Here’s what we know so far about Star Wars: Episode VII‘s plot: ……………… *cricket noises*……………. *tumbleweeds roll by*………… Yes, in typical JJ Abrams fashion, everything is being played very close to the chest, and even the recent cast announcement only helped an infinitesimal fraction. But now we may just have been given our first hint as to the story direction.
Harry Knowles over at AICN claims that a source revealed to him weeks ago that Star Wars: Episode VII would be using Abu Dhabi as a shooting location, and when that turned out to be true – supposedly proving the source’s veracity – the source then revealed to him that the current working title for the film is The Ancient Fear. None of AICN’s usual other sources could corroborate this revelation, so Harry let it slide.
However, last night he was apparently contacted by a separate, totally unrelated source who also revealed to him on his/her own that Episode VII‘s working title is The Ancient Fear. Now as you may know, a working title is just that: a title used to refer to the movie while it is still in production. Sometimes these become the final titles, but more often than not on such high-profile, clandestine productions, the working title has nothing to do with the story but is used to throw snooping set-side paparazzi off the trail. This was precisely the case with Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, which had the working title of Blue Harvest.
However, according to AICN’s source, this is not the case here as The Ancient Fear “refers to Max Von Sydow’s villain who makes Pazuzu look like a pussy!”
Firstly, for those of you who don’t know, Pazuzu is the name of the vile demon that serves as the main antagonist in the The Exorcist series, in which Von Sydow famously starred. Secondly, I do believe that this is the first time we’ve heard Von Sydow’s character in Episode VII referred to as a villain. We know with reasonable assurance that Adam Driver’s character is supposed to be some form of Darth Vader-like villain, but could it be that they’re doubling up on baddies, as the Star Wars films have done in the past?
And what could The Ancient Fear refer to? My totally unsubstantiated guess based on just those three words? Writers JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan’s script is borrowing from Kevin J. Anderson’s “Jedi Academy” trilogy of books, which saw young, Empire hating Jedi apprentice Kyp Durron influenced/misled by the resurrected spirit of long dead Sith Lord Exar Kun, who persuaded Kyp to steal an ex-Empire superweapon known as the Sun Crusher and use it to destroy an entire star system. Kyp would eventually rid himself of Kun’s influence, striving his whole life to atone for his sins and in the end becoming one of the first Jedi Masters in Luke Skywalker’s New Jedi Order.
It’s a really good story to borrow from, as it introduces a new generation as well as a compelling villain of old. So could Von Sydow be playing an Exar Kun type resurrected Sith Lord? Hell, could he even be Exar Kun himself? Von Sydow certainly fits the part of an old Sith Lord, plus there’s the fact that fellow cast member Domhnall Gleeson is very nearly a dead ringer for Kyp Durron.
At this stage, this is all still rumour though, and until Abrams and co reveals more (something I’m expecting to happen at Comic Con), and some more easily corroborated info comes to light, that’s the way it will have to stay.
Last Updated: May 6, 2014