By Chris Katje
Three of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe were killed off in the last trilogy of theatrically released movies. But Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo could be coming back to life and starring in a new series of short films according to the latest Star Wars rumor.
Since acquiring Lucasfilm in 2012, Walt Disney Co launched many Star Wars movies in theaters, created several successful series and expanded the brand’s licensing power.
The film released a trilogy of movies centered on the characters of Finn, Poe and Rey in 2015, 2017 and 2019 for the seventh, eighth and ninth movies in the Star Wars main storyline of films. The movies also saw the return of characters such as Han, Luke and Leia from the original Star Wars trilogy.
A rumor from an industry insider Shaun O’Rourke said Lucasfilm is working on a series of short films starring Han, Leia and Luke that would take place after the events of “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.”
The report said the announcement will come from Lucasfilm at the upcoming Star Wars Celebration in Europe (April 7 through April 10, 2023).
Disney will use deepfake technology to de-age the original stars of the trilogy according to the report.
O’Rourke is a media professional with more than 20 years working with companies like Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros, so some outlets are taking his rumor with more notice than other fan theories out there, according to CBR.
Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill, who played Han Solo and Luke Skywalker, respectively, are both still alive. Carrie Fisher, who portrayed Leia Organa, passed away in 2016.
There are 30 years between the events of “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens,” the sixth and seventh films in the Star Wars universe.
Two hit Disney+ shows “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” also take place in the time period between the two films, which could allow a new series with Han, Luke and Leia to be intermixed with the current hit shows.
Mark Hamill once was stunned asked to play Luke Skywalker in “The Mandalorian”, according to Fansided.
“I had finished playing that part, and I never expected to do it again. I figured if they ever tell stories of Luke in that period, post the originals and pre-sequels, they would get an age-appropriate actor,” said Hamill. “So when [series creator] Jon Favreau and [producer] Dave Filoni told me about what they wanted to do, I was just stunned.”
Skywalker appeared in cameo episodes of “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett,” which used de-aging technology.
Lucasfilm also used deepfake technology for “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in 2016 for the characters of Grand Moff Tarkin and Leia.
Lucasfilm is also using deepfake technology on the upcoming “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” for a flashback scene of the Jones character played by Ford.
Liam Neeson once expressed his interested if there was going to be an appearance on Star Wars on the big screen, according to Yahoo News.
“Oh, I think so, yeah, yeah, yeah, I think so…if it was a film,” Neeson said then about a potential “Star Wars” return. “Yeah, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to TV, I must admit. I just like the big screen, you know? Qui-Gon, I can’t believe it’s 24 years since we made ‘The Phantom Menace,’ I just cannot believe where the time has gone. It was a terrific experience, shooting that film in London.”
Neeson had no interest in the Star Wars spinoff shows.
While the report is just a rumor, it might not be out of the question given Disney’s past usage of deepfake and de-aging technology for its Star Wars films and the past success of the three characters.
- “Episode VII – The Force Awakens”: $936.7 million domestic, $2.07 billion worldwide
- “Episode VIII – The Last Jedi”: $620.2 million domestic, $1.33 billion worldwide
- “Episodes IX – The Rise of Skywalker”: $515.2 million domestic, $1.07 billion worldwide
The movies rank as three of the four highest-grossing Star Wars movies domestically, not adjusted for inflation. “The Force Awakens” is currently the highest-grossing domestic movie of all time and the fifth all-time in worldwide theatrical gross.
The next theatrical Star Wars movie is currently scheduled for a release of 2025, keeping Star Wars fans waiting for the next big hit movie and wanting more content on the Disney+ streaming platform.
Another Star Wars movie is also in the works that is scheduled for a release of 2027, according to The Pop Verse.
Disney announced a handful of new Star Wars series at its last Star Wars Celebration in 2022 and announcing the return of Luke, Leia and Han in 2023 could be one of its biggest announcements to date.
Produced in association with Benzinga
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