MORE WARS – the Star Wars Episode VII casting saga continues…

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Unfortunately I’m old enough that I’m currently experiencing a condition known as Phantom Menace Trauma (or PMT – as a man, that’s not an abbreviation I’m aware exists). Since Lucasfilm was bought out by Disney as part of their master plan to stockpile all things beloved from my childhood, and the inevitable announcement that a brand new trilogy in a Galaxy Far, Far Away was heading towards production, the internet has wordfarted itself stupid over every rumour, development and solid confirmation of news. Of course it has; this is Star Wars after all.

But I’ve been burned by this once* before – and remember my inner fanboy overdrive in the run-up to the Episode 1. Picking apart the initial trailer, premiered here in the UK on long-gone morning show ‘The Big Breakfast’, during classes at college… swopping notes on effects, getting giddy over character appearances (“HOLY FUCK IT’S JABBA!”), questioning how the shiny new ships would fit into the universe before the shonky-looking ones we knew and loved, and trying to figure out exactly which path would transform the boy we saw into the most famous heavy-breather in the universe. I did the opening night experience. I tried, I mean I really did, to justify the boring and convoluted mess that unfolded before me. I couldn’t and still can’t do it. This was the genesis of the PMT. It’s what keeps me in check from going nuts with glee at the fact we’re getting more Star Wars. We got more, and we got hurt.

But to not talk about it is pointless. It’s going to happen, and there’s absolutely no point in denying that virtually every person on this planet with cultural awareness is going to see Episode VII. Morbid curiosity still counts as a degree of interest.

Adam Driver

So the most recent newsbits that dropped are casting-related; last week, Adam Driver – last seen in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewellyn Davis and a recurring character in TV’s Girls – was all-but confirmed for a role as the new lead villain in the movie. Previous rumours have included Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Hugo Weaving and Gary Oldman (as well as Breaking Bad‘s Jesse Plemons for the new series’ central hero), but sources close to the Disney & Lucasfilm camp claim he is the number one choice for the role. Whether those other actors could also appear is still uncertain, but apparently Driver’s casting will be confirmed within days.

And today it’s been reported that, while appearing on the Anthony & Opie Show, Carrie Fisher – long-rumoured to be returning as part of the original cast with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Anthony Daniels – has dropped that she’ll be in London for six months during the production of the film. It’s not the first time she’s mouthed off about it, but it seems it’s confirmed to the extent that she’s OK to talk around the issue if not directly about it. Hamill has also mentioned it previously and looks likely to appear, but of course Ford is the biggest star and the biggest question mark. The closest we’ve got to a word from him was to WGN TV, when he said:

“I think it’s almost true. I’m looking forward to it. It’s not in the bag yet, but I think it’s happening.”

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Not pictured: age

So there you have it. JJ Abrams, fresh from steering the Enterprise, is of course directing – working from a script he co-wrote with Lawrence Kasdan – and scoring legend John Williams is returning to score. How excited any of this makes you depends on how deep your Prequel Scars run.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to relax with a camomile tea until my PMT calms down.

*Only once – I’m not so old that I was burned by Jedi and Ewoks the first time around, thank the maker

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