We also have some other delish unfounded Star Wars rumors (co-starring everyone’s favorite bounty hunter—no, not IG-88), and a smattering of actual legit info from J.J. Abrams.
Fun rumor first: The Full of Sith podcast reports that Dame Judi Dench is being considered to play rebel leader Mon Mothma in Episode VII. I don’t need to say that having Dench in Star Wars would be amazing. Imagine her saying “Many Bothans died to bring us this information.” It’s perfect. You can’t unhear it. Even if this particular rumor isn’t true, I really hope Mon Mothma ends up being in the sequel trilogy. She was one of only two (two!) non-Leia significant-to-the-plot female characters (no, I don’t count Oola) in the original trilogy. Plus she was an important part of the post-Empire government in the Expanded Universe, so it would be a great nod to fans to bring her back. Not to mention she’d be an over-40s female character who’s not someone’s mother, and there are far too few of those in film and TV.
Now for the non-Judi Dench items. Abrams confirmed that the script for Episode VII is done and that he and his team are currently in “deep prep,” part of which obviously includes casting. Everyone and their mother has been connected to Episode VII at some point—there was a stretch of time when “Would you want to be in Star Wars?” was the press junket interview question de rigueur, as if anyone would answer in the negative—though official sources have as of yet been mum for most of them. But there is one person we know is up for a role: Jesse Plemons of Friday Night Lights and Breaking Bad fame. “He is one of the actors that we’ve talked to, yeah,” said Abrams. “It’s not often that I read about actors that I’m going to be meeting. I get to read articles about actors who were going to come in, so I get to see someone and say, ‘Oh, I read that I was going to see you. It’s very nice to see you.’ It’s usually agents talking to people about what’s happening. It’s just a lot of noise.”
Plemons auditioning doesn’t necessarily mean he’s on Abrams’ shortlist; Saoirse Ronan, for example, was open about the fact that she tried out for a role, but then, “so has everyone.” (She didn’t get it, by the way.) But it is interesting that the notoriously tight-lipped Abrams would be the one to bring Plemons up. And he does bear a resemblance to Mark Hamill. Which brings us to more probably untrue rumors.
About a week ago we told you about the rumor of scandal brewing behind the scenes of Episode VII, with original writer Michael Arndt wanting to focus on a new generation of heroes (yay!) and Abrams preferring to heap screentime on Luke, Leia, and Han (I love them, but boo! Supporting roles!). Now Latino Review (pause for groaning and grain of salt collecting) is saying that Arndt wanted Episode VII to be about the Solo kids (whoever they end up being—the Expanded Universe’s Jacen, Jaina, and Anakin, or some new characters), while Abrams prefers the Skywalker clan.
But none of that compares to this next rumor. Oh, it’s glorious. In addition to the sequel trilogy there will be standalone films about individual characters, one of which will be written by Lawrence Kasdan. The scuttlebutt is that he’s tackling Boba Fett. But, again according to the Latino Review, Kasdan has some prequel trilogy bitterness just like the rest of us and hates what Attack of the Clones did to the Fettmeister, turning him from a baddie made all the more intriguing by his mysterious origins and taciturn nature into a clone with a tragic backstory. So if the rumors are true Kasdan plans to retcon that, making the Boba Fett from the original trilogy someone who killed prequel-Boba and took his armor and name.
True? Probably not. The Latino Review puts out rumors all the damn time, and most of them turn out to be unfounded. But it’s fun to imagine Kasdan—who in addition to the spinoff wrote Episodes V and VI and is contributing to the Episode VII script—swooping in like an avenging angel and erasing as much of the prequels’ tomfoolery as he can get his hands on. “Guys, did you know the Jedi are really into having high cholesterol? But it’s a closely guarded secret, so they had to invent a new word for it: Midichlorians. All that stuff about testing for the Force was just a joke. Ha ha. Yoda, what a joker.”