In a bit of news it reports with an appropriately ginormous block of Salt, I Watch Stuff passes along a rumor that Star Wars Episode VII could be set at the Jedi Academy at on Yavin 4:
In an article about both the Mayan apocalypse and how George Lucas used Guatemalan temples and forests as a backdrop for the moon base Yavin 4, it’s casually claimed that Disney’s recently-announced new Star War will be one “in which Skywalker comes back to [Yavin 4] to build a Jedi Knight academy.”
It makes sense as an idea, and seems to match up with what the Wookieepedia claims is Star Wars canon for Yavin’s future, but before we start dreaming of the many hilarious pranks to be played on mean ol’ Dean Skywalker, it’s probably worth noting that the article gives no source for their information, and it seems pretty likely this is not official, as Disney is not the type to reveal their top secret projects to guys writing about a loose connection between Star Wars and the Mayan apocalypse. Still, something to think about. At least for the brief time we have left before the Mayan calendar and Star Wars claims us all.
I may have more ambitious wishes than this scenario for this attempt to move the Star Wars franchise forward. But rumor though it may be, this actually strikes me as a reasonably smart way to bridge the old franchise and the possibility of new stories. A Jedi Academy setup would let Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford play reduced roles or make cameos, and let the movies continue or sum up their stories, while not tethering the films to their original lineup too securely. A number of the major characters in the Expanded Universe pass through there, including Corran Horn, the Correllian cop-turned-fighter-jock-turned Jedi, who trained there under an assumed name, Mara Jade, the Imperial agent who becomes a Jedi and Luke Skywalker’s wife, Han and Leia’s children, and people who eventually play key roles in their lives. The setting could be a jumping-off point to treat Corran as a new main character, or to chronicle the rise of Jacen and Jaina Solo, and to tell the story of their adventures in the war against the Yuuzhan Vong, a pain-worshipping alien species that invades the galaxy, or in the years after, as they become preeminent in the Jedi order. Whatever Disney ultimately chooses to do, providing a dignified bridge between the iconic cast and a new generation of stars, without getting too caught up in cutesy—or racist—alien races at the margins, needs to be the priority here. A Jedi Academy story seems like a promising way to achieve that goal which is modest, but that’s been awfully hard to achieve in the past.