Needless to say, this post will contain spoilers. Beware! But again, this is only detailing background information to Episode VII—nothing will spoil significant events in the actual movie (except by accident when it comes to speculation).
In his report, Jason at Making Star Wars made mention of the Clone Wars season 2 episode “Children of the Force”. Here’s a key piece of dialogue from Darth Sidious in that episode:
I foresee an army of Force-talented spies in my service, trained in the Dark Side to peer into every corner of the galaxy from afar. And my enemies will be helpless against such vision.
This is clearly a foreshadowing of such Jedi Hunters as the Inquisitor in Rebels and the possible villains of Episode VII. For all we know, this plot point would have been explored further in seasons 7 and 8 of The Clone Wars, and perhaps George Lucas had already discussed extensively the role of these “Force-talented spies” with the Clone Wars team, including Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni.
So these Jedi Hunters in Episode VII wear black and chrome, wield lightsabers and are flanked by black and chrome uniformed Imperial-style troops, according to the rumour. Some of the Jedi Hunters wear helmets. Is the massive black and chrome Imperial-style hanger related somehow? Is this the base of operations for the Jedi Hunters?
Here’s some pure speculation: perhaps, after the Battle of Hoth, Echo Base was converted into the base of operations for the Jedi Hunters. Chewbacca is part of a daring attack on the base, but soon crashes and is forced to battle stormtroopers in the snow. This would explain why we’re returning to Hoth, and to me it actually makes some sense and has some nice irony to it. It’s based on no insider knowledge, but I like the idea.