Could Episode VII be borrowing from “Heir to the Empire”?

From Daisy Ridley News (via Making Star Wars) comes this tweet:

Apparently the extra was Polish, so can we assume they meant stormtroopers?

Keep in mind the following:

  1. an earlier report of explosions being set up, with the same report making mention of a market, later confirmed in the Force for Change video
  2. there have also been whisperings of classic stormtroopers being filmed in Iceland

Add to that the AT-AT foot possibly spotted in Abu Dhabi and things become pretty interesting.

Rebels is designed to introduce the younger generation to the Empire. Is it, in part, because the Empire will feature in Episode VII? Could it possibly still be kicking around 30 years after Vader and the Emperor died at the Battle of Endor? Is Max von Sydow playing an ageing Admiral Thrawn?

Wait, what?

The idea isn’t as crazy at it sounds. Hugo Weaving was at one point rumoured to be playing an Imperial commander, so it’s not outside the realms of possibility for someone like Thawn to appear—Weaving certainly looks the part, and maybe von Sydow is playing a variation on that same role. Meanwhile, Jesse Plemmons was almost certainly being considered for the same role as Domnhall Gleeson, and Abrams and co. were clearly after a redhead when casting the part. Is Gleeson playing the son of Luke and Mara Jade?

There are already rumblings that Mara will appear in James Luceno’s Tarkin novel. And just who is the “valuable asset” in Heir to the Jedi? Is that Mara as well?

Timothy Zahn’s Heir to the Empire may no longer be canon, but could its elements survive into the new era?

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