Star Wars Episode VII:
The Force Awakens
Film information
Directed by: J.J. Abrams
Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy
J.J. Abrams
Bryan Burk
Bad Robot Productions
Lawrence Kasdan (consultant)
Simon Kinberg (consultant)
Written by: George Lucas (story treatment)
Michael Arndt (screenplay)
Distributed by: The Walt Disney Company
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Language: English
"It's an original story."
―A Lucasfilm source, speaking about the plot for Star Wars Episode VII

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (also known as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) is a 2015 American space opera epic film directed, co-produced, and co-written by J. J. Abrams. The first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, it stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow. Produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and Abrams' production company Bad Robot Productions and distributed worldwide by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, The Force Awakens marks a break in creative control from the original series as the first Star Wars film not produced by franchise creator George Lucas. Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, it follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron's search for Luke Skywalker and their fight alongside the Resistance, led by veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor group to the Galactic Empire.


Disney purchases LucasfilmEdit

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The Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm from George Lucas paved the way for the creation of Star Wars Episode VII.

On October 30, 2012, The Walt Disney Company announced that it had purchased Lucasfilm Ltd., the production company behind the creation of the Star Wars franchise, from its owner, Star Wars creator George Lucas, for $4.05 billion. The acquisition came in the wake of Lucas's announced retirement on May 31, and the subsequent June 1 announcement that veteran film producer Kathleen Kennedy was succeeding Lucas as Lucasfilm's Co-Chair. As part of the merger, Disney revealed that it planned to release a new sequel trilogy of films, beginning in 2015, that would include the long-awaited Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX. Lucas will remain involved as a creative consultant, with Kennedy serving as executive producer.

Star Wars Episode VII has already been in development for several months as of the Disney–Lucasfilm merger. Lucas has written the story treatments for each of the three upcoming films. According to Kennedy, the development team is currently in the process of sitting down with writers to discuss story ideas. According to a Lucasfilm source, the basis for Star Wars Episode VII will be an original story, rather than taking inspiration from previous Expanded Universe content, such as author Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy of novels, which chronologically follows the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi in the Star Wars canon.

Assembling the teamEdit

"I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller. He's an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."
―George Lucas, on J.J. Abrams
EPVII BR Workshop

J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy at Bad Robot Productions during the film production.

Lucasfilm confirmed on November 9 that pre-production has begun on Star Wars Episode VII, and that screenwriter Michael Arndt will write the script for the film. News outlets first reported Arndt's involvement on November 8, announcing that, according to insiders, Arndt has already turned in a forty-to-fifty-page story treatment that will reportedly bring the Skywalker family saga to a close in a new trilogy.

Reports first announced on January 24, 2013 that J.J. Abrams, known for his work on the television series Lost and the most recent entries in the Star Trek film series, will direct Star Wars Episode VII. confirmed the reports the following day.

According to reports, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will co-produce all three films of the upcoming sequel trilogy. Kasdan and Kinberg will also reportedly share writing responsibilities for both Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX, although the exact division of roles has yet to be determined. Kasdan originally wrote the screenplays for both Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. confirmed Kasdan's and Kinberg's involvement as project consultants for Star Wars Episode VII on January 25.

Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Ewan McGregor, Billy Dee Williams and Samuel L. Jackson have all been reported to be interested in returning for the new films, though most actors have yet to be confirmed by Lucasfilm sources.

During a concert with the Young Musician's Foundation Debut Orchestra on February 9, composer John Williams stated that he was hoping to get the chance to write the musical scores for the entire new trilogy. Abrams made further statements on this at a Star Trek Into Darkness conference on April 29, stating, "Again, for Star Wars, it’s very early days, but I believe that, going forward, John Williams will be doing that film because he was there long before I was."

Mark Hamill commented about the sequels in late February 2013 stating that "they are talking to us" and he is scheduled to meet with writer Michael Arndt and Kathleen Kennedy. Hamill stated that so far nobody has signed a contract though there appears to be interest in the entire cast. Hamill went on to say that George Lucas would like to get Peter Mayhew and Anthony Daniels back for the new films as well. Mark Hamill feels that he will return to be "an Obi-Wan type role."

In March 2013, Fisher confirmed she will return as Princess Leia. A day later Lucas confirmed that Hamill, Ford and Fisher were in the final stages of negotiations and that all three were in discussions to return prior to the Disney sale. Lucas stated "Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them. I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not".

In May 2013, it was revealed that production of Episode VII would take place in the United Kingdom. All of the six other movies of the Star Wars franchise had been partly produced in the U.K., notably in the Elstree, Shepperton, Leavesden, Ealing and Pinewood studios.

Michael Kaplan, who designed the costumes for Abrams' Star Trek films has also signed on to costume Episode VII. Daniel Mindel, Abrams's director of photography, will also return to collaborate with the director, meaning the series will return to shooting on 35mm film.

On October 24, 2013, Arndt was replaced as screenwriter by the team of Kasdan and Abrams. On November 7, 2013, Lucasfilm announced that the film would be released on December 18, 2015. On November 9, 2013, it was announced that the Fox fanfare will not be in the opening of Star Wars Episode VII.

On November 19, 2013, confirmed that R2-D2 will appear in the film. The droid model has been provided and will be overseen by members of the R2 Builders Club.


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