While we’re waiting for the announcement of who has been cast as new characters in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII, here’s word that another actor form the classic original Star Wars trilogy will be returning. The Hollywood Reporter is stating that their sources have told them that Peter Mayhew is set to reprise his role of Chewbacca the Wookie when the production gets underway next month.
Last September, it was rumored that the character would be returning, but there was some doubt as to whether Mayhew would be returning due to health issues.
Unfortunately for fans, Mayhew’s return signals that it appears as if the new Star Wars films will be ignoring at least some of the Expanded Universe of Star Wars novels and comics that had grown over the last twenty years. Mayhew’s character was killed off in the novel Vector Prime, set some 20 years after the chronologically last film in the series Return Of The Jedi. However, Disney studio head Alan Horn has stated that the new film will take place some 35 years after Jedi, suggesting that the events of that novel, and the multi-volume New Jedi Order novel storyline which it launched, is now no longer canon.
Unofficially, we’re expecting Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher to reprise their roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia from the classic original Star Wars trilogy. It also seems fairly certain that Anthony Daniels will be back as fussy protocol droid C-3PO. Maybe less certain is the return of Billy Dee Williams as the roguish Lando Calrissian, if only because his own statements that he would be returning were made before the film’s screenplay underwent extensive rewriting at the hands of Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan.