More From Lawrence Kasdan On His Involvement With The New STAR WARS Films
The Empire Strikes Back scribe Lawrence Kasdan talks more about his work on the upcoming Star Wars films, saying that George Lucas brought him on board and that he and director J.J. Abrams are "trying to start fresh" and create something "entirely new".
Speaking with the LA Times' Hero Complex, The Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan talks more about his involvement with the upcoming Star Wars movies under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner. He will be consulting with Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes) on J.J. Abrams' Episode VII (which is being written by Toy Story 3's Michael Ardnt), and the two screenwriters will be writing separate character spin-off films. "I’m trying to start fresh. There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new," Kasdan says. The writer then discussed how George Lucas brought him on board last fall, and what it's like without the creator heavily involved. "George sort of brought me into this part of it, and he’s stepping back from the company. He’s sort of given his blessing to everybody, and he’ll be there if you need him. I think everyone’s interested to see where this can go. It’s been some very different places over 30 years. I think with J.J., we’ll get something entirely new."
Kasdan then shares his thoughts on the original Star Wars trilogy as a whole. "The ones I worked on were a long time ago, and they had a slightly different feeling than the ones that followed. The first three, Star Wars, Empire and Return of the Jedi are all sort of more about people than the ones that followed. Empire appeals to people, I think, because it’s the second act of a three-act play, and everything sort of goes to hell during the movie. And when you leave, everyone is in trouble, and that is the best kind of part of the story to write. And people responded to it. Irvin Kershner was a completely different kind of director than George, so the movie’s much darker than the first Star Wars. It’s more edgy." However, despite Empire Strikes Back being the most acclaimed installment in the saga, Kasdan says that A New Hope is still his favorite. "I must say, I think that the great, great film is the first Star Wars. I do. It’s hilarious, and it changed movies forever."
Finally, Kasdan reveals that the massive exposure to the franchise does not bother his writing process, and that he was happy to read the Internet's "really nice" response to his being hired to return to the series. "Nothing changes, really. I don’t read that much of it. But when it was announced that I was doing it, it was a really nice response on the Internet. People have a lot invested in Star Wars, and I think some of them were happy that I was back."
Despite Abrams not committing to the release window yet, Star Wars: Episode VII is targeting a 2015 debut.
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