'Episode VII' is arguably the most highly anticipated 'Star Wars' film in the franchise's history. It's not any surprise to fans that speculation and rumors have run rampant since since Disney announced the new film in October of 2012. Over the last two years, fans have struggled to discern what's fact and what's fiction. The credibility of several "news" sources has been called into question, social media has exploded with "leaked" information, and contradictions from executives on the project are all commonplace. All these factors make fans leery of any new announcements about the upcoming film. A large part of the problem is that fans don't always know what sources can be considered reliable.
Take the incident that occurred yesterday on the rumor mill machine, Twitter. After someone stumbled across the picture above, rumors spread like wildfire that Daisy Ridley, recently cast in 'Episode VII,' would be playing Jaina Solo. Most fans know that Jaina Solo is the daughter of Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fischer) from the "Expanded Universe" or "Legends" series. Fans took the entry from IMDb as confirmation that she would be filling this role, despite evidence to the contrary. Disney and Lucasrfilm Ltd. have both claimed that 'Episode VII' will be "an original story" and that the "Expanded Universe" no longer fits into the continuity of the 'Star Wars' movies. Regardless, some fans took this as undeniable proof of her role.
Ms. Ridley herself felt the need to come out and comment on the issue, shedding some light for misinformed fans. Yesterday she used her Twitter account to say, "Guys the world and his wife can update IMDb. Just saying." While many online weren't convinced, Ridley is correct in her statement. This Examiner decided to put her comment to the test and signed up for an account with the renowned database of movies. It is relatively easy to edit any movie data you wish with no actual proof or documentation to back up your edits. This feature doesn't detract from the immense usefulness of IMDb, as long as visitors of the site understand how the information is generated.
While the lack of validated information is apparent, it really doesn't confirm one way or the other what role Ridley could possible be playing in 'Episode VII.' Fans should simply take this as reminder that you really can't trust anything you read online.