Harrison Ford as Han Solo, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in a scene from 1977's "Star Wars." (20th Century Fox)Link
Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill in "Star Wars." The pair reportedly could be returning for "Episode VII."Link
Chewbacca joins Luke, Han and Leia. No word on the status of wookies in the upcoming film.Link
Photos provided by Mann's Chinese Theatre depict the hoopla accompanying the original film. (Mann's Chinese)Link
Actor Harrison Ford, at an art gallery opening Feb. 7 in West Hollywood, may reprise his role as Han Solo in "Star Wars." (Paul A. Hebert / Getty Images)Link
Mark Hamill, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010, could be set to return as Luke Skywalker. (Stephanie Cornfield / For The Times)Link
Carrie Fisher, shown in 2011, has confirmed to news outlets her return to "Star Wars."Link
Carrie Fisher has said “yes,” she will reprise her role as Princess Leia in “Episode VII” of the “Star Wars” franchise. Now, George Lucas says that, months ago, Fisher, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford were in “final negotiations” to return.
They’d “already signed,” he told Bloomberg in an article published Thursday, or were “pretty much in final stages” of negotiations. Then, Lucas stopped short, seeming to fear he’d spoiled the surprise. There’s probably a plan to break the news with “some big whoop-de-do,” he said.
Fisher hasn’t been shy with the news, though. “Yes,” she told Palm Beach Illustrated, she will reprise her role. When asked what Princess Leia is like today, she replied with a laugh that she’s in an “intergalactic old folks’ home.”
In late January, as reported in Hero Complex, news broke that J.J. Abrams was set to direct “Episode VII.” He had previously denied that he would be involved. Abrams, notably, rebooted “Star Trek” in 2009 and followed that up with “Star Trek Into Darkness, to be released May 17.
There are few film franchises that can claim to have affected pop culture as profoundly as "Star Wars," the brainchild of George Lucas. A new "Star Wars" trilogy is destined for theaters, but here's a look back at the franchise's big-screen offerings over the years. Click through the gallery. (Chris Pizzello / Associated Press)Link
"Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope" (1977)
On the day "Star Wars" thundered into theaters on May 25, 1977, the film's producer Gary Kurtz appeared on a radio call-in show. Kurtz recalled: "This guy, this caller, was really enthusiastic and talking about the movie in really deep detail. ... I said, 'You know a lot abut the film.' He said, 'Yeah, yeah, I've seen it four times already.' And that was opening day. I knew something was happening." (Lucasfilm)
"Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)
The second "Star Wars" film, the most critically revered film in the franchise, was directed by Irvin Kershner. "I really knocked myself out," Kershner said. "I was able to go deeper into the characterization. I was doing the second act of a three-act play, or the second movement of a symphony. That's always the slower movement. I could not have a grand climax, I had to leave things ambiguous. My big climax came at the beginning of the film, with the battle in the snow, then I told the story of the people." (Lucasfilm)
"Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi" (1983)
The original series came to a close with "Return of the Jedi" -- a welcome ending for Lucas, who said at the time, "There hasn't really been one day in the last 10 years that I haven't had to wake up in the morning and say, 'God, I've got to worry about this movie. ... If I had to do it all over again, I'd have to think about it, especially if I knew what I was going to have to give up in order to get it."
"Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" (1999)
Sixteen years after the original trilogy wrapped up, "The Phantom Menace" began a new prequel trilogy based on Darth Vader's origin story. "Phantom Menace," which introduced new characters like Darth Maul (above right) and the much-maligned Jar Jar Binks, marked the first time a fully digital movie was shown to the public. It was the only "Star Wars" film to earn more than $1 billion at the box office. (Lucasfilm)
"Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002)
Anakin Skywalker's transformation from a precocious, pod-racing kid to the ultimate villain Darth Vader continued in "Attack of the Clones," in which Hayden Christensen portrayed the sullen young Jedi, and Natalie Portman played his lady-love, Padme. (Lucasfilm)
"Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005)
"Revenge of the Sith" opened 28 years after the original "Star Wars" and was the first to receive a PG-13 rating, due to several violent scenes as Anakin turns to the Dark Side. "I had to turn him into a monster," Lucas said at the time. "It's a tough story. You can't make a guy evil without having him do evil things." (Lucasfilm)
"Star Wars: The Clone Wars" (2008)
The Star Wars universe found its way to the big screen again in 2008, albeit in animated form. "The Clone Wars" centered on the wartime tales of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and featured Padme Amidala, Mace Windu, Count Dooku and other characters from the prequel trilogy. The film paved the way for the award-winning cartoon series of the same name. "I am amazed at how it continues," Lucas said at the time. "It’s not something I expected to happen, and not something we spend a lot of time thinking about trying to expand. This was created because I wanted to stimulate kids' imaginations, inspire them to be creative and to think outside the box." (Lucasfilm)
“Star Wars: Episode VII” will be written by Michael Arndt, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3.” The upcoming trilogy of new “Star Wars” films was announced Oct. 30 when Walt Disney Co. announced plans to acquire Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion.
“Star Wars” creator George Lucas, the man who seems to have loose lips, is expected to serve as a creative consultant on the new movies.
— Amy Hubbard