Almost 19 months before the release of Episode 7, let's make a parallel between the amount of news that we have now and the amount of news that we had back in October 1997 about Episode 1. Did we know much more stuff about the first movie of the prequel trilogy or the news were scarce back then too...
Using the official Star Wars magazine from February 1997 to November 1997 the site thebeardedtrio.com made an interesting comparison between the amount of news about Episode 1 back in 1997 and the amount of news about Episode 7 now roughly 19 months before the movie's release.
First check out some pretty ridiculous rumors from 1997:
- Episode One was to be completely CGI.
- The name of the movie will be called "Fall of the Republic."
- The movie will only consist of four actors, the rest will be computer generated.
- Alec Guiness performance as a young Obi-Wan will comprise edited out-takes from 1950's Ealing comedies.
- Kenneth Branagh had signed, Macauley Culkin was in talks.
- There will be no sets.
- Charlton Heston will play Yoda.
Now some of the more interesting facts that we knew about Episode 7 in 1997:
- Storyboards at Skywalker Ranch and vehicle/character designs are well under way.As you can see there was plenty of news about the new movie back in 1997. Of course we're talking about different directors and the technology did change significantly in the last years. So we can't make any conclusions but still it's an interesting info. Especially with the lack of anything else.
- The story will take place 40 years before A New Hope.
- George Lucas will direct the first film and write all three scripts.
- Shooting started on June 26th.
- The main cast had been confirmed and announced (Liam Neeson, Ewan Mcgregor, Jake Lloyd, Natalie Portman and Pernilla August).
- Frank Oz will be playing Yoda and the character will not be fully CGI as first thought.
- R2-D2 and C3PO are confirmed to be in the movie along with a small appearance from Jabba the Hutt.
- First phase of principal photography wraps at the end of September at Leavesden Studios.
- The title of Episode One is still being speculated and the much favoured "Balance of the Force" is apparently dismissed by Lucasfilm. - Most of the cast is confirmed by the end of the year including Samuel L Jackson, Kenny Baker and Ian McDiarmid.