If you weren't already completely over-excited about Star Wars Episode VII, then it's safe to say you probably will be in about ten seconds. You know that Imperial Blockade surrounding the Star Wars set? Well, something got through.
Something...from the dark side.
The image was leaked online by a Rey-Phillip Santos (a name that's listed as being part of the official Episode VII production staff) accompanied by the kind of Twitter annotation that'll send shivers down spines - #Darkside.
Now, while there's no guarantee that the image is for real - and if it is, you have to imagine that Santos is going to be packing his bags any day now - it sure looks like it might be.
And if it is, we might just have an idea of who - or what - that is.
Meet the contenders:
The Yuuzhan Vong
A long shot this one - since there's nothing more closely identified with the jettisoned Expanded Universe than the invasion-happy Yuuzhan Vong, but there's certainly a hint of resemblance there - if as you'd imagine they've taken a less Orcish route. With the Yuuzhan Vong being an intergalactic race of genocidal, technophobic religious zealots, they're very much on the longshot side of the Episode VII appearance spectrum - especially as in the Expanded Universe they killed a little under 365 Trillion people. That might just be a little too much of a downer for J.J. Abrams.
The Nightsisters (And Asajj Ventress)
Think force-powered witches, and you're not a million light years away from the Nightsisters, Dathomir's premiere dark arts users and KISS-impersonators. Their most famous figures? Mother Talzin - who fans may remember is largely responsible for Darth Maul returning to the Star Wars universe with fancy new cybernetic legs. The other? Asajj Ventress. Aside from stealing fans hearts, Ventress spent most of her time in The Clone Wars animated series chasing after a pre-evil Anakin Skywalker, and generally being awesome (and varying degrees of dead, depending on the level of canon). Is it too much to hope for that she might just make it to Episode VII?
The Original Sith
Go back far enough into Star Wars history, and you end up hitting some seriously weird stuff. Among the strangest, the fact that the Sith weren't originally a quasi-religious order devoted to the dark side of the force - they were an entire species, who lived in a symbiotic relationship with it. Which kind of explains the whole not thinking they're bad guys thing, if you think about it. They're a long shot to appear in the main film, especially as their red hues are a way away from the image that just leaked - but what are the odds of us seeing a glimpse of them in flashback, setting up a spin off movie of some sort?
What do you guys think? If we assume that the image is for real - an I'm enough of an optimist to be inclined to, then it could open up a whole galaxy of possibilities. My initial response was that there was a hint of Twi'lek about it, but the more Nightsisters and Original Sith I see the more I think we could - just possibly - see a tiny bit of the Expanded Universe in [Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158).