much film that can be in the camera. You can’t really do intimate scenes with it. It’s slow. They break down often.”

– J.J. Abrams

The movie will be shot with 35mm film.

Along with the vintage look, we are also getting the great sound. John Williams, the same man responsible for the extraordinary soundtrack of the previous six films, is returning to score the music for a seventh time, according to the official Star Wars website. The music of the films is the glue that holds it all together.

One can create a movie with good visuals, plot, and characters, but if the music doesn’t coincide well, it can make something that could have been fantastic, not nearly as well done. For example, in Episode I, the duel between Darth Maul and Obi-Wan, and Qui-Gon, was nothing short from amazing. To see Obi-Wan fight along his master against a villain with a double-sided lightsaber was nothing short of greatness. What could have possibly have made this better? “Duel of the Fates.” This score is what that causes me to feel a chill along my spine during the duel scene. To have the same man orchestrating the sound for the new film, was the most pleasant announcement I heard regarding this film, yet.

No Jar-Jar Binks

"No Jar-Jar, you aren't coming this time."
“No Jar-Jar, you aren’t coming this time.”

It is well-known that the most hated Star Wars character is the infamous Jar-Jar Binks. The addition of Binks into Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, was the biggest mistake the movie series has ever committed. He is seen by many to be unnecessary, kiddy, and just plain annoying. Many ask “Why Jar-Jar?!” Was it to replace the lovable wookie, Chewie, and to provide a creature companion for the new cast? If that is the case, that idea vanished after the first prequel. After that, the despised character did exist, but was never part of the main crew again.

The Original Trio

Original Star Wars Cast
Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford

The big three just may make a return for a fourth time around. Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are expected to return according to ScreenRant. Although not officially confirmed to return to the sequel trilogy, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo are expected to return, according to actress Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). She told TV Guide that they are expecting to start working on the movie in March or April. However, nothing is officially confirmed, but it would not be a surprise if these three made an appearance in the series, and they are definitely well welcomed. The new film is going to be taking place thirty years after Episode VI, so to see these characters naturally look their age will be a treat to aid the nostalgia many have of the original films.

Lando Calrissian

Billy Dee Williams as Lando
Billy Dee Williams as Lando

Billy Dee Williams could possibly reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming film. According to ScreenRant, he has been asked to return, but he has not made a decision. Unlike Jar-Jar, this is a minor character that many Star Wars fans would love to see return. There is no other character like Lando. He has a certain style that is irreplaceable and that the fans love. Hopefully Lucasfilm will not attempt to replace another distinguishable, beloved character. (I’m looking at you, Jar-Jar.)

The Millennium Falcon

The Millennium Falcon
The Millennium Falcon

If Han Solo is returning, how can the symbol of the series, his prize possession, not return? I am referring to the Millennium Falcon of course. This is something that was missing from the prequel movies, and it did not go unnoticed to any fans of the originals. The Millennium Falcon was one of the best parts of the original films, visually. A conflict between Lando and Han-Solo centered around this ship would be interesting. Originally, Han won the ship as part of a bet from Lando. A comedic conflict with Lando attempting to reclaim ownership of the Falcon once again would be an interesting side-story.

The Millennium Falcon helped sculpture the Star Wars brand. A brand of doing big things, and doing them well. It would be a shock if this iconic vessel was not part of the new film.

Return of Our Favorite Droid Duo

Star Wars
R2-D2 & C-3PO

There are only two characters present in every Star Wars movie to date, and I do not see why they would remove them now. These two reappearing characters are R2-D2 and C-3PO. Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has officially confirmed the return of R2-D2, according to The Guardian, but there is no word regarding C-3PO. If Abrams would like to continue the tradition of including these two, it would bring a smile to every face in the audience. I cannot picture a Star Wars film without having R2-D2’s beeping of excitement after the galaxy is saved once again, or seeing C-3PO chasing R2 as he acts like a rebellious, yet comical teenage boy. That is what is usually happening between these two. R2-D2 rolls somewhere that is considered dangerous or unknown, and C-3PO chases his friend to prevent any danger from occurring to him. The big brother/little brother relationship with these two is bound to continue in the future movies.

A Younger Antagonist

Adam Driver
Adam Driver

For the most part, the films have had older antagonists, besides for the newly born Darth Vader in Episode III. According to Variety, Adam Driver has been taken to fill a role for the “dark side.” His character name is not yet known. Having a younger villain will feel fresh and new. Most of the films, excluding Episode III, only have older antagonists. In Episode III, it was nice to see a villain that wasn’t an old wrinkly guy, or a decrepit wizard-looking man. Will Driver present a character somehow connected already to the Star Wars universe like a hidden apprentice of Darth Vader? Perhaps Starkiller from the Star Wars: Force Unleashed video-game? Or will the movie introduce an entirely new threat?

Episode VII is also expected to feature younger characters as the protagonists, the children of Han Solo and Princess Leia. Luke would most likely then be an Obi-Wan Kenobi figure, the older, wiser Jedi Master, to the younger heroes. According to the official Star Wars website, the film will feature “a trio of new young leads along with some very familiar faces.” These “young leads” are speculated to be the children of Han Solo and Leia.

There are many novels, consider “expanded universe,” that Abrams can borrow conflicts and characters from. Which characters and events he will borrow from the expanded universe (if any) is unknown, as no plot direction has been officially released, but Abrams has a full pool of great ideas he can pull from.

Many Star Wars fans have their doubts about the upcoming film. Some feel that the film will flop because the ownership of the franchise has shifted to Disney, and because the director is now Abrams, and no longer Lucas. I have once shared these concerns, however I do have hope for that the franchise will once again succeed. Ownership of Disney is not a bad thing. Rest assured Star Wars fans, we will not see Mickey Mouse with a lightsaber in a Star Wars film anytime soon. Disney also owns Marvel, and since released The Avengers, which is considered to be one of the best superhero movies created. Disney’s ownership does not mean the film will be unsuccessful, which is proven by the various Marvel superhero films since Disney’s takeover.

Abrams also has created great galactic films before, Star Trek, which I believe is great enough of an accomplishment to take over Star Wars. Star Wars and Star Trek are both widely considered to be the greatest of science fiction films. He knows how to construct a thrilling space adventure, and there is no reason to believe he will fail this time.

Disney and Abrams can perhaps be the perfect formula to create a spectacular new trilogy, which will one day be classics.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. So if this indeed does preserve the EU… this would take place shortly before the Dark Nest trilogy (34 ABY to be exact). This actually bodes rather well for the EU as a whole because nothing really happened that year, though equally badly this happens after the Yuuzhan Vong war so Jacen’s fall to the dark side would’ve began.

    I know it’s probably going to happen… but I’m going to be very disappointed in both Disney and JJ Abrams if they have decided the EU is going to be ditched. I spent my childhood following the EU, and I really love the universe.

    If these films contradict that, they won’t be canon to me. Because the universe wouldn’t be complete without the exploits of Kyle Katarn, the magnificent Thrawn trilogy books written by Timothy Zhan, the rich history created by Knights of the Old Republic, the fall of Jacen Solo at the hands of his sister, the Clone Wars show, and generally all of the fantastic stories created by the many brilliant authors and artists that gave life to the Star Wars universe.

    Maybe not everyone likes a lot of EU content, and I suppose I can understand that. But my love for Star Wars evolved from the love of the potential and richness of the original trilogy to the amazing universe that those films spawned. Not every Star Wars story ever delivered was amazing, or awesome, but just knowing that the Star Wars universe contained such depth and history put it high above everything else in my mind.

    • I really wish they make the new trilogy on the Yuuzhan Vong War and if they did go with that story line it would probably look amazing given the capabilities of CGI nowadays.

      I’d love to see Jacen fall to the darkside but I feel as if though many would think it’s just repeating original story with Darth Vader.

      Either way I’m excited to see how this turns out, I don’t have a doubt in my mind that i’ll enjoy it, either for the nostalgia of it, or because of a refreshing, well executed take on Star Wars (Hopefully)

    • Kevin Kryah

      Pablo Hidalgo and Leland Chee are going through the EU right now to determine what to keep. We’ll probably lose the Thrawn and Yuuzhan Vong arcs, but the Clone Wars and KOTOR sections might remain intact (hopefully).

  2. I have a lot of excitement for this movie. But a bad feeling too.

  3. The original cast deserves cameos only. We dont need to see how their family turned out. We need new characters and a new direction.

  4. Demetrius Chilton

    Why not keep the cast completely secret? I’d welcome not knowing for once. I’d welcome not analysing the S*&# out of whichever actor is part of it for the next 12 f&^%$ months. Just for a change, y’know?

    • Nilson Thomas Carroll

      I sort of agree with this. It definitely ruins the mystery surrounding the film and turns it into a Hollywood nostalgia fest- though, I’m sure that’s what their PR wants to happen.

    • It’s also bound to be really difficult to keep the cast a secret. It’s a lot more work to shroud a movie in secrecy now than it was when the original trilogy, or hell, even the prequel trilogy, was made. Unless they started sneaking actors to the sets in a box, or under the crafts table or something, the identities would leak out. The studio probably wants to stay ahead of that.

    • Kevin Kryah

      They want a cast of (primarily) unknowns, so I don’t feel like knowing the cast will make a huge difference.

  5. I’m still afraid Abrams is will listen to “that croud” of star wars fans that want absolutely know computer graphic what so ever. I love animatronics and models, but I feel like the film shouldn’t limit itself. Every Star Wars film has tried to make use of all the technology available at the time.

    After watching some of the behind the sceans footage in for the last three films, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best way to make a Star Wars movie is use both CGI and practice effects either separately or together. Fun fact. The Mustaifar fight scean was actually one giant particle effect enhanced by computers. They actually built a large entire revenue miniature of lava and had yellow liquid. It was the one of the largest models. They added parctle effects and made the lava look more realistic with computers, at the heart of it was a physical model and home made lava.

  6. CharlsieSheeme

    I feel like I’m in the minority, but I really hope they stick to the Skywalker family for their story. I would have never thought it possible but I really feel that could be in jeopardy. I’d be very interested in the Skywalker / Solo kids being the central point of the next story…I really don’t need the original cast. Maybe a cameo as high council members? Just weird. This movie has so much hype going into it (and personal expectations to fulfill) I’ve no idea how JJ and his crew are going to impress / satisfy me with their end product. I wish them luck.

    • Rogue

      Agreed. I don’t see a need to follow the original trilogy’s characters as much as I’d like to see some new people in the next generation. R2D2 and C3PO better be around to help them, though.

  7. Something tells me these new movies are going to be lousy. In fact worse than the prequels. I think it’s easier to go back to the past and build on what already happened, but going to the future after such a long time in the past…..

  8. Always have faith in the Galactic Republic my friends. they never disappoint.

  9. Candice Evenson

    Very interesting that Abrams brought up the downside to filming in IMAX.
    A combination of vintage and new is probably a wise route to go, especially now that LucasFilms is owned by Disney. What can I say? My fingers are crossed.

  10. Jamie Tracy

    My biggest fear is that the internet and forum bullying will kill this movie before any of us get a chance to see it. My hope is that we can be happy to have another Episode in this universe. It is an impossible feat to make a perfect Star Wars film and the sooner we all realize that, the sooner we can begin to enjoy the story and it’s characters again.

  11. Jessica Souza

    I, like most fans, are worried how this movie is going to stack up to the previous episodes. But now that I know Jar-Jar won’t be in it, I can rest a little easier.

  12. I so want this movie to be awesome. But i’m still a little concerned because i’ve never been impressed by J.J.’s movies, the only one I liked was cloverfield.

  13. Thornburg

    The problem with recent star wars films was that they felt like kids films and not adventure/family films. I’m sure it’s a tightrope act trying to get that right but the original tro nailed it, Indiana jones nailed it, the pirates films nailed it. I hope they recognise that, yes you wanna sell toys to kids, but star wars is huge and a lot of adults will go to see it and maye buy that stuff too so make it for everyone and put less “silly” aliens in. Jabba the hutt, ace. That Jamaican fat frog king thing, awful…

    • roberto

      I agree too! Except that they are kids films, just as the first three are!
      It’ll never stop amazing me that people cant understand that Star wars movies are for kids, despite how much adults like them too. They’re always like, “MEH no Effin way those are kid movies People get burned and killed and EHH”. Nah brah, kids movies, but its ok, it doesnt take away from them either way. Also the ewoks suck as many balls as Jar Jar

      • Jamie Tracy

        The idea of a kids film has changed drastically since the 1970’s and a true kids film cannot be a real action film.

        At least an action sci-fi film seems more difficult to pull off as a family film. To inflame things a bit I throw out the potential comparison to John Carter.

  14. Wendell

    I have to admit I think they are letting the internet swirl up with rumors to kick up dust and cover their tracks to hide what the movie will really be about and what it will cover.

    The cold harsh reality is if there is any hope for this movie to be as exciting as people want it to be, they need to be as much in the dark about it as possible. Hence why they nixed using anything from the “extended universe” from the get go.

    That was always one of the issues the Prequel Trilogy had working against it…. which was that basically we all knew what was going to happen and how it would end. Making it hard to deliver the scenes our imaginations had cooked up.

    My only personal hope is a return to more traditional special effects. It’s Star Wars they have the goddamn money to make things by hand again. I want alien muppets and real backgrounds…. not green screen backgrounds……

    • X-Cannon

      I’m with you on the green screen background but our views differ about the puppets, to put it plainly puppets look fucking stupid and watching Yoda in the original trilogy is a chore, he just looks so horrible it’s vomit inducing. Enough Jim Henson bullshit, this isn’t the muppets, the liens should look good, not like rejects from Meet the Feebles like alot of the puppets (and aliens in general) from the original trilogy look. Honestly if they like how they look you’re just blinded by nostalgia, puppets are horrid and should never again show their faces on the silver screen, of go anywhere near Star Wars. If the movies have any hope of being serious whatsoever they have to get rid of the puppets. I feel like people don’t realize the original trilogy was shot with practical effects because that’s all there was at the time, in fact they used alot more special effects than any other movie probably ever had, the prequels and the originals both used about the same amount of CGI compared to other movies coming out around the time they came out. And that’s the unfortunate truth, like it or not.

    • Jamie Tracy

      Wendell, I want to agree with you in returning to more traditional effects, but I am scared that it will look more and more like puppets and models than ever before.

      Today’s technology needs to embraced and pushed to its fullest limit like Lucas did in the original trio.

  15. EliasNorris

    This movie doesn’t need the hype, really. It’s still early in production, so I don’t think it’s all that important right now to get solid info on it. There’s enough riding on the quality of the final product that you can be sure that it’s not likely to suck.

  16. Juanita

    Reports indicate that Ian McDiarmid will be joining the cast but will not be returning as the Sith lord Palpatine but will be an entirely new villain, John Harrison.

    • David Mancini

      If the reports are true, it would be very interesting to see his part. Either a force ghost, or a clone most likely. Either way it would be great to see him part of the film again.

      • …but Dark Empire is already a thing. If Disney is going to embrace some part of Post-ROTJ EU, they should just do the Thrawn trilogy and not some hodge-podge Clone Empire meets the Solo Twins nonsense.

  17. I think it’s important to realize that these movies are in no way beholden to the EU. The canon will always be the films, and to a lesser extent the official video game such as The Force Unleashed. Whatever Disney decides to put into the movie will be the real canon

  18. Good article!

    Just for feedback’s sake, I think you have a great opportunity to dive further into analysis on the observations you make. Your article is very observational, but not incredibly explanation…al.

    For example, you mentioned the fact that the new film will be shot on film, and that that will make the film “better.” But why? What is it about film that, to you, will heighten the quality of the movie as a whole? Moreover, you mention offhandedly that it will be shot on 35mm film. But what is that? How is it different from 70mm? To me, that’s what reading these articles is all about. Learning something new and walking away with a better understanding!

    All around though, great work, and MTFBWY!

  19. Mette Marie Kowalski

    Very interesting, thanks for summing up some of these things, I haven’t been following the debate thoroughly enough. Mainly because I find the mix of facts and rumours confusing.
    I think Adam Driver is a great, great choice for an antagonist, he’s shown his acting skills in Girls and Inside Llewyn Davis already.

  20. Forrest

    This movie could be amazing but I am only worried about 10+ plus movies that will come after this one. It will be endless and probably lose steam at Star Wars 17 then reboot time…

  21. I think that they should expand some of the ideas and story lines explored in the animated series “Star Wars the Clone Wars”. I would love Asoka to make a comeback and see her become a part of the series. I would also like to see a much younger cast as well. I think that it will give new Star Wars fans something new to go with the old.

  22. As a faithful disciple of Timothy Zahn, my first thought was “Finally! Thrawn will become a household name and Michael Fassbender will be perfect for the role!” Then news started trickling out about how Abrams wanted a whole new story and how most of the EU was being neglected by Disney and my hope for the future of the franchise was effectively dead. Currently, I’m not sure where my feelings are. I’m not an OT purist raging about Hayden’s ghost, but I’m still not excited. Perhaps the practiced apathy that has developed is about as much as Abrams and Disney could hope from a lifelong fan and collector.

  23. Hargrove

    I think they need to make Episode I, II and III again. They are a disgrace to Star Wars franchise. Maybe if they figure it out on Episode VII, they can reboot Episode I to III.

    • Aurora Funderburk

      I agree with you (except for III) I think they are all horrible. That being said, I would never remake them. No matter how horrible and rubbish it may be, i think when all 6 are put together, they make a great origin story for anakin and his rise, his fall (or greater rise) to vader and rise again to anakin at his death.

      Of course I hate little tid bits of the prequel. Jar Jar, I hate him, but I understand that he was supposed to be a comedic relief for the new generation so they too can love star wars as much as us, yet I still hate him. I guess the only thing I truely hate is the midichlorians. Everything else I can forgive because they gave us Liam Neeson and Darth Maul.

      What Im trying to say is no matter how horrible, I think they did a great job in making vader so much more better as a villain. without the prequels, we might have never gotten 6 seasons of great stories about the clone wars which i think made the prequels much more better. Of course everyone has their opinions and preferences.

  24. I don’t know. For me, they should have just let the movies be. I got closure with Revenge of the Sith and the rest of the story should be left alone. I hope that the new movies don’t have that “pre-sold franchise” or epilogue-ish feel, kind of like “30 years later…” and then it goes on to Luke and Leia’s kids trying to be heroes fighting against Luke who has now become the new Darth Vader, type of thing (although that would be hilarious). I do agree that going back and elaborating on what was going on before Anakin would be a great way to go, having the new movies supplement the old ones, rather than just adding to them. Also, I hope they don’t cast very known actors for anything because this will be distracting. Most people know Mark Hamill as Luke and Carrie Fisher as Leia because they didn’t have any prior characters attached to them. J.J. Abrams has a lot riding on this, an entire galaxy exactly. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling about this…

  25. I was skeptical about the Disney ownership as well, but Disney has succeeded with their breakthroughs of creativity, so it will be interesting to see how they add on to the Star Wars franchise. I heard that one of the young Jedis might go to the dark side.

  26. Can’t wait to see this movie. Nothing more needs to be said.

  27. Brandon Stark

    I have no doubts with Abrams. He is a fantastic filmmaker and will bring back the old style to this new Star Wars movie the fans have been waiting for since the original trilogy.

    It’s so exciting seeing old faces returning in this film as well, besides that I’m more excited to see which direction they will go. The expanded universe has so many stories they can use for this film and since it’s the Star Wars universe, anything is possible. Abrams though can put a new touch we couldn’t see coming that would make it equally exciting as well. I agree with the fact that The Millennium Falcon MUST be in this film.

    I read a rumor that there might be a return to Hoth in this new film, that would be awesome for many reasons, primarily as fans for what occurred on Hoth previously to the new film. If there could be a hint to Boba Fett surviving the events occurring in Return of the Jedi would be a great nod to the fans.

    What I’m looking forward to the most is how the Sith will return. It can’t be a Star Wars film without a light saber battle/mention and appearance of the Sith. The Sith are a huge factor for this universe that they MUST be in this film in some way or another.

  28. Looking back at growing up on the Starwars saga and hearing of the new trilogy,I was a bit skeptical. This could either be one of two things. A major success and a great addition to the already glorious saga, or a major flop on its intergalactic face. I’m hoping it works out well as it would be more fitting to the modern generation.

  29. No matter what I hear or see before this comes out, I know that as soon as those giant letters appear against the starry background, and as soon as the score blasts into my ears, I’m going to grin from ear to ear. Anything goes.

  30. The most exciting thing thus far about this whole enterprise is that Lawrence Kasdan has signed on to be the screenwriter. He did a great job with Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Once I heard that news, I regained that glimmer of hope that Episode VII might be a worthwhile addition to the canon. The casting of Adam Driver was a major step in the right direction as well.

  31. Can’t wait for an Abrams epic, hopefully true to the past while not (too deeply) upsetting those who follow the books. Weekend opening should see a new blockbuster profit, at least for a series installment.

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