Star Wars: Episode VII is said to kick off the third trilogy, which will take place quite a few years after the events seen in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Michael Arndt is currently set as the sole writer of the screenplay, and he will be working off original ideas and themes created by George Lucas. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C3P0, and R2D2 are all rumored to be returning in some capacity. And the fact that both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher have slimmed down considerably since taking a lunch meeting with George Lucas last summer seems to point to their eventual involvement.
So, we have a vague idea where this is headed. Michael Arndt's story is going to work in setting up Star Wars: Episode VIII, which arrives in 2017, and Star Wars: Episode IX, which will arrive in 2019. But what about the movies after this?
Well, a sneaky spy, also known as an "industry insider" with close ties to Lucasfilm has let it slip that the fourth trilogy will revolve around Darth Vader's early years under Emperor Palpatine. It's also possible that within this timeline, we will see a teenage Han Solo and Lando Calrissian who join the Imperial Army as new recruits. Basically, Lucasfilm wants to use classic characters in new ways, because that's what the fans want, right?
The Lucasfilm insider had this to say about Darth Vader's eventual resurrection.
"He's an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible. The plan is for him to return and play a significant role in the new films. This is science fiction remember. Darth Vader will rise from the ashes."
There is no word on whether or not Hayden Christensen has taken any lunch meetings with George Lucas in regards to reprising the role of Darth Vader. By the time 2021 rolls around, the actor might be just the right age at 40 to play a Darth Vader coming to grips with his robotic outer shell. You know who else will be the perfect age to play Darth Vader? Jake Lloyd. As the film is nearly ten years away from production at this point, its impossible to guess who'll play a young Han and Lando.
Star Wars: Episode VII comes to theaters December 18th, 2015 and stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Adam Driver, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong'o. The film is directed by J.J. Abrams.