Saturday, January 12, 2013

Writers for New Movie are Cause for Optimism

Lawrence Kasdan
Star Wars fans have had mixed reactions to the announcement of Episode VII and movies beyond. Some are overjoyed that new films will be released and the franchise can continue, whilst others are concerned that without George Lucas it just isn’t Star Wars. What can offer hope to all Star Wars fans however, is the talent that looks set to be involved.

Initially the announcement came that Michael Arndt has been working on the treatment for Episode VII. His first film, Little Miss Sunshine, whilst well respected may not seem a natural fit for Star Wars – but as Toy Story 3 was the last film he scripted, things start to make more sense. That too was part of an existing franchise with a gap between releases, and Arndt successfully scripted a film that provided a satisfying, logical conclusion to the previous two.

Michael Arndt’s other credentials include that he has been giving screenwriting seminars,
Michael Arndt
and a key example he uses is the ending of A New Hope. He explains as part of his lectures why the ending to the film is the perfect example of a satisfying ending to a movie. It is reassuring to know that the guy who will be writing the new film understands the original one inside out. Knowing that he understands what makes Star Wars what it is must have been a key part of what led George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy to hire him in the first place.

Following this news came the rumour that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are also
Simon Kinberg
being considered to work on projects for Lucasfilm. Simon Kinberg has been writing recent X-Men films, so would be familiar with the fast pace and action required for Star Wars. The much more exciting possibility, however, is Lawrence Kasdan.

Kasdan is an even more reassuring choice for the sceptical Star Wars fan than Michael Arndt, as Lawrence Kasdan is the screenwriter behind The Empire Strikes Back. With the huge affection for that film, which features some of the saga’s sharpest dialogue, his appointment to write future Star Wars films would be cause for Forest Moon-style celebrations. As well as the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, Kasdan co-wrote Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the latter being held up as a master class in screenwriting.

It will take a while yet for Star Wars fans to stop feeling any trepidation about a Lucas-free future (well, for many – some are relieved that it will be a Lucas-free future), but having such capable hands on board to write the new instalments is a promising first step.

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