While many fans may only be familiar with the six “Star Wars” films, there is an entire world of spinoff novels, comics, and video games collectively referred to as the Expanded Universe. These stories detail what happens to the “Star Wars” universe both after “Return of the Jedi” and before “The Phantom Menace.”
One of the most popular Expanded Universe stories is the Admiral Thrawn trilogy. Starting with the 1991 novel “Heir to the Empire,” the trilogy sees Luke, Leia, Han and the new Galactic Republic face off against the remnants of the empire led by Admiral Thrawn. The books have been a hit with “Star Wars” fans, and sites have been floating the idea that Episodes 7-9 will revolve around Thrawn.
"Of all the speculation out there about the content of this new trilogy, that's the single most concrete idea," says Eric Geller at the fan site TheForce.net. "It's almost inevitable that the story will take place in the same time frame as those books."
However, according to E and a source at Lucasfilm, the new trilogy will be entirely original, so it might be time to scrap this rumor already.
A New George Lucas
Because Lucas will only be involved in the new trilogy as a creative consultant, it’s likely that Disney will want to cast someone else to mastermind the series. While Lucas was largely an unknown when he first directed “Star Wars,” it’s unlikely that Disney would hire someone without name recognition to helm the new series.
EW has been floating around several ideas as to who should replace Lucas as the new creative director of the “Star Wars” franchise, and none of the ideas (including Christopher Nolan and “Twilight” director Catherine Hardwicke) seem particularly appealing. J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon sound like they might work best in the “Star Wars” universe, but aren’t they both working on multi-million sci-fi franchises of their own?
Obviously, we don’t know what the trilogy will look like story-wise, but one has to wonder whether or not Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and the gang will be returning. And if they are, will their original actors return as well?
While it might seem odd to think of a 70-year-old Harrison Ford returning to his role as the bad boy Han Solo, the veteran actor is still in the business and it wasn’t too long ago that he reprised his role as Indiana Jones. However, given their age, it might be best to let Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and the rest simply make cameo appearances in the new trilogy, as Leonard Nimoy did in the 2009 “Star Trek” reboot.