Development Timeline

Timeline of the Development of Star Wars: Episode VII:

10/30/12 – Disney purchases Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion:

  • Kathleen Kennedy named President of Lucasfilm.
  • Episode VII to be released in 2015, further films every two-three  years, and beyond


10/30/12 – Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas meeting with unnamed writers.


  • “We’re in the midst of the really fun part of the process. We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and starting to discuss ideas and starting to talk about what those stories might be.”


10/30/12 – Part 1: George Lucas & Kathleen Kennedy Discuss Disney and the                                   Future of Star Wars

10/30/12 – Lucasfilm source states that Episode 7 will be an original story, not an adaption

  • So is that the basis for Episode 7 or not? I’ve heard directly from LucasFilm and other sources close to the picture, and they say: Definitely not.”It’s an original story,” a LucasFilm source tells me.In other words, forget the Star Wars novels. Forget the graphic novels. Forget everything you think you know about what happens to Luke Skywalker. According to my sources, Episode 7 will literally be nothing you’ve ever seen or read before from the Star Wars universe.


10/31/12 –  L.A. Times reports that several unnamed but well-known writers have been by Lucasfilm to pitch their Star Wars Ideas.

  •  In the months before Disney announced it would acquire “Star Wars” studio Lucasfilm, several different screenwriters paid visits to Lucasfilm’s Northern California compound to pitch George Lucas and his co-chair Kathleen Kennedy their ideas for the new live-action installment, the series’ seventh, according to a person familiar with the talks who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about them. The screenwriters were pitching ideas for a new story, not ones adapted from existing “Star Wars” books.The person did not reveal the identities of the people who had met with Lucas and Kennedy but said they were well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films. A spokeswoman for Lucasfilm on Wednesday did not return a call seeking comment


10/31/12 – Former Lucas biographer states that in his opinion  what he saw of the
storylines of 7-9 out of 12 was the most exciting.  He also claims that
these outlines are part of what Disney bought

  • The stories for the next trilogy will be “the most exciting” in the series, the biographer told The Wrap earlier today. “It was originally a 12-part saga. The three most exciting stories were 7, 8 and 9. They had propulsive action, really interesting new worlds, new characters. I remember thinking, ‘I want to see these 3 movies.’” The series will apparently feature a Luke Skywalker in his 30s and 40s, making it unlikely that the 61 year old Mark Hamill will return. So, what if Disney decide not to use Lucas’ outline? “Writers will absolutely take his outline. That’s in part what Disney bought.”

11/01/12 – Mark Millar infers Mark Hammil a part of Episode VII

  • Millar wrote on Twitter: “I am so glad we got Mark Hamill to agree to be in Secret Service before he’s whisked away for 6 years to wield a light-sabre again.”


 11/02/12 – Marketsaw reports a few pieces of rumors from unnamed source:

  • Luke Skywalker is primary focus, as are many of the original trilogy cast
  • Mark Hammil is a certainty to return.
  • X-XII would be about the Skywalker offspring including a female Skywalker protagonist
  • Directors in consideration: Steven Spielberg, Neil Blomkamp, Alfonso Cuaron, Matthew Vaughn, Darren Arnofsky, Joss Whedon


11/03/12 – Timothy Zahn weighs in stated he believes it will be about Luke’s

  • “The original idea as I understood it— and Lucas changes his mind off and on, so it may not be what he’s thinking right now – but it was going to be three generations. You’d have the original trilogy, then go back to Luke’s father and find out what happened to him [in the prequels], and if there was another 7th, 8th, or 9th film, it would be Luke’s children. The Thrawn Trilogy really would have fit into the gap,” the author said.


11/5/12 – EW Reports that Harrison Ford open to playing Han Solo again.

  • “Harrison is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it, all three of them are,” said one highly placed source, referring to Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher, the trio that made a hyper-speed jump to global fame on May 25, 1977, the opening night for George Lucas’s original Star Wars film.


11/05/12 – Reports that Matthew Vaughn could be front runner to direct Episode

  • Today, a rumor has surfaced that Matthew Vaughn is in early talks to direct.
    This is reportedly the main reason why the filmmaker dropped out of the Fox sequel X-Men: Days Of Future Past,  just five days before the Star Wars: Episode VII news was announced. When Disney announced that the company is purchasing LucasFilm for $4.05 billion, there was no official word on who will direct this highly-anticipated sequel. We also don’t know who will write the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VII, although if Matthew Vaughn does officially sign on, it is possible that he may bring on frequent collaborator Jane Goldman.


11/06/12 – Colin Trevorrow eyed as a possible director for Episode 7.

  • Today, the rumor mill has brought us yet another candidate, and quite an unexpected one inSafety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow.According to an insider, the indie filmmaker reportedly met with George Lucas himself to discuss the project several months ago. Colin Trevorrow’s debut Safety Not Guaranteed apparently won over George Lucas, putting him on the list of potential candidates to make this highly-anticipated sequel.


11/07/12 – Carrie Fisher quoted as saying she wants to come back to play Leia.

  • Carrie was at LAX yesterday when we asked if she’d accept a role in “Episode 7″ — currently in development at Disney — and she said, “Yes. Sure. Wouldn’t you?”


11/07/12 – Colin Trevorrow declines comment on the possibility he will direct
Episode VII.

  •  We reached out to the helmer about this percolating rumor, and he told us simply: “No comment.”


11/8/12- Part 2: George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy: Getting Started on the New
Star Wars Films

11/8/12 – Michael Arndt confirmed to be screenwriter for Episode VII

  • As pre-production of Star Wars: Episode VII begins, Lucasfilm has confirmed that award-winning writer Michael Arndt will write the screenplay for the new Star Wars film. As revealed in the ongoing video series posted here on, Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt. Arndt won an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay for writing Little Miss Sunshine (2006), and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for writing Toy Story 3 (2010).


  • Insiders confirm that Arndt has written a 40- to 50-page treatment for the film and is likely to be at least one of the writers when the Disney/Lucasfilm project begins shooting in 2014.


11/18/12 – Sources claim studio brass wants Luke, Leia, and Han back and have
offered treatments to top notch directors.

  • Vulture reports sources claim that the studio brass want to bring back the three central characters of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo.  They also state no deals are in place as of yet although ambitions were high to sign Mark Hamill.  They also state that the treatment would be given to numerous big name directors including Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg, and JJ Abrams.
  • Sources also tell Vulture that the studio’s brass want to bring back the three central characters of the original Star Wars: a much older Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Han Solo. No deals are in place with any of the original actors, though our source did say it had high ambitions to sign up Mark Hamill, and EW recently reported that Harrison Ford was open to the idea of returning. We’re told that Arndt’s 40-something page treatment will soon be crossing the desks of top directors, including Brad Bird, Steven Spielberg (the former producing partner of Lucasfilm co-chair Kathleen Kennedy), and J.J. Abrams.Whether they’d be interested is unknown (Star Wars is a lot of baggage for an established director), but Disney wants to make sure they’ve at least tried the biggest names.


11/9/12 – Deadline reports that Michael Arndt also has already written treatments
for Episodes VIII-IX as well.

  • PREVIOUSLY, NOV. 8, 2:06 PM: Michael Arndt has written a treatment for not just one but the next three Star Wars films coming from Disney, Deadline has learned. The Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine screenwriter, who also penned Toy Story 3 and the upcoming The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is also in line to work on the script for Star Wars Episode VII next year.


11/9/12 – Steven Spielberg says he won’t be directing Episode VII

11/9/12 – Zack Snyder & Quentin Tarrantino both say they have no interest in
directing Star Wars Episode VII

11/12/12 – JJ Abrams, Jon Favreau, & Colin Trevorrow Respond

  • “Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time.  I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, 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!” — JJ Abrams
  • “I think both J.J. and I come from a generation of people who formed our whole creative persona around what we experienced as kids from watching those films, and I have had the good fortune of working with George [Lucas] and around George, and whether it is doing a voice on Clone Wars, or being at the Skywalker Ranch mixing Iron Man – so I have been very happy and lucky to just experience the culture that Lucas has created, both in my own life growing up as a kid and professional – whether it was interviewing him at film festivals on stage, he is just a really wonderful, talented gifted guy who has changed the business so much, so 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.” — Jon Favreau


  • “I have very little to say about it. [stammering] Certainly, no specifics about whats going on behind the scenes in the selection of that person [a director]. I think that I can speak as a Star Wars fan, which is important to me. Whoever does do this movie, I think, just needs to have a fundamental understanding of why its important to us. We come from a generation who grew up with this as children, to us its almost a belief system. Its harder for people who are older or who were already teenagers when the movie came out to understand how deeply it is our mythology.And there are a bunch of incredible directors who are up for this job… I think whoever gets it will have that fundamental understanding of why Star Wars matters so much to a billion people. Its just incredible. So that’s all I can say about that. I’m equally excited about it. … that’s all you’re gonna get!” – Colin Trevorrow


11/12/12 – Express.Co.UK states sources indicate that Darth Vader will return and be integral to the new trilogy.

  • “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.”


11/13/12 - Guillermo del Toro announces he will not be directing.

  • “I heard some rumblings,” del Toro said. “I have so many projects to discuss or think about. [For] something that is not a possibility yet, I don’t [speculate]. You know, because I have so many things that I need to catch up with. If this ever becomes a reality, and there’s an approach to do it, I would then think about it, but — it’s like thinking if I want to date a supermodel. I don’t think about these things.”


11/13/12 – Frank Marshall states that Lucasfilm is close on a director but unsure when they will announce it.

  • “I do (know) but I can’t reveal it, or I won’t be alive tomorrow,” he said. “I’m really excited about this. I didn’t grow up with it, but I was a big fan and have been since the series started. I’ll always remember seeing that big mothership go over the screen. I’ve never forgotten it. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”



11/13/12 – Joe Johnston doesn’t rule out directing if offered

  • So, today, when I emailed Johnston and asked him if he’d be interested in directing “Star Wars 7″ (more specifically, If he’d be interested in directing “it”), Johnston replied, “A lot would depend on what ‘it’ is. I am very glad to see Lucasfilm cranking up to get productive again, regardless of who ends up doing it.”


11/14/12 – Fansshare claims Director choice down to two

  • It has been claimed by those in the know, that the person who will be responsible for directing Star Wars: Episode 7 could soon be officially revealed. It is believed that they have whittled down the competition to just two directors, although they can not reveal who.


11/16/12 – TFN reader claims Carrie Fisher confirmed involvement with Episode VII at booksigning

  • “I was at Carrie Fishers book signing in Cherry Hill, NJ on November 15, and the interview she did started with the question ‘Are you really going to be in a new star wars movie?’ and Carrie answered quietly ‘Yes….I thought it was already common knowledge.’ “


11/16/12 – EW article confirms that the film is intended to take place with the main characters from the OT involved.

11/16/12 – Totalfilm claims UK premiere will be 7/17/15.

  • All should become clearer over the next couple of weeks, but whatever happens, we’re going to be talking about Star Wars for a good while to come. Episode VII opens in the UK on 17 July 2015.


11/17/12 – Moviehole source indicates that Lando is in treatment

  • I know a couple of former Lucasfilm employees, both of whom know very little when it comes to the nitty gritty’s of the ‘Star Wars’ trilogy – in fact, seems nobody but the top brass are really privvy to the goods within that libretto. But I had a quick back-and-forward over email with one of them overnight who, despite having left the company a couple of months back, had heard ‘rumours’ of the project’s existence before the big announcement a couple of weeks ago.Not surprisingly, he had nothing on the plot, main heroes or villains, director, or – sigh – Lumpy cameos. “No idea. just Luke, Leia, Han, Lando”.


11/17/12 – Brad Bird Tweets he won’t be directing.

  • “You are on people’s lists as top choice for Star Wars, yet haven’t confirmed. Please end this tease!”
    “Not doing Star Wars”


 11/19/12 – Colin Trevorrow has mysterious tweet.

  • “To clarify, there is another film we all love that I’m currently trying not to mess up. Odds I will direct Episode VII: 3720 to 1.”
Screenrant takes that as he is out of Star Wars.  I’m not sure – To me this is far from a denial.  Using an Empire Strikes Back odds quote that is followed by Han saying “Never tell me the odds” to me almost sounds almost  like a backhanded confirmation.


11/19/12 – Part 3: An Interesting Proposal

11/27/12 – Colin Trevorrow rules himself out for Episode VII

  • “It’s not going to be me for Episode VII, and I can’t believe I’ve actually had to come out and say that,” Trevorrow told The Hollywood Reporter at the IFP Gotham Awards on Monday. “That was the most shocking thing, like around the dinner table when I was 8, I had to assure everyone that it wasn’t me, but now actually for real. But there are a lot of things that have come up that are a lot of exciting opportunities that have come up because of [Safety].”

The article also mentions that he was evasive talking about anything further so perhaps VIII or IX is not out of the question.



11/27/12 – Jason Fleyming indicates that Matthew Vaughn may be director.

11/30/12 – David Fincher mentioned as possibly being game for director chair

  • As much as I’ve heard the Vaughn rumor, I’ve also heard Jon Favreau is panting after this job, and even that David Fincher, who apparently worked for Lucas’s ILM in a menial job as a teen, might be game for one of these new films. Unfortunately, we are getting nothing out of Lucas Land on what they call speculation.



12/1/12 – Ken Baker wants to be involved in special effects/creature making

  • “So much of the stuff I did in the first Star Wars was very quickly done. Nobody knew that Star Wars was going to be Star Wars.I think the problem that people have with the digital stuff is the problem I have: Just because you can do anything doesn’t mean that you should. Instead of having a spaceship battle with three spaceships, they have 3,000 spaceships. Everything is so big and there’s so much going on, you lose reality. It takes you out of it.”



12/3/12 – Part 4: Reflecting On The Star Wars Phenomenon

12/10/12 – Samuel Jackson declares he wants to be involved with Star Wars Episode VII

  • “I’m not surprised but totally geeked by the idea of there being more Star Wars,” Jackson told E! News at the Spike TV Video Game Awards Friday. “It’s like, okay, Obi-Wan was dead when episode four started, so maybe everyone thinks I’m dead and we’ll find out what happened to Mace Windu. I can come back as one-armed or a one-handed Jedi that’s still around that didn’t actually die.”


12/18/12 – News Article suggests Luke rebuilding Jedi Academy on Yavin IV as part of Episode VII

  • Yavin 4 and the rebel base return to the Star Wars plot in the forthcoming Episode VII, announced in October by the Walt Disney Co, in which Skywalker comes back to the planet to build a Jedi Knight academy. However, fans said that Disney will likely film those scenes in a studio rather than return to Tikal.



  • This was a mistake. I misunderstood what fan clubs had told me and shown me in book plots and that storyline has not been announced by Disney. Perhaps I should have written something along the lines of ‘Yavin 4 appears in several Star Wars book plots and while Guatemala fans said they hope film crews return to Tikal, the company has not announced plans for the new episode.


12/31/12 – Part 5: George Lucas & Kathleen Kennedy: Transitioning Into The Future

 01/24/13 – JJ Abrams Set To Direct Episode VII

  • J.J. Abrams will direct the next “Star Wars” film for Disney, taking stewardship of one of Hollywood’s most iconic and lucrative film franchises, an individual with knowledge of the production told TheWrap.


02/07/13 – John Noble Rumored To Play Baddie

  • Comic Book Movie finds that during a morning radio show on Fox FM in Melbourne, Australia, the hosts allegedly spilled that Australian actor John Noble was up to play the “Episode 7″ villain. The host called Jo reportedly said that she “has it on very good authority that Aussie actor John Noble will be appearing as the villain.”  The other host, called Matt, queried Jo’s statement, but she reportedly remained adamant. She claimed that the casting rumor was definitely for “Episode 7″ and not for the standalone projects. The rumor is surely still far from being fixed as the studio hasn’t said anything about the casting and the plot for the new trilogy.


02/15/13 – Harrison Ford Rumored to Sign on for Episode VII

  • Harrison Ford will play Hans Solo again in the Star Wars, Latino-Review tells Fox News Latino.The Hollywood gossip website has broken entertainment news for nearly 10 years, scooping even TV and movie trade papers.


According to Geoff Boucher, Entertainment Weekly reporter:

Harrison Ford deal? My source says not yet. “It will not be for weeks and perhaps months.”


02/17/13 – John Williams hopes to score new trilogy

  • “We’re about to play Star Wars [audience interrupts with cheers] and each time we play it, I’m reminded of the first time we played it decades ago.  Neither I, nor George, nor anyone else involved thought this would go far or in a few years there would be a sequel and I’d have to revisit the themes…and years later another trilogy.  Now we’re hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016…so I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George…[more cheers].”


02/20/13 – Mark Hamill: “They’re talking to us”

  • First off, will he appear in Star Wars VII? “They’re talking to us,” he reveals. “George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts. We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”
  •  “I said to George that I wanted to go back to the way it was, in the sense that ours was much more carefree and lighthearted and humorous – in my opinion, anyway. And another thing I’d want to make sure of is are we going to have the whole gang back? Is Carrie and Harrison and Billy Dee and Tony Daniels, everybody that’s around from the original [returning]? I want to make sure that everybody’s on board here, rather than just one. I guess I’ll have to tune into your show to figure out who’s on board.”In terms of where we’ll pick up with Luke Skywalker in Star Wars VII, “I’m assuming, because I haven’t talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring — like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character. … When I found out [while making the original trilogy] that ultimate good news/bad news joke – the good news is there’s a real attractive, hot girl in the universe; the bad news is she’s your sister – I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to wind up like Sir Alec [Guinness]. I’m going to be a lonely old hermit living out in some kind of desert igloo with a couple of robots.’”


 02/25/13 – Simon Pegg Rumored but denied.

  • J.J. Abrams mystery cube or whatever he is calling it today, is in full effect, Star Wars news is going to be very thin on the ground for the foreseeable future, but expect Simon Pegg to be involved in some capacity. Can’t say why, but lets just say I have a strong feeling about that.


Simon Pegg’s Twitter denial:


No idea where this silly rumour about me attached to the new Star Wars film came from but I can confirm that it’s absolute Bantha poodoo.

 03/01/13 – VII to focus on Solo child & grandchild; Big three are reportedly signed

  • All three of the originals will be back in VII; they all have contracts now.
  • We’re introducing Han and Leia’s child and grandchild.


 03/05/13 – Carrie Fisher confirms return to Star Wars

  • Disney is going to continue the Star Wars saga, producing movies set to hit theaters starting in 2015. Can you confirm whether you’ll reprise the role of Princess Leia?
    Yes.What do you think Princess Leia is like today?Elderly. She’s in an intergalactic old folks’ home [laughs].I just think she would be just like she was before, only slower and less inclined to be up for the big battle.And still wearing the bagel buns?The bagel buns and the bikini, because probably she has sundowners syndrome. At sundown, she thinks that she’s 20-something. And she puts it on and gets institutionalized.



 03/07/13 – George slips and confirms return of Hamill, Fisher, and Ford

  • “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’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.”


03/19/13 – Disciple of Palpatine to be baddie?

  • Our source does state to take it as a rumor, though.

    • Star Wars Episode VII will be set 30 years after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

    • It will indeed feature the Skywalker/Solo children coming to the peak of their powers

    • The Jedi Order has been rebuilt with Luke Skywalker as Grand Master

    • A disciple of Emperor Palpatine aims to rebuild the Sith Armies of the Old Republic and destroy the Jedi where the Skywalker children  will be thrust into battle and face their inner demons of their Skywalker lineage.



 03/20/13 – Harrsion Ford hits at return

05/23/13 – Michael Kaplan named costume designer of Episode VII.

  • Securing perhaps the biggest costume job going at the moment, Michael Kaplan has officially been chosen as costume designer for Star Wars Episode VII. It was on his IMDb page for a short while (later removed), but now the appointment has been corroborated by the man himself. “I am very excited to be working on Star Wars” Kaplan confirms to Clothes on Film “I’m so looking forward to collaborating, once again, with JJ.”


05/24/13 – John Williams: I’m happy and willing to do Episode VII

  • “We’ve certainly talked about that, and I’m happy and willing to do it,” he confirms. “J.J. Abrams, who will be the director, seems excited about the idea. I have to say that J.J. is a much younger man than I, but I will try to keep up with him as much as I can!”
    The imminent birth of a new “Star Wars” iteration intrigues Williams in general. “We now have the benefit of all this computer simulation and technical work that wasn’t even possible 20 or 25 years ago,” he reasons.


06/08/13 – JJ Abrams: “Star Wars” production to begin in early 2014

  • “I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before,” said JJ Abrams

  • Abrams also revealed that production on Star Wars Episode VII is set to start right at the beginning of 2014. “Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie,”

  • Not that the director was saying much more about his upcoming Star Wars gig. “No comment,” replied Abrams with a smile on his face to a question from Hudlin if the new Star Wars movies would be based partially on the dozens of novels that have come out over the years bridging various unexplored aspects of the films’ characters.


 06/19/13 – Bleeding Cool posts casting call sheet

  • Late-teen female, independent, good sense of humour, fit.
  • Young twenty-something male, witty and smart, fit but not traditionally good looking.
  • A late twentysomething male, fit, handsome and confident.
  • Seventy-something male, with strong opinions and tough demeanour. Also doesn’ t need to be particularly fit.
  • A second young female, also late teens, tough, smart and fit.
  • Forty something male, fit, military type.
  • Thirtysomething male, intellectual. Apparently doesn’t need to be fit.


07/26/13 – John Williams confirmed to return to score Episode VII

11/07/13 – Official Release Date: December 18, 2105

Despite internal conflicts and issues Lucasfilm made the official announcement that for the first time, a Star Wars film (not counting the animated Clone Wars film) would not be released in May.

11/07/13 – JJ Abrams/Lawrence Kasdan take over script from Michael Arndt

Blaming Disney’s holding firm on the 2015 release date JJ Abrams has said that he and Lawrence Kasdan have taken over the script in order to get it where and when they need it to go.

Whether this is becoming a rush job or not is up for debate.  Although it could be worse than having Kasdan back on board.



Leave a Reply