While not extremely surprising, Liam Neeson confirmed in a recent interview with Hey U Guys that he will not be reprising his Ned Stark-esque role in the upcoming movies. As much as I love Liam Neeson, this news is expected and kind of not needed.
There are a handful of characters that are definitely not coming back, some that have not yet been confirmed, and some that we just don't want to see again. Rumors of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine resurfacing in the new films (either via flashback or cloning) have been flying around the blogosphere for a while, but for the most part, the returning characters are those who were very much alive at the end of Return of the Jedi.
Let's take a look at who we've bid farewell to forever, and who's fate is still up in the air:
Wedge Antilles: Not Returning
One of the most solid confirmations of the a no-show in the upcoming Star Wars saga is Wedge Antilles, Luke's friend and the famed Corellian pilot who helped bring down the Empire in the original trilogy. Denis Lawson, who portrayed Wedge in the original trilogy, is reportedly bored by the role and franchise. He's declined to participate in the upcoming films, but that doesn't necessarily mean Wedge is 100% off the table. While a re-cast isn't something common for the Star Wars franchise (save for Anakin, as he aged) it is a possibility.
Lando Calrissian: Not Confirmed
The rumor mill says we might be seeing an offspring of Lando's in the new films and Billy Dee Williams is more than happy to reprise the role, but so far, there's been no confirmation of Lando in the films. Billy Dee Williams is involved in the upcoming Star Wars Rebels cartoon, but since Lando was quite young around the time that the series takes place, I have a feeling he may not be reprising the role of Lando specifically.
Boba Fett: Not Confirmed
Fan favorite Boba Fett is practically confirmed to have his own spinoff film in the works, but may not appear in the new movies. In Expanded Universe canon, Boba Feet survives his not-so-fatal fall into the Sarlacc pit and returns to wreak more havoc on our heroes. So far, there's been no news on whether or not this will hold true (as it's been recently announced that the expanded universe canon has been done away with for the new movies) so no one's really sure about whether or not we'll see the return of our favorite bounty hunter.
Jar Jar Binks: Hopefully Never Coming Back
Arguably the fandom's least favorite character, there's definitely been no indication that we'll be seeing the comic relief of the prequel films in the upcoming saga. Collective sighs aside, I 'do' hope that we get to return to Naboo so that we can see what's happened to Padme and Palpatine's home planet post-Empire. I can definitely see it being anywhere between a jungle Dystopia to a completely different planet with pollution and lots of political clean-up required.
Are there any characters you'd like to see in the new trilogy, or any you hope won't show? Let me know in the comments!
[Star Wars: Episode VII](movie:711158) releases on December 18, 2015.