The Cast of Star Wars Episode VII is Announced…(!)

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So this picture was sent out yesterday- Luke! Han! Leia! Chewie! The Droids! And- new people! Star Wars is back!

Like many fans of science fiction, I love Star Wars. Yes, all of them. Epic mythology, spaceships, and sword fights- what’s not to like?

I admit that when I read Disney was purchasing Lucasfilm I imagined the worst.  It was inevitable that the company would capitalize on the popularity of the Star Wars franchise. I really didn’t imagine that Lucas would allow more films to be made. Surely Disney intended something more mundane. Maybe another cartoon with tie-in toy sales? But no, it was true- it was announced more films are coming! Episode 7, the first of a new trilogy, will be released in theaters in May, 2015.

Growing up, I was fascinated by the back story of the films and how the story evolved into the motion pictures we know today.  George Lucas developed an incredible universe in which he could tell the story of a man consumed by hate and his (Spoiler!) eventual redemption. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when it became official that Lucas was finally going to complete the much anticipated prequel trilogy.

There was a lot left to be desired in the Star Wars prequels.  I really don’t think they found their stride until Episode III. Which is a shame, as it was part of the story- Lucas’ story- for the films. I know a lot of fans simply cannot accept them. Nostalgia for the original trilogy is too strong. Far from perfect, they are part of George Lucas’ vision and are part of the overall story.

There have been rumors of a third trilogy for years. I believe that was even the studio’s intent as far back the release of the first film in 1977. (I certainly remember about it more than 20 years ago) But as the prequel trilogy came to fruition after more than a decade of speculation, Lucas himself said that was to be last of the Skywalker story.

So here we are now- almost a decade since the last credits rolled on what was to be the final Star Wars film, and we are a year away from a new chapter beginning.  I’m cautiously anxious. There is no end to the ways this film could disappoint even the most loyal fans.  But I want to believe that a new creative team and a fresh director can make the impossible happen. Surely it won’t be the same. After all, it’s been 30 years since Return of the Jedi.  But it doesn’t have to be the same. It shouldn’t even try to be. A new, original story in the Star Wars universe is all it needs to be.

I can’t hide my anticipation for one more chance to see Mark Hamill wield a lightsaber.

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