With last week’s news that George Lucas had sold his company to Disney — and that Disney would be making more Star Wars movies — came fans’ inevitable speculation about what Episode VII will look like. With little concrete information available, Yoda-level patience is demanded. There are some things we know for sure, and lots more we don’t.
What we do know: Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. Disney aims to release a seventh installation of the space epic in 2015, with at least two more episodes to follow. Lucas, who will be a creative consultant on the movie, has already met with screenwriters. The story will take place at some point after Return of the Jedi. And, outside the cinema, Star Wars will also be added to the Disney universe of theme parks, merchandise and television.
Here’s what we don’t know for sure:
Who will direct? A leading rumor, via Collider, is that Matthew Vaughn is in talks to helm the film. The director, who wrote and directed both Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class, recently dropped out of directing X-Men: Days of Future Past, which he also wrote. But Vaughn is not the only director whose name has been linked to the film. The MarketSaw blog, which claims access to an anonymous Star Wars source who correctly indicated in 2009 that something like the Disney buy would be coming up, has suggested a list of other directors in the running: Steven Spielberg, Neill Blomkamp (District 9), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream) and Joss Whedon (The Avengers). The same source also claims that there are two full trilogies in the works, which would bring us up to Episode XII, and that the new movies will bring back the original characters — including, according to this anonymous insider, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker.
Another anonymous source told Entertainment Weekly that “Harrison [Ford] is open to the idea of doing the movie and he’s upbeat about it, all three of them are,” referring to Ford, Hamill and Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia). The actor is, according to the source, waiting to see a script before deciding. The fact that the actors — who are, after all, human — have aged since their last Star Wars appearances nearly three decades ago wouldn’t be a problem, if Lucas’ original ideas about Episode VII are still in play. Lucas told TIME right around the release of Return of the Jedi that he thought its follow-up should take place a few decades later. Hollywood.com reports that Lucas also said in 1988 that Luke would finally get a love interest.
But what will the next movie actually be about? All we know, via E!, is that Episode VII will be “an original story,” not based on any pre-existing Star Wars books or other materials.
Or, if you’re more of a visual person and you don’t really care about what may or may not be true, this video might help you imagine a not-even-based-on-rumors version of Episode VII: Taiwan’s animation studio Next Media Animation, famous for its over-the-top CGI versions of news events, has made a trailer.
Correction: A typo in a previous version of this piece misplaced the decimal point in the Lucasfilm purchase price. George Lucas sold the company to Disney for $4.05 billion, not $40.5 billion.