WARNING: SPOILERS FOLLOW
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the darkest film yet seen in the long-running space saga, according to an alleged leak of key information from a user claiming to be a Lucasfilm employee on the 4chan message board.
JJ Abrams’s film reportedly takes place against the backdrop of a 40-year war of attrition between Imperial and Rebel forces, with the standoff compared to the second world war’s European theatre in 1944. A number of new characters have developed nascent Jedi powers, but without Luke Skywalker to train them they are unable to realise their full potential.
The new film is said to feature little of the comedy that lightened the original trilogy, though what comic relief there is comes from perennial droid sidekicks R2-D2 and C-3PO. Skywalker has withdrawn from the world through fear of being tracked down by the enemy, and has trained only a handful of Jedi padawan. John Boyega plays a “force-sensitive” stormtrooper who defects from the Empire and ends up stranded on Tatooine, where he is hunted as a deserter.
Chan user Spoiler Boy, who posted the original thread, described Lawrence Kasdan’s screenplay as “too good for Abrams”. He shot down rumours that Benedict Cumberbatch will play a role in the film but claimed Adam Driverwould play a masked Sith-like character with cyborg elements. It is apparently Driver who is seen in the trailer for The Force Awakens, carrying a sword-like lightsaber (which is different to the usual weapon because he constructed it himself without formal training).
The 3,000 words of information about the new film have so far been treated with caution by Star Wars experts, though the rumours do tally well with previous reports about the plot of the new film. Spoiler Boy described the new film as on a par with 1977’s Star Wars in terms of quality, but also suggested that Abrams is locked in a battle with studio Disney over key issues.
For more potential spoilers, including the identities of characters played by Daisy Ridley, Andy Serkis and Max von Sydow, visit the Reddit thread that first reposted Spoiler Boy’s offerings.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will see Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford returning to the classic roles of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo from the original Star Wars trilogy, with Oscar Isaac, Driver, Von Sydow, Boyega and Serkis joining the cast, along with British newcomers Ridley and Pip Andersen. Abrams’s film is due for release in December 2015