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May The Force Be With You

I Have a Good Feeling About This: Star Wars: Episode VII Might Be Getting a Female Protagonist and a New Release Date


And with the confirmation that J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII, the rumor mill begins spinning anew.

What’s the latest on the first installment in the sequel trilogy? Two things. One, it might be coming out later than 2015. And two: Rumors about a female protagonist just got a little more weight to them.

Yay to both things!

First, regarding the female protagonist. The rumors were kicked off when /Film editor Peter Sciretta tweeted earlier this month “Who said the lead character in Star Wars Episode VII is going to be a male star?”, which is more than a little cryptic. Now /Film has this to offer:

Our sources have been telling us for a while now that Steven Spielberg was really pushing [LucasFilm President Kathleen] Kennedy to hire Abrams. The story goes that Abrams was the first filmmaker approached after Spielberg, but was very hesitant. Kennedy talked to other directors including Ben Affleck and also Matthew Vaughn who may have pitched to have Chloë Grace Moretz in the lead role. Our sources say that Spielberg was instrumental in convincing Abrams and Kennedy to make it happen.

So. We know that Episode VII writer Michael Arndt has been working on the script for a few months, and if /Film’s sources are legit it would indicate that at some point the film had a female lead. That might still be the case or it might not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it were. Happy, but not surprised.

Whether you like them or not, the financial successes of the Twilight series, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman have proven that movies with female leads can rake in the big bucks, and that’s what’s important to a studio like Disney. Cynical, but true.

ScreenRant points out that:

“Disney absorbing both Lucasfilm and Marvel (and maybe even Hasbro, if rumors are to believed) was partly motivated by a desire to expand the company’s appeal to the male demographic. Hence, making Star Wars more friendly to female geeks – in order to pull in more women, while also updating the franchise for the current zeitgeist – is a smart maneuver, since it’s a given the fanboys are going to show up no matter what.”

Female protagonist or no, according to The Hollywood Reporter we may not be seeing Episode VII until after 2015, when the movie was first slated to come out. According to THR “sources say Abrams has not committed to that release date, meaning the date could be changed if the development process requires it.”

Abrams has a history of refusing to be rushed along by studios (the release dates for both his Star Trek films were pushed back, for example), which is absolutely awesome. The Star Wars sequels are, to put it lightly, kind of a big deal, and two years never really seemed like enough time given how long post-production usually takes on SFX-heavy films. And it’s not like 2015 isn’t already crowded with tentpole movies, like The Avengers sequel and the Justice League movie.

I say let Abrams take however much time he needs. Push Episode VII back by a year and let all these younger film franchises scramble to set up their releases around it. It’s Star Wars, for chrissakes. I’ll wait a few years, I just want it not to be a disappointment like Episode I.

(via: ScreenRant)

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  • Dan Wohl

    Wow, that would really be terrific.

  • R.O.U.S.

    “I’ll wait a few years, I just want it not to be a disappointment like Episode I.” <— AMEN SISTER.

  • http://twitter.com/Gauldar BOBRACHA

    It was obvious that they were not going to make the 2015 date. I figure that the story will revolve around Jaina Solo because Harrison Ford, since we all know Disney is big on family and stuff.

  • http://brightblueink.net/ Inky

    I’m slightly bothered that they seem to think female geeks aren’t ALREADY into Star Wars, but both of these rumors sound excellent to me. I definitely hope it gets a good, solid time in development.

  • Anonymous

    There was a great story a few years ago about the actress who voices Ahsoka on the Clone Wars pushing for more female Star Wars gear to be released. She pointed out that there’s a huge female fanbase for the franchise and yet there’s very little clothing or apparel marketed at female fans.

  • Anonymous

    Could it be Jaina Solo?

  • TKS

    But is LucasArts big on family and stuff? When it comes to their subsidiaries, Disney doesn’t necessarily infringe on the creative process that much. (How often have you seen Mickey Mouse on ESPN? Also, when it made Kill Bill, Miramax was owned by Disney.)

  • TKS

    I want to high five Chloë Grace Moretz. All the time. Though, I am upset that someone so much younger than me could be so much more awesome than me.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Possibly. Now that we know the writer and director, the next big piece of news —which I’m guessing we won’t know for a while—is whether Ep VII will pull from the EU or start afresh.

    I’m guessing that they’ll do the latter, but maybe not.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    Yesss. I would love if they stuck with established continuity and the expanded universe.

  • Amanda W

    I was just telling my coworker on Friday, wouldn’t it be sweet if the new Star Wars had a female protagonist?

  • DarthLocke4

    It would be really nice to have a female lead, and as stated, a staple note of Bad Robot anyways. As being raised on Star Wars, and not having a problem with episodes 1-3 like some people do, and being a HUGE Bad Robot fan, I am very excited to see what the next stage of Star Wars universe looks like on screen and have no doubt of something really emotional and thought provoking!

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    I don’t think they’ll pull in the established continuity of the EU, but I definitely think they will pull characters.

    I’m looking at the continuity like I would a comic book. Characters stay the same, stories change.

  • http://porlob.tumblr.com porlob

    If Chloe Grace Moretz is the protagonist of the new Star Wars movie, I will officially have to start giving a shit. Because I currently don’t, and she is unabashedly phenomenal.

  • Rizz Rustbolt

    Please not Mara Jade…

    Please not Mara Jade…

    Please not Mara Jade…

  • Anonymous

    She runs the site Her Universe and it is amazing! Great clothing for women and girls.

  • Travis Fischer

    I don’t think they’re going to pull the EU. They’ll either avoid it or steamroll it completely.

  • Anonymous

    Why not Mara Jade? She was alright in Mysteries of the Sith, and there’s no reason a film would have to translate her more Sueish aspects.

  • Heynu

    No. They will ignore the expanded universe. And that’s the best part of the Deal with Disney. I want to see that expanded Universe crap dead and buried!

  • Heynu

    Mara Jade sucks. Same as all other characters from the expanded universe.

  • http://www.facebook.com/GrievousGeorge George Leyva Jr.

    F YOU DISNEY; LEAVE STAR WARS ALONE!

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Really? Hundreds of characters in a universe, and not one that doesn’t suck? The odds of that are amazing.

  • http://twitter.com/MapleCheerUp Amanda

    They already said that it would not draw from established works…meaning none of the the post-ROTJ EU characters are likely to make an appearance in their current forms. Maybe we’ll see Han & Leia’s kids-but they won’t be Jacen, Jaina, or Anakin, maybe we’ll meet Luke’s spouse-but it won’t be Mara. This is sort of bittersweet for me, I was 7 when my parents introduced me to Star Wars in 1994, and I was immediately hooked, I went to the local library and stumbled onto Zahn’s Thrawn trilogy and plowed through it with delight, so for me, as much as I knew the books were not official canon, they have been a part of the Star Wars Universe for just about as long as the movies have for me, I wouldn’t hate seeing some nods to the EU pop up

  • http://twitter.com/Gauldar BOBRACHA

    I wouldn’t know, I don’t watch ESPN. Actually now that I think of t, LuscasArts has had the family angle for a while.

  • The Nerdy Nutritionist

    I am super excited for the new movies, and definitely glad that they’re taking their time with this one! I have high hopes indeed. I think they have no choice but to have a major female protagonist in these movies, female leads in action and sci-fi definitely bring in more money. Chloe is ok, but I’m kind of hoping that Jennifer Lawrence gets cast–she’s a great actress and would bring a lot of positive press and fans to the new movies. Thanks for sharing!!

  • CMFTW

    I like the idea of Chloe being the lead if they are choosing a young person. But if they are looking for someone a bit older while still having a young & fresh look to them and not that popular, then they should cast Yvonne Strahovski.

    Or they can make it double awesome by having BOTH Chloe and Yvonne (apprenticeship?) ! :D