Here’s a bullet I’m glad we dodged back in the day: Jordan Maison at Cinelinx reports of an Episode VII game idea that was floating around Lucasfilm in late 2004.
Episode VII: Shadows of the Sith would have put you in the role of an adult Ben Skywalker,” Haden explained, “who was walking the line between the light and dark sides of the Force, unleashing new Force powers never-before-seen in games or movies as he investigated a new threat to the galaxy (a Solo…).
The now decanonizedBen Skywalker was born close to the middle of the New Jedi Order series, in 2001’s Edge of Victory: Rebirth. At the time the idea was in play, The New Jedi Order series had ended with The Unifying Force almost a year before, with Ben still a toddler. His next appearance was the Dark Nest trilogy, which began with The Joiner King in July 2005.
Note again: This was just a pitch/concept, which makes it an interesting might-have-been, nothing more.
The idea of Episode VII being a game just doesn’t sit right at all… But if the game had made it to production I doubt that would have remained the title. Still, it’s interesting to imagine what we might have gotten if this had been in play for the increasingly disappointing final years of the Legends novels.
Episode 7 News is back with some clarification on their previous Mara Jade rumor. Their source now has a name – JediDigger – and they say his info comes from “discussions between people inside Lucasfilm and it’s licenses.”
The gist of his clarification is that they’re using the existing Expanded Universe characters as a template. The actual characters we get will be based on folks like Mara/Shira Brie, Jaina, Ben and such, but with different names – like the oh-so-convenient Korriban/Moriband confusion.
“This can not be made clearer, the post ROTJ EU launched in 91 is dead,” he says. “No story from Outbound Flight forward counts.” This all comes “the request of Disney, Kathleen Kennedy and Howard Roffman.”
But “the love of Luke Skywalker’s life” is a “character George Lucas has had since the end of Return of the Jedi,” which seems like it could conflict with the idea of basing her on Mara… Or does it? It’s not like we haven’t seen a similar character from Lucas before.
They’re also claiming that Michael Arndt has “moved on to Episode 8″ and that Abrams has met with Timothy Zahn. UPDATE: Zahn himself says this part isn’t true, which casts even more doubt on the rest.
So that’s a big rumor dump – but again, not a particularly trustworthy one: Taking the EU characters as templates is significantly less dramatic a change than I would expect. I continue to be skeptical.
Speculation. I generally stay away from this sort of thing, but Mike Cooper’s piece on JJ Abrams, Jesse Plemons, and the best-case scenario is a good read based on some of the things we’ve heard. (I still hope that Plemons isn’t in the mix for a Skywalker, though.)
Still no detailed reports from the Fate of the Jedi panel (Anyone? Bueller?) but here’s something new out of San Diego Comic-Con: Character portraits scanned from The Esstential Atlas! MizzeeOH was one of the lucky few to nab an early copy of the book at the con, and she’s been scanning and sharing over at NJOE. Above, Ben Skywalker, Jaina Solo and Corran Horn. (And yes, that is a perfectly acceptable shade of red hair on Ben. Right, Kelly?)