FEATURE: Ten Characters Who Should Be Brought Back For J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS EPISODE VII

FEATURE: Ten Characters Who Should Be Brought Back For J.J. Abrams' STAR WARS EPISODE VII

There has been a lot of talk about who is and is not returning for J.J. Abrams' Star Wars Episode VII in 2015, but here are ten suggestions for which of the classic characters most deserve another chance to appear on the big screen. Hit the jump to check it out!

Despite countless conflicting reports, we already know that Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) will all be back in some capacity for Star Wars Episode VII. However, this trio is far from the only fan favourite characters that fans would like to see return, so who else deserves to have their stories continue in the J.J. Abrams helmed sequel to the original trilogy? It's tricky to think of anyone from the prequels, not just because of their inherent awfulness, but also as it just wouldn't make sense without the use of flashbacks (after all, it would be bizarre for Obi-Wan's ghost form to suddenly be a fresh faced Ewan McGregor rather than the late, great Alec Guinness). Anyway, here are ten suggestions for Star Wars characters that should make an appearance in Episode VII...

10. Lando Calrissian

Over the course of two films, Lando Calrissian cemented himself as one of THE most popular characters in the Star Wars franchise, and Billy Dee Williams has actually expressed interest in reprising the role numerous times. While he was never quite as well fleshed out as the rest of the main cast members, Lando was an important member of the group by the time that the credits rolled on Return of the Jedi, so it would be a great shame to not see him make at least a brief appearance of some sort in Episode VII.

9. IG-88

Who? Don’t worry if that was your first reaction as even the most keen-eyed fan may have missed IG-88’s blink and you’ll miss it appearance in The Empire Strikes Back! The assassin droid was beaten to Han Solo by Boba Fett and the two developed a serious rivalry as a result. Thanks to the “Expanded Universe” novels and comic books, the history and characteristics of IG-88 were considerably fleshed out, making him undeniably one of the most interesting villains in the franchise. However, it could be argued that his appearance would be better saved for the planned Boba Fett spin-off, although a cameo of some sort may not be a bad way to remind fans that they shouldn’t underestimate this formidable and deadly android no matter how limited his time on screen was.

8. Jar-Jar Binks

Say-wha?! That's right; arguably the most universally despised Star Wars character of all-time somehow managed to make it onto this list. Why? Well, while Jar-Jar's appearances after The Phantom Menace were mercifully brief, fans never got the satisfaction of seeing him die. Now, there's no need to dedicate too much time to this; just throw it into the background of any of the sure to be superbly directed action sequences by Abrams as an Easter egg to fans. Just SOMETHING to give us the satisfaction of knowing that he will never return in any major sort of capacity. Please!

7. Stormtroopers

The Rebels may have succeeded in destroying the Death Star, but there were surely plenty of Stormtroopers and higher-up's still loyal to the Empire, even if the Emperor and Darth Vader had fallen by the close of Return of the Jedi. This leaves us with a lot of very interesting possibilities. Are they now just a small faction faithful to the ideas of old or as powerful as ever? Think back to Tarkin's role in A New Hope. There's absolutely nothing to say that someone like that may not have decided to step up and lead what remained of the Emperor's forces to continue battling the Rebel Alliance. As iconic as Vader's helmet and even the lightsaber itself, it's hard to imagine Stormtroopers not somehow factoring into Episode VII.

6. The Emperor

If those on the light side of the Force can return in spectral form to guide the next generation of Jedi, why can't those from the Dark Side do the same? Whoever ends up being the villain/s in Star Wars Episode VII, it's hard to imagine that the Sith truly came to an end with the deaths of Darth Vader and the Emperor. The fact that one of the most evil villains in the history of cinema had somehow managed to escape true death in order to continue making the lives of the Skywalker family a misery would also certainly help make the conflict in this new trilogy all the more personal.

5. R2-D2 and C-3PO

Again, how could Abrams’ ever consider not bringing back this loveable duo? R2-D2 and C-3PO are a staple of the franchise and their fate has been intertwined with that of the Skywalker clan since the very beginning. The biggest question of course is whether there are any stories left to tell with them as they have been through an awful lot over the course of six movies. Regardless, even if they’re not involved with the main story, there’s nothing to say that R2-D2 and C-3PO can’t still be faithfully serving Luke, Han and Leia. An appearance from them is essential for most Star Wars fans, so out of all the characters on this list, it would arguably be most surprising if they DIDN’T show up.

4. Yoda

Yoda is one of many characters who have been mentioned as getting their own spin-off, but that would obviously have to be a prequel of some sort after his death in Return of the Jedi. However, with it not being possible to bring back Alec Guinness’ Obi Wan Kenobi, the door is wide open for the pint sized Jedi master to return in ghostly form. After all, Yoda surely still has plenty of knowledge to impart on whoever is now leading the Jedi Order and whatever faults one can find with the prequels, there’s no denying that the use of special effects brought the character to life wonderfully in both Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Also, as is the case with the #2 selection on this list, an appearance in Star Wars Episode VII would definitely help to generate interest in the aforementioned spin-off. Regardless of the franchises loyal fan base, it’s vital to remember that this movie will also introduce a whole new generation to a galaxy far, far away, so for them, this instalment might just be the first time meeting these characters!

3. Chewbacca

How could you NOT bring back Chewbacca alongside Han Solo? The Wookie was his faithful companion and co-pilot throughout the original trilogy and also happened to be a dab hand with a blaster and sheer brute force. Seeing Han piloting the Millenium Falcon without Chewie just wouldn't feel right somehow. Should Abrams decide to [SPOILER WARNING] ultimately follow Chewbacca's fate in the "Expanded Universe" by having him die while saving the life of Han and Leia's children [END SPOILERS], there's no denying that such a scene would result in this new movie/trilogy having a strong emotional connection to long-time fans moving forward.

2. Boba Fett

Amazingly, a character who had only a few lines across the space of three movies has become one of the most popular in the franchise. Despite the fact that George Lucas tried and failed to replicate the same level of success by introducing his father and a young Boba in Attack of the Clones, Jango - who had one of the quickest and most ridiculous deaths of all the six films - failed to connect with audiences, so why not bring back the original and the best? After all, surely the Galaxy's greatest bounty hunter could find some way to escape that Sarlacc pit?!

1. Darth Vader

His role in the original trilogy was of course vital, and the prequels were focused entirely on how Anakin Skywalker ultimately became the masked menace, so there's no way that this new trilogy can escape the shadow of Darth Vader. While it could be argued that these new films should move on from what's come before, the simple fact that they are bringing back Luke, Han and Leia (and that George Lucas always intended for there to be another trilogy) means that the Skywalker legacy will continue to be a major factor in Episode VII and beyond. How can he return? Well, Vader's death and subsequent cremation make resurrection unlikely, and it's hard to imagine anyone wanting Hayden Christensen to return, so it may be best to leave this one up to the superior mind of J.J. Abrams...
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