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Milk the Franchise | September 23, 2017

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A Great Disturbance in the Force: Adam Driver in Star Wars Episode VII

A Great Disturbance in the Force: Adam Driver in Star Wars Episode VII
Ron Seifried
Adam Driver could either be the next David Prowse or the next Hayden Christensen. Or he could become the first Star Wars villain to become a break-out star.
According to Variety, Adam Driver is just about to sign on to be the villain in “Star Wars: Episode VII,” which is scheduled to begin shooting this May in London. Driver will be the first official casting confirmation for the sequel. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fischer have been long rumored to reprise their roles, but as of now nothing has been confirmed.
Director J.J. Abrams has been characteristically tight lipped about the project, only confirming the return of droid R2-D2 in a tweet a few months ago.
Star Wars Episode VII
The first Tweet from the Star Wars Episode 7 set, Nov. 2013
Reportedly, the details holding up the Driver signing is coordinating the schedule with his current gig on HBO’s hit series “Girls” and possibly Star Wars Episodes VII and IX.
Thirty-year old Driver already has an impressive resume. Besides “Girls,” he had parts in “Lincoln,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “The F-Word” and is currently shooting the sci-fi “Midnight Special.” Add that he is also rumored to be attached to the next Martin Scorsese project; Lucasfilm may have their hands on the next big star. He also has extensive stage experience, including playing opposite Frank Langella in Roundabout’s “Man And Boy” starring in John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger.”
Driver is reportedly playing a villain, but it is not known if this means a Sith Lord like Darth Vader, or a one-off archetype character like Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Expanded Universe.  
This is a great casting move if it turns out to be true. “Girls” is probably the most accessible of his latest work to review his creative transformation. Driver plays Lena Dunham’s boyfriend, a part that has evolved from a creepy loner to an emotionally centered patriarch within the self-involved world of hipster Brooklyn twenty something’s over the course of three seasons.
Driver has an intense range including awkward, painful sexual encounters and momentary anger that feed into the elements of great villain. The latest episode showcases his quiet uncertainty and childish  enthusiasm when landing a part on Broadway, delivering another angle of his versatility.
This is what we know about Star Wars Episode VII:
Star Wars Episode VII is the first film of the third trilogy of George Lucas’s science fiction franchise that began in 1977. This will be the first film under the new Disney/Lucasfilm partnership. As part of Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in October 2012, Lucas turned over story treatments for Episodes VII, VIII & IX which he began writing in the early 1970′s.
Although there is no confirmation what the stories will be about, based on clues from George Lucas from the past 3+ decades, this is what we know:
  • The droids R2-D2 and C-3PO are the only characters that appear in all 9 of the main feature films. They act as narrators and keepers of adventures from that galaxy far, far away. A brief idea of their role can be seen when they tell their adventures to the Ewoks in “Return of the Jedi.”
  • Episode VII takes place 20-40 years after “Return of the Jedi.” With the possible inclusion of the three main characters of the original trilogy and the release date of Episode VII, it will be 32 years.
  • The new trilogy would deal with the rebuilding of the Republic after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi.
  • In 1980, Lucas said the saga will focus around “a core group of people, a family.”
  • Luke Skywalker will have a romantic relationship with a female love interest
  • Moral and philosophical problems will be the main theme of the new trilogy. Characters will need the wisdom to choose between right from wrong.
  • The main three actors; Luke, Han and Leia will be in their 60′s and 70′s. Because of this apparent time frame, it is a strong probability that  Hamill, Ford and Fisher will return.
  • IMDb has Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) and Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) confirmed in the cast. Hamill, Ford & Fisher are listed as “rumored.
  • Composer John Williams will return to score the music.
Over the years, Lucas has claimed from time to time that there were 12 main stories to the entire saga, but the only official announcement from Disney is continue the franchise up to the 9th Episode and at least three standalone spinoff films. Lucas biographer Dale Pollack said he read the outlines to 12 Episodes in the 1980′s but signed a confidentiality agreement and is unable to discuss the details. He has stated “The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, and new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.’” He also added these outlines had Luke in his 30s and 40s.
Star Wars Episode VII
A more recent pic from the production of Episode 7. Check out the Millenium Falcon on one of the artist renderings
In 1991 a new Expanded Universe to the Star Wars galaxy began with the publication of the first novel of a new trilogy that takes place 5 years after the events of “Return of the Jedi.” Written by Timothy Zahn and officially approved by Lucasfilm, the series made the New York Times Bestseller list and spawned a bumper crop of dozens of new publications and games, focusing on the main characters of the Original Trilogy. Zahn met with Lucas before writing his novels and said he was briefed on sequel plans so as not to conflict with his novels and storylines and/or character development. In 2012 Zahn said “The original idea as I understood it—and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now—but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him, and if there was another 7th, 8th or 9th film, it would be Luke’s children.”
Lucas is on board as a consultant, but we already know there have been major changes to the secretive script. Michael Arndt was writing a script for over a year, but it has recently been reported that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan would be rewriting Arndt’s script. Arndt, best known as the writer of “Toy Story 3” and “Little Miss Sunshine” was reportedly focusing too much on the next generation of Skywalkers and Solos. The new direction has been rumored to focus more on the Luke, Han and Leia, with the next generation getting more screen time in Episodes VII and IX.
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