Star Wars leaks, it seems, are like buses. You wait ten years for one, and then they all come along at once. The latest reveal from an increasingly porous-seeming set relates to Episode VII's villains - and might just tell us a whole lot about the plot of the upcoming trilogy.
Note, SPOILERS may lie below. Or, then again, they might not. It entirely depends on how accurate the leaks are...
Makingstarwars.net have received word from the set - to which they've attached the now-standard 'this might all be mis-information' disclaimer - that seems to indicate exactly what form Episode VII's villains will take - and who will play them.
Star Wars 7 and The Villains
Quoth the site:
The bad guys in Star Wars: Episode VII are being called “Jedi Hunters” by people working on and around the film. These are scary individuals, dressed in black, some helmeted, that hunt Jedi for the Empire.
Which sounds, firstly, awesome, but also distinctly like a villain that has already been announced for elsewhere in the Star Wars universe. This guy:
That surly looking gentleman is the Inquisitor, the upcoming Star Wars Rebels' TV series' big bad. His MO? Hunting down any Jedi that remain after the end-of-Episode III purge.
Which may make these rumors sound a little...derivative. It shouldn't, though. Since Star Wars Rebels exists within the new, official canon, it wouldn't be at all unrealistic to expect there to be substantial links between the series and the upcoming movies. An epic line of villains, dedicated to killing all those we hold dear? That could work.
Helpfully, Makingstarwars.net had a similar line of thinking, and asked their sources about it:
The original person to bring up “Jedi Hunters” had no idea what Star Wars Rebels was all about. I filled this person in and they said it sounded exactly like what they’re filming for Star Wars: Episode VII.
What's more, they have a goal: "The resurrection of the Sith". According to one source, it “sounds like it happens in the next film” (Episode VIII) to which they added “I guess they kill him (said resurrected Sith) in IX.”
Which would be about as natural plot arc as you're ever going to get, I suppose.
What, though, does this mean for our heroes?
Tie all the new information together and it sets up a pretty grim picture of the Galaxy far far away - for our heroes, at least.
Combine the rumor that "there is no New Republic" with some of the other rumored details, and you have a pretty ugly scenario for Luke and the gang. One source reportedly confirmed that:
[T]he Jedi Hunters worship the Sith and want to resurrect them. Their mandate was to protect the Sith at all costs and insure their survival...Luke Skywalker has been fighting to stop this for the last thirty years of his life, but he is outnumbered, tired, and in need of help.
So, no New Republic, no Expanded Universe, and no happy ending for our heroes thus far. It's an intriguing scenario - and one that would allow for a far wider range of interesting plot-lines than a simple repeat of the prequel trilogy's Senate wranglings. It could even allow for lost Skywalker progeny to be dotted around the universe for their own protection. It's also, though, massively depressing - imagine how much of a downer that scrolling text at the beginning of the movie is going to be...
There's one more element to the leaks that's worth sharing, though...
Another source quoted by Makingstarwars.net revealed just who would be playing those Jedi Hunters - and it's...more or less who you would expect.
They suggest that Adam Driver and Lupita Nyong'o will play the lead hunters, with Nyong'o possibly wearing "yellow contact lenses", having been spotted trying them out some time ago.
The source also suggests that they'll be "characterized by black and chrome with troopers in similar black and chrome uniforms. They’re very imperial, but very new."
So something along the lines of a TIE Fighter pilot crossed with an Imperial Guard? Yep, I'd be intimidated by that.
So What Does All This Mean?
Well, first up, if this is all true (or even sort of true), then Luke Skywalker is going to be a complete badass in Episode VII. If he's spent the last thirty years being hunted, while simultaneously founding a new Jedi order of some sort, he's likely to be a whole lot more like Episode III's Obi Wan than Episode IV's.
Han and Leia could go either way - you'd have to suspect that they'd have gone legitimate, and be attempting to run a functional government in some part of the galaxy. Then again, you can pretty much guarantee that Han at least will be back in the Millenium Falcon within an hour or two - what odds on a return to rogue-ery prompted by Luke needing some help?
As for the new cast? Well, aside from the two that this would pull to the dark side, could it mean a lost Jedi or two popping up - or a hidden Skywalker?
We'll likely not get confirmation of any of this for months yet - and it could all still turn out to be a giant bundle of misinformation leaked by J.J. Abrams just to mess with us - but at least we're starting to get some seriously interesting stuff coming out of the set.
However, if the next thing leaked is that they kill off Chewbacca, I'm going to go down to Pinewood and start throwing things.
[Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158) is set for release December 18, 2015. I know, I can't realistically wait that long either.