More From Lawrence Kasdan On His Involvement With The New STAR WARS Films

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.

Posted By:
Paul Romano
Member Since 1/6/2011
Filed Under "Star Wars" 2/9/2013 Source: Hero Complex
DISCLAIMER: is protected under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and... [MORE]
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DaenerysTargaryen - 2/9/2013, 1:16 PM
Here's hoping Star Wars can be redeemed. I trust in you Arndt, JJ, and the rest of the people
pintoman - 2/9/2013, 1:31 PM
Yes, very happy Kasdan is back. I hope he can make a positive impact.
BackwardGalaxy - 2/9/2013, 1:33 PM
I know I'm happy he's back.
PeterParker1991 - 2/9/2013, 1:35 PM
Good news. May the Force be with them both
thewonderer - 2/9/2013, 1:42 PM
I liked the prequels, and the hate for them is overblown beyond proportion.

Either way, this guy is fantastic and I'm sure future SW will be high caliber films
ATrueHero1987 - 2/9/2013, 1:42 PM
I hope they can make the 2015 release date.
TheDARKestKNIGHT - 2/9/2013, 1:42 PM
I think it's fine in Abrams' hands. Especially after seeing the trailer(s) for Star Trek into Darkness.
jessepostal - 2/9/2013, 1:51 PM
I'd be happy with just theatrical cut blu ray releases of the og's
soberchimera - 2/9/2013, 1:52 PM
"I liked the prequels, and the hate for them is overblown beyond proportion."
themcdougalbugle - 2/9/2013, 1:55 PM
I can't believe that fat piece of sh*t Lawrence Kasdan is back to rape Star Wars. Have you people seen Darling Companion or Dreamcatcher?
parkerray - 2/9/2013, 1:57 PM
Hopefully Kasdan still has some edge himself. You couldn't really tell from his recent work, but maybe this will draw the best out of him.

@thewonderer I was just wondering this morning if anyone's made a T-shirt that says: I even love the prequels. Definitely have a new appreciation for them after starting the Clone Wars series. And yes, the hate is way overblown.
XavierLehnsherr - 2/9/2013, 2:01 PM
Yoda is revealed to have been female the entire time.

Chloe Moretz to play young Yoda.

Women shrink when they get old.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 2/9/2013, 2:24 PM

All we need now is to bring back Gary Kurtz.

marvel72 - 2/9/2013, 2:33 PM
how can anyone say the prequels are good is beyond me.

-jar jar binks the most hated character in the whole of the star wars universe.

-anakin skywalker being shorten to annie is f*ckin retared.

-anakin skywalker(jake llyod) the most annoying kid in the universe,i have never wanted to punch a kid in the head as much as him.

-anakin(hayden christensen) & amidala(natalie portman) say some of the most cringe worthy & vomit inducing dialogue i have ever heard.

-ben kenobi(ewan mcgregor)doing one of the worse alec guinness impressions i have ever heard.

-queen amidala(natlie portman)awful/boring voice drone.

-far too much blue/green screen

-terrible writing & directing all round

i'll admit each of the prequels did get better as they went on & the lightsabre duels are cool but thats about it.
ChanceX74 - 2/9/2013, 3:04 PM
"so the movie’s much darker than the first Star Wars. It’s more edgy."

At least he didn't use the word "gritty". Two out of three cliched buzz words ain't bad.
thewonderer - 2/9/2013, 3:10 PM

- Jar Jar is in one episode, and he didn't annoy me as much as C3PO did in the whole of the original trilogy. A complete asshole to R2D2 the whole saga.

- Not going to respond to this

- Mark Hamill is a pussy and a dick in the first 2 OT films. While the Anakin kid is annoying, I admired him like doing shit on his own. Luke, the whole trilogy is guided and helped yet he still complains about everything.

- Dialogue is shit in the prequels, for sure. Yet I preferred this cheesy as hell romance to the borderline rape developed Leia/Han relationship in Star Wars. The first time they kiss, Leia is saying no until Han forcibly grabs her hands and forces a kiss. Then a great strong woman at the start of the trilogy turns into a woman in need of constant help and affection from Han.

- I didn't mind Natalie Portman, but she wasn't fantastic or anything.

- Green screen overdose bothered me too, but I LOVED the crazy lightsaber fights. Those were beyond awesome.

- There was no issue in direction. Writing? sure, but not so much as others say.

Episode 3 is a fantastic film lumped in with the admittingly lesser quality other 2 prequels. Episode 3 is better than 6 in my opinion.

The hate for the prequels in episode 3 makes no sense to me.
CmdrGrimlock - 2/9/2013, 3:14 PM
"Hilarious when grown men rant, rave and complain about a series of films targeting a 6-13 year old audience."
feels good to repeat that
INSTANTJUSTICE - 2/9/2013, 3:22 PM

That applies to any film.

OrgasmicPotatoe - 2/9/2013, 3:26 PM
@marvel72. The prequels really weren't that bad. I had nothing against Jar Jar, yes he's a bit annoying, but nothing that downgrades the movie, imo. The Annie nickname isn't all that bad either. What kind of nickname do you give to someone called Anakin ? Seems like "Annie" is the most reasonable option you got. As for Portman's voice, I really don't see how that makes the film less better. Ewan McGregor wasn't trying to copy Guiness' performance. Both representations of Obi-Wan are from different times in his life, one where he is a fighting Jedi in action, and the other where he lives like an hermit on a desert-like planet watching after one kid from afar. If you were searching for Alec Guiness in the prequels, it might explain a lot about why you hated Ewan's performance. Though I'll give it to you, they need to cut on the green screens. But don't think they will ever do that. If anything, there will just keep being more and more blue screens in sci-fi movies.

Also, don't hit cildren. It's not cool, and to be honest, it's not fair. Don't hit children.
pro346 - 2/9/2013, 3:29 PM
@marvel 72 revenge of the sith was vastly better than the avengers!
megabatfan - 2/9/2013, 3:33 PM
One of my oet peeves is referring to the OT as Star Wars; TheEmpire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi. Shouldn't it be A New Hope; The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi.
That being said, i think what separates the OT from the PT was that the original was ground breaking & changed cinema forever. The prequels didnt do that. But how can we expect every movie even Star Wars to reach such a pinnacle. The Prequels were clearly made for a different generation. I enjoy them to this day, flawed as they are (cough Jar Jar). Lets b greatful we even hav the entire Star Wars universe & were brought up with one of he best trilogies ever (definitely my fav of all time). & heres hoping to a Sequel Trilogy that will be even better
megabatfan - 2/9/2013, 3:40 PM
Grown adults, (or teenagers) getting upset about children being annoying. I mean really? News flash people, children are supposed to be annoying. Its all they do. Even teenagers are! Hence the whiny Anakin of Episode II
cartman87 - 2/9/2013, 3:56 PM
episode 1,2,&3 were good movies. I like where star wars stories continued in the books . Hearing that they aren't using that material for 7,8,&9 makes me disinterested in them.
INSTANTJUSTICE - 2/9/2013, 4:04 PM
megabatfan : "Hence the whiny Anakin of Episode II"

Which is why we didn't need to see Anankin as a kid or a teenager. Why not 3 films about a grown man?

marvel72 - 2/9/2013, 4:17 PM
i really can't believe people are defending the prequels,they don't do anything for me but whatever floats your boat.
EyeGore - 2/9/2013, 4:19 PM
Lawrence Kasdan has written and/or directed some fantastic films. But he hasn't made even a halfway decent movie in almost 20 years. His last great movie was in 1985.

So let's hope he gets his mojo back.
VictorHugo - 2/9/2013, 4:36 PM
so what if the audience is whiny? they´re paying so they whine all they want, it´s half the fun.
Asterisk - 2/9/2013, 4:36 PM
If you're defending the prequels, I really don't think you know what makes them so bad, to the very core. How they just don't capture what made Star Wars Star Wars.
ChanceX74 - 2/9/2013, 4:45 PM
@megabatfan: The whole Episode IV: A New Hope was added in the 1981 re-release of the film. For four years it was simply "Star Wars", it was released as "Star Wars", for years after the opening crawl was altered it was still referred to as "Star Wars", and for the purists it will always be simply "Star Wars". That's what I and many more fans grew up with.
TheAbomination - 2/9/2013, 5:11 PM
The prequels were watchable, but nowhere near the quality of the originals. The way I see it, there's room for both.
marvel72 - 2/9/2013, 5:31 PM
@ CmdrGrimlock

"Hilarious when grown men rant, rave and complain about a series of films targeting a 6-13 year old audience."
feels good to repeat that

if these movies are aimed at kids why are they covering adult storylines such as "taxation of trade federation ships" & huge council meetings its to political for kids to be remotely interested in.

@ OrgasmicPotatoe

i don't condone hitting children,but if i hear "are you an angel" or any other crappy line of dialogue from that kid it does make me want to hit him.
marvel72 - 2/9/2013, 5:46 PM
if you've got time watch these video's they are funny as f*ck & really do point out everything wrong with the prequels.

Tevii - 2/9/2013, 5:50 PM
@marvel72 - I disagree. The prequels are fine. Yeah the dialogue sucks, but so does much of the dialogue in the others.

Jar jat binks, sucks yes, but he was aimed to attract children, that would in turn be nostalic aboiut the character 20 years later. Its George Lucas being a marketing genius.

Whats wrong with Annie? you dont like it because you are projecting an america/earth connotation to it. in a galaxt far, far away it has no reltaion to a girl or anything

And overall I like the story because it completes the 6 as one movie: the story of Anakin Skywalker. I love the political intrigue and the fall of an empire. Things that reflect our history fascinate me.

BUT yes they couldve been better. How? They came across like First Draft scripts that they just ran with. I guess thats the problem of owning every aspect of the franchise, you dont HAVE to get another opinion before filming commences.
marvel72 - 2/9/2013, 6:23 PM
@ tevii

i was a kid when the original trilogy came out it didn't need a character like jar jar to attract kids,you had the main characters that could sell toys if that was your goal.

the first star wars figure i had was chewbacca he didn't have to act like jar jar to make me interested in the movie.

yeah annie might be cute when your a young boy but he is still called by that twelve years later,i'd be pretty pissed.

lucas f*cked the script big time,he had fourteen years to get the script right & it seems he wrote it over the weekend.

SamHell - 2/9/2013, 6:41 PM
I concur marvel72
marvel72 - 2/9/2013, 6:59 PM
@ suspensesmith
@ samhell

i'm glad some of you see what i'm getting at.
Panoramacon - 2/9/2013, 8:23 PM
I would agree with that list only have character at 1 and plot at 2. A great story is comprised of great characters driving the plot forward. And not to disagree too much with Mr. Kasdan, but that is what made ESB more favored then even the original for many.
Panoramacon - 2/9/2013, 9:16 PM
A story is a character trying to solve a problem. Plot is essentially the steps the character takes to solve that problem. The story is presented by what characters say and do or a narrator or letters, etc. revealing what they said or did. Everything revolves about character even if they are flat and one dimensional.
yinyangpalms - 2/9/2013, 10:18 PM
It seems a bit strange that someone wanted to dust off Lawrence Kasdan for Episode 7 just because he was part of writing Episode 4.
That was over 30 years ago. Since that time Kasdan has had no real success in Hollywood and brought us turkeys like "Wyatt Earp".
I doubt he'll actually make any real contribution. He may even get bumped out of the project.
RetroFit - 2/9/2013, 10:20 PM
Panoramacon you're wrong. Story is everything and the umbrella that all else falls under, ESPECIALLY character. They have to fit into and be relevant to the story, not the other way around.
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