Crazy-ass Episode VII rumor du jour: Darth Vader returns, and Obi-Wan killed your father

‘Industry insiders’ tell that Darth Vader will be returning in Episode VII.

“He’s an integral part of the franchise. Replacing him is virtually impossible,” explains a film mole.

“The plan is for him to return and play a significant role in the new films.”

Lest we forget, Darth Vader died – as Anakin Skywalker – in Episode VI, Return of the Jedi. And I’m sure this can be fanwanked to hell and back – flashback? Zombie? Reincarnation? – but for now, let’s just remember that sometimes a rumor is just a rumor.

Roundup: J.J. Abrams and Jon Favreau excited for Episode VII – Quentin Tarantino, not so much

Directors. Hollywood Life talks to Star Trek’s J.J. Abrams and Iron Man’s Jon Favreau about Episode VII. “I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer,” Abrams said.

“I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We’ll see,” Favreau said. (Lest we forget, Favreau voiced a character on The Clone Wars back in 2010.)

On the other side of the spectrum, Quentin Tarantino said the other day that he couldn’t care less about Star Wars and isn’t interested in the job. But then, did anyone actually expect he would be?

History. Huffpo’s Mike Ryan takes a look at the Making of books and interviews to document Harrison Ford’s history with Han Solo, and all the comments he’s made about the character over the years.

Release date.’s Scott Johnson and his sources theorize that Disney could make Episode VII the first Star Wars movie not come out in May, since Avengers 2 is currently slated for May 1, 2015. I am beyond skeptical.

Hasbro and Disney. MSN Money takes a detailed look at the rumor that Disney is in talks to buy the toymaker, while CNBC analyst David Faber said that Hasbro is denying it.

On a lark… Entertainment Weekly takes inspiration from other franchises.

Video: Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas on directors and getting started on Episode VII has released the second video featuring Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas talking about the new Star Wars films, Lucas’ role in them, and what they’re looking for in a director.

There’s some overlap with the first video in the beginning, Kennedy did mention “people she’s worked with in the past,” but didn’t bring up any names. “I think we have a unique opportunity to go after some incredibly talented people,” she says. “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably, it’s gonna be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this. I think the thing that will be immediately apparent are the directors who walk into the room and say ‘I can’t wait to be a part of this.'”

“I think it’s going to be a pretty long list,” Kennedy concludes.

Report: Toy Story 3’s Michael Arndt has written a treatment for Episode VII

UPDATE: confirms that Michael Arndt will indeed be writing the Episode VII screenplay.

Vulture’s Claude Brodesser-Akner reports today that “informed sources” say that Michael Arndt has “written a 40- to 50-page treatment” for Episode VII.

Their sources also tell them that the studio higher-ups want to bring back the older Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo, with “high ambitions” to sign Mark Hamill at least.

Arndt, who won the original screenplay Oscar in 2007 for Little Miss Sunshine, has used the original Star Wars screenplay in lectures to writers; Brodesser-Akner dubs him a “Star Wars expert.”

Arndt’s treatment will “cross the desks” of big name directors that include Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams, Brodesser-Akner writes.

UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has their own sources which corroborate the Vulture report.

Is he the man for Lucasfilm and Disney? Well, for all we know he could just be one of several writing such treatments, but he has the connections, the passion, and, as we learned in Toy Story 3, the ability to make grownups bawl like babies.

Arndt scripts currently in pre-production include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind.

In other Episode VII ‘news’ that may sooth your mind, Sucker Punch’s Zack Snyder doesn’t seem interested. Phew.

Carrie Fisher on returning to Star Wars: “Wouldn’t you?”

The internet’s favorite celebrity street-harassers, TMZ, caught up with Carrie Fisher at LAX to ask if she’s come back to Star Wars. An unenthused Fisher (can’t blame her – aren’t airports hellish enough without paparazzi?) answered “Yes. Sure. Wouldn’t you?”

Of course, Fisher has had more time than the rest of us to get used to the idea – George Lucas told her and Mark Hamill about the sequels in August.

Rumor: Safety Not Guaranteed‘s Colin Trevorrow on shortlist to direct Episode VII?

The director of sci-fi indie Safety Not Guaranteed has had “early discussions” with George Lucas and Lucasfilm to direct Episode VII, Celebuz reports.

“Trevorrow met Lucas several months ago to talk about the project,” they write. They can “confirm that Trevorrow is indeed on the list of potential names that could shepherd a new trilogy of films.”

I hesitate to call Trevorrow unknown – at least in comparison to some of the names we’ve had thrown around thus far – but this is the first I’ve heard of him. However, a lesser-known director would fit with Lucas’s MO in the past. But remember, while it’s completely plausible that he may have met with Lucas and be on the shortlist, this is still a rumor!

UPDATE: Well, sort of. Indiewire got hold of Trevorrow for a thrilling “No Comment.” Well, if you were (supposedly) on the shortlist, wouldn’t you?

As for one of our other rumored director candidates, Matthew Vaughn, writer Mark Millar says that he dropped out of the X-Men: First Class sequel to work on the movie adaption of the comic Secret Service.