Abrams Talks ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Mystery and Chiwetel Ejiofor Rumored for a Role

How would you describe the tone of the Star Wars franchise? I’d argue with A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back it was largely an adult drama, with Luke Skywalker’s naïveté, Princess Leia’s strong will and Han Solo’s machismo and sarcasm driving the train. By the time Return of the Jedi rolled around and the Ewoks entered the conversation things took a turn toward the children in the audience, though Jedi still has its fair share of darkness, especially in the final showdown between Luke, Darth and the Emperor.

The prequels, of course, were a joke, filled with kooky CG characters stepping in poop and Hayden Christensen. So what will J.J. Abrams‘ vision for Star Wars: Episode VII look like? What will the tonal approach be?

Speaking with The Times, Abrams (whom we recently learned is co-writing with Lawrence Kasdan) didn’t comment on tone, but does say he wants to bring some mystery back to the long ago galaxy:

I loved how Star Wars had that sense of a world far beyond the borders of what you can see and have been told. It’s one of the things it did so brilliantly. If you watch the first movie, you don’t actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They’re going to rule by fear – but you don’t know what their end game is. You don’t know what Leia is princess of. You don’t yet understand who Jabba the Hutt is, even though there is a reference to him. You don’t know that Vader is Luke’s father, Leia is his sister – but the possibility is all there. The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went.

I ask the question about tone, however, because perhaps the seriousness with which the film’s storyline will be taken can be cyphered by looking at the names already rumored for roles. These names include the likes of Benedict CumberbatchSaoirse RonanAlex PettyferRachel Hurd-Wood and others have been mentioned in conjunction with possible roles in the upcoming film and perhaps all this gives you some idea where it may be going and now, 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor has reportedly met with Abrams for a spot in the film.

The Times sort of stumbled on the news as they went to meet for an interview with Abrams at the Bad Robot offices only to find Ejiofor in the waiting room. Once the interview came around Abrams only said when asked, “I can’t discuss casting… but [Ejiofor] is a very talented gentleman.”

Following that up, however, a red carpet interview with Ejiofor coaxes an answer out of the actor at the 2:15 mark in the following video where he’s asked about the possibilty to which he says, “We’ll see if it happens… I’m not going to tell you.” The answer comes across in such a way that it seems to confirm he met for a role, but he can’t say if he got it or has taken it.

Go ahead and watch below and you be the judge.

Oh, and speaking of Solo, Jedi News (via The Playlist) claim Harrison Ford would only sign on to return as the intergalactic smuggler if he could “see the synopsis for his character’s development over more than just Episode VII.” The site reports Disney obliged and Ford has since agreed to a multi-film deal.


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