Speaking today to WGN (Star Wars Report) on the red carpet for the Jackie Robinson biopic ’42,’ Harrison Ford said the following about returning to the ‘Star Wars’ universe for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII,’ “I think it’s almost true. I’m looking forward to it. It’s not in the bag yet, but I think it’s going to happen.”
The clip of Ford’s comment can be viewed below. Rumours have been pointing towards a number of characters from the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, Episodes IV, V and VI, returning for the J.J. Abrams-directed ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’; in particular Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

Mark Hamill recently said the following about reprising the role of Luke Skywalker in the next ‘Star Wars’ installment. “They’re talking to us.” He said. “George [Lucas] wanted to know whether we’d be interested. He did say that if we didn’t want to do it, they wouldn’t cast another actor in our parts – they would write us out. … I can tell you right away that we haven’t signed any contracts. We’re in the stage where they want us to go in and meet with Michael Arndt, who is the writer, and Kathleen Kennedy, who is going to run Lucasfilm. Both have had meetings set that were postponed — on their end, not mine. They’re more busy than I am.”

While Mark Hamill says that he doesn’t know what ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ will be about officially, he seems to have an idea about the direction it will go in, “I’m assuming, because I haven’t talked to the writers, that these movies would be about our offspring — like my character would be sort of in the Obi-Wan range [as] an influential character. … When I found out [while making the original trilogy] that ultimate good news/bad news joke – the good news is there’s a real attractive, hot girl in the universe; the bad news is she’s your sister – I thought, ‘Well, I’m going to wind up like Sir Alec [Guinness]. I’m going to be a lonely old hermit living out in some kind of desert igloo with a couple of robots.’”

In addition to Mark Hamill’s quotes, George Lucas recently told Bloomberg Businessweek that Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford were pretty much signed on for reprising their roles of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ before the Disney deal was even made. “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation,” Lucas said. “So I called them to say, ‘Look, this is what’s going on.’” He pauses. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them.” Then he adds: “I won’t say whether the negotiations were successful or not.”

Late last year, the Walt Disney Company announced that they acquired Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, and that they’re eyeing a 2015 release for ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ New Lucasfilm Chief Kathleen Kennedy had reportedly been courting J.J. Abrams to direct ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ for a while. Abrams runs one of the movie and television industry’s top production companies, Bad Robot, and created or co-created television franchises like ‘Lost,’ ‘Fringe’ and ‘Alias.’ He has also directed the feature films ‘Mission: Impossible III,’ ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Super 8.’ Abrams is currently in the post-production phase of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness,’ his second Star Trek film since he rebooted the franchise in 2009. That film opens in cinemas on May 18th.

Outside of the new ‘Star Wars’ “Episode” trilogy, Disney and Lucasfilm are also planning a series of stand-alone feature films in the ‘Star Wars’ universe. It was recently rumoured that two potential ‘Star Wars’ spin-off movies would follow a young Han Solo, focusing on the wisecracking smuggler’s origin story, and a bounty hunter adventure with Boba Fett at the center of a rogue’s gallery of galactic scum.

The screenwriters working on the stand-alone ‘Star Wars’ films are Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes) and Lawrence Kasdan (screenwriter of The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the filmmaker behind The Big Chill.) The pair are also involved in the drafting of the new trilogy, with Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) penning the first of the series, ‘Star Wars: Episode VII.’ Expect more ‘Star Wars’ related news soon.