A lot of speculation has been going around ever since ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ and the confirmation that standalone films within the ‘Star Wars’ universe was announced, but not a lot has been heard from the people who will be intimately involved with the projects… until now! While attending the Final Draft Big Break screenwriting awards, IGN was able to ask Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg a few questions about their part in Disney’s new ‘Star Wars’ installments.
Kasdan, as ‘Star Wars’ fans know, wrote the screenplay for both ‘Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Episode VI: Return of the Jedi’ so when he was asked to return to the space opera galaxy he helped to create, he couldn’t have been more willing.
“I was pleased that there would be new ones, that there was a chance to capture some of the spirit of the original trilogy that I’d worked on. I thought there’s an audience out there — my grandchildren, lots of original Star Wars people — and there always will be. It’s only good that we try to do some more great ones… It’s always great when you get to do what you love and people get to see it. If they know your name, that’s fine, and if they don’t, that’s fine. It’s really just a privilege to do this work.”
Kasdan wouldn’t go into detail about ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ which he is consulting on alongside Kinberg but he did say how pleased he was that J.J. Abrams was on board to direct:
“They’re going to be fun. J.J. (Abrams)’s a great director for the first sequel. Perfect. We’re very happy to have him. The writers I’ve been working with — Michael Arndt, who’s going to write the sequel, and Simon Kinberg, who has, like me, been sort of consulting — they’re great. I’ve never really collaborated a lot, and I’ve never been a room with a bunch of writers thinking, “Well, what should this thing be?” It’s fun. It’s really fun. And J.J.’s a writer. Yeah, lovely guy. I’d met him but didn’t know him. But now I’m totally enamored by him. He’s really funny and so enthusiastic.”
Kinberg feels just as strongly about the ‘Star Wars’ franchise as Kasdan, and as a writer, he feels a great responsibility towards the material he will be writing on:
“I honestly try to approach all of these movies — whether it’s a title like X-Men or Sherlock Holmes or Star Wars — as a fan. I try to block out the anxiety I feel if I worry too much about the responsibility, and I just try to focus on the fun of it and the reasons why I grew up reading X-Men comics and watching Star Wars movies and reading Sherlock Holmes stories, that first time I read or watched any of those things and why they were so magical to me. I try to honor that and return to that as I would a fan. That’s the way I feel. When I wake up in the morning and I’m working on an X-Men movie, it’s insane for me every day because I’m so excited to get to work.”
While he understands the enthusiasm and interests attached to the ‘Star Wars’ name, Kinberg wouldn’t confirm or deny whether his scripts would be starring established ‘Star Wars’ characters or if he and Kasdan would be writing about new characters. He does, however, offer this piece of tidbit:
“This is what I would say: as a fan, I wouldn’t want to know too much. I know that’s impossible because it’s not the ’70s or ’80s anymore, but part of what was so exciting about A New Hope for me was I was entering into a universe I didn’t know. Even in Empire, I was surprised by a twist I never would have seen coming. But it’s different nowadays. I understand the excitement, and I’m happy that people are interested, obviously. But I’d rather people have something left to discover when they go in.”
Knowing how many fans are eager for any information about ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ and the standalone films, it is hard to image them taking heed of Kinberg’s words to stay away from spoilers, but with Abrams helming the film and being notoriously known for his secretive nature when it comes to his movies, this task may be easier to fulfill.
If you’d like to read the whole interview, head over to IGN.