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Screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg discuss their approach to the next generation of Star Wars films

02.08.2013

Two of the craftsmen of the next (and former for one of them) generation of STAR WARS films, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg recently spoke to IGN about their approach to the films and general reaction to the hype, including how to manage expectations.  Screenwriter Michael Arndt is currently working on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, which has J.J. Abrams at the helm, while Kasdan and Kinberg are serving as "consultants."  I'm not sure what that means, really, but I suspect that each of them will have a hand in crafting work that leads into subsequent films or spinoffs, if they're not already. 

Kasdan on the news that they were making more STAR WARS:

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.

Kasdan on how long they've been working on the future film(s):

No, this started last fall. It actually first started with conversation I had with (Kathleen Kennedy) and George [Lucas].

Kasdan on collaborating with J.J. Abrams and fellow screenwriters Arndt and Kinberg:

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 on his responsibility to the fans:

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.

Kinberg on the amount of excitement and speculation over the new films:

I understand the interest in the movies, because I would be interested and I am interested as a pure fan. I’ve never seen a level of attention for a movie that isn’t in theaters yet as I have for Star Wars movies, and I understand why, because they are arguably the greatest stories and the biggest cultural benchmark of our time. They’re, for our generation, the movies that made many of us want to get into movies in the first place. So there is a level of passion and emotion connected to Star Wars that may be greater than other franchises. I try to not worry about speculation about the movies. I just think it’s great that there’s excitement about the movies. I’ve worked on movies where you have to generate excitement. This is one where the excitement is built in.

Kinberg on not giving away details too early on:

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.

Obviously, since the news of STAR WARS VII and beyond broke the Internet, we've all been over-the-top excited to see and hear how it all shakes out.  There are so many possibilities out there and it seems like a new rumor is popping up every day.  However, Disney, as well as their creative teams, have done a pretty good job of steering the rumor ship by not letting it get too off course and confirming or denying things timely enough to keep it all straight.  One thing's for sure, however, and that's the fact that the excitement, speculation, and fanatacism isn't going to be dying down for a long time.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII is tentatively set for 2015 (but my money is on 2016) with the rumored spinoffs somewhere in the development process.  As always, stay tuned for updates.

Check out this sweet fan art poster!

Extra Tidbit: I'm a big fan of Kasdan's Silverado and his underrated Wyatt Earp with Kevin Costner. His dramatic fare, like The Big Chill and Grand Canyon are also superb. A great asset to the Star Wars Universe.
Source: IGN

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