If the latest Star Wars: Episode VII rumor is true, J.J. Abrams might capitalize on the Y.A. movie moment with a story that focuses on two hot young things.
The rumor comes from Joe Ruggirello at the blog Schmoes Know (and was perpetuated by the oft-reliable Latino Review) who wrote, "a reliable source (who wishes to remain anonymous) has seen a copy of the alleged casting breakdown that has been (or is about to be) sent out from JJ Abrams." Though Ruggirello acknowledges that it could be "bulls***," he goes on to reveal his source's information, which finds Abrams and crew looking for two people to play 17 year olds Jacen and Jaina Solo, yes those Solos, for a storyline which focuses on 'two 17 year old twins, a girl and a boy, are trained by their uncle Luke to be the greatest Jedi's [sic] in the galaxy. Problems arise when the male twin turns to the dark side.'"
As Ruggirello notes, that means that the new film would be cribbing directly from the Star Wars expanded universe. In the novel and comics that followed the original movies Han Solo and Leia have three kids: Jaina and Jacen, mentioned above, and Anakin. (That is, Anakin Solo; the Anakin played by Hayden Christensen in Revenge of the Sith is Anakin Skywalker who becomes Darth Vader — keep up!). Ultimately Jacen becomes the evil Darth Caedus and is killed by his twin Jaina.
Rumors about the plotline focusing on the main trio's offspring have been going around for a while now. But if this news about the casting does happen to be true, and the Solo twins are going to be the main protagonists of the new Star Wars films, it means that Abrams is looking for a pair of young, vaguely similar looking stars (or perhaps newcomers) to catapult into superstardom. It also means, that if Jonathan Rhys Meyers is on board he won't be playing one of the leads.
It's not entirely new for the Star Wars franchise to lead with a young actor (hello Hayden!) but it seems particularly trendy right now, considering the young adult phenomenons that have popped up recently. So who should be the twins? Well, Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort are the Y.A. duo-du jour with roles in Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars, but that probably means they're too overplayed for a movie like this. Let's just not have Jacen be played by Jaden for virtue of his name.
The movie is set to be released in 2015, with Abrams telling a conference this weekend that production should start in early 2014 in London. So while this is a huge rumor, we should be getting some concrete details sometime soon. Hopefully.