So after what seems like years of speculation, we finally have an official Disney/Lucasfilm confirmation this week that our original trilogy heroes—Han, Luke and Leia (not to mention Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2) will all be back for Episode VII. Sorry Lando, unless they're planning to play the parallel game and have you return for Episodes VIII and IX.
Of these, the only one that I was particularly relieved to hear was the return of Anthony Daniels as C-3PO. He is one of the few principle actors whose name hadn't been bandied about so freely in the ages leading up to this announcement. While his inclusion would appear to be a no-brainer, I can't imagine his negotiation would have been the smoothest. But let's face it—the thought of anyone else trying to fill the golden protocol droid skin causes a great disturbance in the force.
And then all the others... yeah. Whatever. The most exciting announcement outside of the returning characters is that we get Max Von Sydow as what everyone assumes will be the token elder statesman evil guy. Of course how cool would it be for JJ to have cast him against type as an unlikely hero. Time will tell.
So as the dust settles, let's take stock of things. The Expanded Universe fans are heartbroken that their tales are being cast aside (though not erased, or worse yet, being made to shoot second). The prequel deniers are sitting pretty, thinking they'll finally get the characters they were denied in the prequels. And the Crystal Skull haters are complaining that they'd much rather see new stories than the geriatric adventures of our original heroes (um, how about the prequels...).
And how do I feel, you ask? I'm still in a positive mood following the previous announcements I've discussed on this here blog. To recap:
John's Top 5 reasons to embrace the new Star Wars films:
- Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back)
- Music by John Williams
- The return of the principal cast (Ford, Hamill and Fisher) and key supporting players (Peter Mayhew/Chewbacca and Anthony Daniels/C-3PO)
- An amazing executive in producer Kathleen Kennedy
- Did I mention Lawrence Kasdan?
Until next time, May the Force be with you.
Or May the 25th be with you. (Because if you really MUST celebrate Star Wars day, for god's sake celebrate the original one.)