Lawrence Kasdan Talks The Force Awakens’s Length & Lando Calrissian


When Bruce Handy of Vanity Fair was conducting interviews for VF’s The Force Awakens spread (which came out in stores last week), he asked a few questions of the film’s co-writer, Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan, that didn’t make it into the main feature. Of note are Kasdan’s remarks on The Force Awakens, particularly his allusion to its length.

"And this new movie, first of all, it’s turning out really great. J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, “I wish there’s more.” Or, “Wait, is it over?” Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, “Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?” Killing your darlings."

Not that this comes as a surprise, but I’m happy to once again be reassured of what good hands The Force Awakens is in. JJ Abrams and Kasdan are not adhering to the Hollywood formula of action, action, and more action in a movie, and are instead creating a good, well-rounded film (like all of the Star Wars movies).

When Handy asked Kasdan if we would see Lando Calrissian again in a Star Wars movie, Kasdan’s reply was vague but invited hope:

"Right now, there’s no Lando Calrissian in this movie. But Lando I don’t think is finished in any way, shape, or form."

In an interview with Cinelinx, the man behind the cape, Billy Dee Williams, hinted that he might have a role in the sequel trilogy at some point.

"I may very well…I have a feeling I’m going to show up. There’s nothing I can really discuss about it at this stage.People think of me as the original cast, but I didn’t come in until the second movie.  I did Empire and then I did Return of the Jedi, but I came in after everyone else was introduced…So I think they’re probably proceeding in that way.I can’t imagine them not bringing Lando back.  But we’ll see, I don’t know."

I think that bringing Lando in later in the sequel trilogy is a smart move. Adding him into The Force Awakens along with other old favorites like Luke, Leia, and Han would probably crowd the film with too much nostalgia (and actors!).

There’s some other cool stuff in the interview, including a story on how Kasdan became the writer of The Empire Strikes Back and a reflection on his relationship with George Lucas. You can read the full article here.

Thanks to /Film bringing it to our attention with their report of the interview.

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