The latest Star Wars: Episode VII news was probably going along as the J.J. Abrams’ team expected. The official Star Wars YouTube page carried a cute video announcing that Warwick Davis would be returning to the Star Wars lineup.
The role Davis will play has not been disclosed, but he has previously played Wicket, an Ewok in Return of the Jedi, as well as three roles in Phantom Menace.
So far, so good. Then came The Leak.
According to Entertainment Weekly, an Imageshack image hosting account with the handle “themilleniumfalcon” posted 32 concept drawings from the Star Wars VII production that were apparently never meant for public consumption. (The account is now closed.)
While Entertainment Weekly refrained from posting the images themselves, they did mull over some of the tidbits that those drawings might reveal to a studious Star Wars fan.
If those concept drawings are indeed hints of things to come in the new installment, it looks like we haven’t seen the last of Darth Vader. Of course, Vader/Anakin’s remains were burned on a funeral pyre at the end of Return of the Jedi. But a character that EW describes as “a sinister cyborg in a black cloak” is seen in the drawings examining the charred remains of Vader’s body armor, including his helmet.
The drawings also reveal Chewbacca with a mechanical hand/paw. They also show a character called “Montross”, an old cyborg — part human, part robotic — sitting at a bar. There is some speculation that this may be a character to be played by actor Max von Sydow.
There are some other character sketches, and some location and setting concepts sketched out. The Episode VII page on IMDB still reveals nothing more than the most obvious cast credits of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2. Other actors named but not paired with a character name include Gwendoline Christie from Game of Thrones, Domnhall Gleeson from the Harry Potter films, Adam Driver from Girls, Andy Serkis from the Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes films, and several up and coming young actors.
Star Wars: Episode VII will be out in theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.
Oh, and here’s that Warwick Davis video.