Slowly but surely, the blurry picture regarding the new Star Wars trilogy continues to come into focus. J.J. Abrams has been added as the director, and a major casting rumor connects Harrison Ford to the feature, in his iconic role of Han Solo.
But is it going to be a cameo? A significant part? Does Ford’s involvement point toward a possible direction of the story? And will Ford soon be joined by fellow Star Wars veterans Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher? While we wait for official confirmation of Ford’s involvement, I reached out to the biggest Star Wars student I know – Geeks of Doom’s Adam Frazier – to get his thoughts on the casting rumor, and the existing Expanded Universe books that might lend structure to the pending Star Wars trilogy. Let’s discuss.
Sean: Adam, this is huge news about Harrison Ford reportedly ready to step back into Han Solo’s shoes for the trilogy that J.J. Abrams will begin with Episode VII. Now, it’s only a rumor at this point, and no one from Team Star Wars or Ford’s camp have confirmed anything. But let me start with your initial reaction. Is this a good idea?
Adam: Yes, I think Harrison Ford was really the linchpin to this new sequel trilogy. We all assumed that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams would be happy to come back — but we doubted Ford’s commitment to Star Wars because he’s been so vocal about his apathy toward the franchise.
Sean: Exactly. Do you think, then, that we’re about to start hearing confirmations (or more rumors) linking the original stars to the new films? Are Hamill and Fisher next?
Adam: Absolutely. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some sort of announcement in May (around the anniversary of Star Wars) that Hamill and Fisher are returning — or maybe later in the summer at Comic-Con, a reunion of sorts.
Sean: Oh, that would tear the roof off of Hall H.
Adam: Yeah — and ideally, that’s probably what Disney wanted to surprise everyone with — Harrison Ford’s return — but that cat might be out of the bag now.
Sean: Agreed. OK, so assuming that you are correct, and the other key players might be joining Ford for the next storyline, are there plots and stories from any particular Star Wars novels that you think can be combed over to build the new trilogy? Does it sound like we’re heading toward a particular SW story that you’re familiar with?
Adam: Well, I’ve been pondering this myself and honestly, most of the “good” Expanded Universe material takes place in the immediate years after Return of the Jedi — you’ve got stories like The Truce at Bakura, The Thrawn Trilogy, The Dark Empire Series, The Jedi Academy books. But the majority of those stories take place five to 10 years after A New Hope, so I’m not sure if we’ll see those stories on screen.
They might look to jump forward and pick up with Han and Leia’s children being around Luke’s age in Episode IV — because as we learned from the prequels, stories about baby Jedi are hard to pull off.