Steven Spielberg (Friend of Lucas, has often come close to directing a SW)
George Lucas again
David Lynch (Almost directed ROTJ)
David Filoni (director of Clone Wars movie and series)
Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy)
Joss Whedon (Serenity, Avengers, various TV series)
J. J Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8, various TV series)
Frank Darabont (Almost directed TPM)
Kathleen Kennedy (Basically is co-chair of Lucasfilm)
Gendy Tartovsky (The original Clone Wars micro series, various TV series and Hotel Transylvania)
Brad Bird (Incredibles, Mission Impossible IV)
Francis Ford Copolla (Godfather trilogy & friend of Lucas)
Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings trilogy)
Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrynth, Hellboy)
I don't think Han is absolutely essential to the storyline going forward. Would I like to see Han in the sequel trilogy? Yes. But I think he could be removed and replaced with another character fairly easily. All it takes is a line explaining how Hans luck ran out shortly after the victory on Yavin when some bounty hunter caught him by surprise.
But it is my hope that Harrison Ford would agree to come back, just so as not to be appearing to thumb his nose at the fans. His and Star Wars.
We're not overestimating the appeal of Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford. The appeal the crappy prequels had was based on the promise that we would see the origin of just one of the characters and see the Jedi when they were around.
Get the originals and you get *every* Star Wars fan over 30 and they will bring their kids. The rest will go to see more Jedi vs Sith or Jedi vs. Yuuzhan Vong.
Really, the only way to screw up this franchise is to start it with whiny Luke Jr. and his pal, Chewbaccita, trying to go to the Jedi prom and avoiding detention because they rigged the lighstabers to explode over Principal Binks.
Just spitballing here.
We definitely shouldn't overestimate how much the original cast would impact box office numbers. Again, people seem to watch Star Wars no matter what. The original cast would perhaps get some people more excited about Episode 7, but it's not like these people wouldn't watch the movie otherwise.
Oh, they will. Original actors in their iconic roles , even for cameos, do tend to pull a good amount of people.Every Star Wars fan over 30 with kids old enough to get into the theater but too young to go to the movie by themselves will be bringing their kids regardless of whether Hammill et al. are in it, because their kid will pester them to death if they don't. I don't care how big a nostalgias trip they're on, people aren't going to pay money to see a movie (they wouldn't otherwise see) just because Mark Hammill and Carrie Fisher are in it.
Meh.They might do it for Ford, but he's earned it on the merits of his career (and even his days as a name draw in anything other than Indiana Jones may be behind him). For most people, the only real appeal Hammill and Fisher would have in a Star Wars movie (in anything other than a brief cameo) is the chance to gawk at the spectacle of two over the hill has-beens trying to recapture past glory.
I'd love to see the old gang back and enjoy how they tackle the role 35 years later. Older, wiser, humbler, bolder...there's a thousand ways they can play those roles now and still make it a treat for the fans.
With thirty-plus years since the original STAR WARS cast having played their famous roles, they've likely become more accomplished actors in the intervening years. I wonder how that they will play into their performances.
Then again, STAR WARS movies have a way of blunting the acting abilities of even excellent actors (McGregor, Portman, Neeson, Jackson), but with someone other than Lucas writing the scripts/directing, that could change.
Actually, I kind of wonder if good acting would actually work with STAR WARS. Awkward acting is sort of a part of STAR WARS' DNA.
Buried Alien (The Fastest Post Alive!)
I despair of engaging in discussions with those who lack imagination.