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Han Solo Could Play A Major Part In Star Wars: Episode VII

Han SoloEarlier today we learned that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford are all in London. That news started some wheels turning. You may remember, they were in this little movie called Star Wars a few years back. Since director J.J. Abrams is rumored to be filming his Star Wars: Episode VII at London’s Pinewood Studios, and all three actors are rumored to be involved, well, you get where this train of thought went. This, of course, kicked the rumor mill into high gear, and now we’re hearing reports that the first big table read for Episode VII is going down tomorrow, as well as rumblings in regard to some of the new additions to the cast and the size of the role Han Solo could play. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll hear something about the cast soon.

Many suspect that Disney and Lucasfilm are waiting until this Sunday, May 4th—get it, May the Fourth be with you—to make an official announcement. A new report from Deadline says the cast and crew are slated to get together for the first time tomorrow for their inaugural read through of the script. Given that it will be hard for them all to gather in such a manner and not have some information leak out of Abrams’ “Mystery Box,” some speculate that we might finally have some concrete word on the cast. If this is in fact the case, we may hear something sooner than Sunday. You can bet that every scoop-hungry paparazzo in London is primed to get the first photos of the as-yet-unnamed cast.

The source cited in the report also links the names of a handful of young actors that could pop up. Girls star Adam Driver and Attack the Block’s John Boyega have both been linked to Episode VII for a good long while now, with Driver rumored to be the film’s primary villain. A bit of a surprise, Inside Llewyn Davis lead Oscar Isaac is also reportedly “in line for a major role.” That would reteam him with Driver, who also appeared in the Coen Brothers’ most recent film (they’re both featured on the incredible track “Please Mr. Kennedy”). Finally, there is talk of a role for a “young girl,” which the article guesses could be Maisie Richardson-Sellers, the Oxford-trained actress who was recently linked to a role that might be a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Though we don’t know much about Richardson-Sellers, who, at the present time, has no feature films to her credit, I’d be glad to see any of the other three cast. Isaac gave one of the most subtle, underrated performances of 2013 in the title role of Llewyn Davis, and Boyega is fantastic in Attack the Block, charming and charismatic enough to be a lead, but also with a wide emotional range.

The last part of the report has to do with Han Solo, and says that he has a “gigantic” role. Over time we’ve come to expect him, as well as other original cast members, to play a sizeable part. When Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over the writing duties from Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3), the rumor was that they beefed up the involvement of Ford, Hamill, and Fischer, whereas before they had been little more than cameos. I still suspect that first film in the new trilogy will focus more on the familiar faces while introducing us to a new generation that will take center stage in future movies. If the big three figure in to the ongoing action, you’d think they would film more than one chapter at a time since they’re all getting up there in years.

So these are the latest rumors. We still have to wait to see if any of them are true or not, but they all sound equally plausible, and it does seem more and more likely that we’ll hear something soon. But even if Abrams and company do announce the cast, that doesn’t mean they’ll tell us anything about their roles or characters. He has to give us something to wonder about and fret over, right?

Star Wars: Episode VII, with whoever happens to be in the cast, opens December 18, 2015.

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