The latest big news for fans of the franchise is the announcement that Harrison Ford is on board to reprise his iconic role as Han Solo, nearly 40 years after his first encounter with a light saber. The sequel is set to shoot in Los Angeles, New Mexico and at the Bluewater shopping complex just outside London.
According to Disney’s press release, Star Wars: Episode VII will be an original story not based on the “extended universe” library, including novels or graphic novels. The film and its planned sequels Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX will include older versions of many of the characters featured in the original trilogy. While the entire cast of Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to be announced, several media outlets have reported that both Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams have expressed interest in reprising their respective roles as Princess Leia and Lando Calrissian, while Mark Hamill waits for more information about the film.
Lawrence Kasdan, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of the Star Wars sequels The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, will team up with Screenwriter/Producer Simon Kinberg (This Means War) to develop other Star Wars features to be produced alongside the new sequel trilogy. These features will focus on younger versions of classic Star Wars characters, like Han Solo, Yoda and bounty hunter Boba Fett. Lucasfilm Founder George Lucas has handpicked veteran Producer Kathleen Kennedy as his successor at the film studio. As the president of Lucasfilm, Kennedy will be both executive producer of the new Star Wars films and brand manager for the franchise.