J.J. Abrams has stayed mum on who he will cast for ''Episode VII,'' but that doesn't mean the fans will

By Josh Rottenberg
Updated January 17, 2014 at 05:00 AM EST

If you’ve been tracking the development of J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars franchise reboot you’ve no doubt felt some disturbances in the Force lately, as if a million nerd voices suddenly cried out, “Please just tell us something already!” Abrams has yet to announce any casting on Episode VII, which begins shooting this spring, but if the latest reports are accurate, he’s been eyeing half of Hollywood. Last week The Wrap wrote that Breaking Bad‘s Jesse Plemons was going to meet with Abrams about a possible role, joining other names that have surfaced in recent months, including Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Michael B. Jordan, Adam Driver, and Hugo Weaving. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter suggested that with last October’s departure of screenwriter Michael Arndt, Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have changed course and now plan to center Episode VII on Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher have all expressed interest in reprising their roles), with later installments focusing on their offspring. Judging by how eagerly fans snapped up a series of old photos posted recently to Twitter by actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca, it’s safe to assume the Star Wars faithful would approve.

For now, neither Lucasfilm nor Disney will comment on any of this. They know that as with Jedi Masters, if you strike a rumor down, you only make it more powerful than you can imagine.