Lawrence Kasdan, the screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and now Star Wars: The Force Awakens, discusses the past, present and future of the Star Wars franchise.
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Many Star Wars fans are quite familiar with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. For his part, he has heavily influenced the ebb and flow of the Star Wars saga, writing the screenplay for both Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. And now, Kasdan has added to his legacy, by helping J.J. Abrams write the screenplay for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Talking to Los Angeles Times, Kasdan shared some insight on the past, present, and future of the Star Wars saga. He was asked how the excitement and buildup to The Force Awakens compares to past films:
"“There’s no comparison. The way the world is connected now, the fact that everything is instantly available to everybody, that you release a trailer and five minutes later it’s all around the world — there was nothing like that back then. Back in the ’80s, it was like, “Have you seen the trailer?” “No, I have to go to a movie that’s playing it.” I mean, “Empire” and Jedi” were big movies. But it was just a different world.”"
And therein lies the problem. Today’s instant-access to everything, via social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others, can be both a curse and a blessing for fans and the creators of the film. On one hand, the immediate response that is so prevalent nowadays, has to be gratifying for the filmmakers, but because of this instant access, many fans complain that they have been shown too much of the film before its theatrical premiere.
Kasdan also notes that while expectations for The Force Awakens are at an all-time high…for any Star Wars film ever, he’s not worried. Kasdan has seen the film six or seven times now, and he is quite confident that the The Force Awakens hits all the marks. As to his thoughts on working with J.J. Abrams to write a new Star Wars film, after his last connection to the saga was Return to the Jedi, Kasdan had this to say:
"When we got J.J., I got really excited, because I just thought he was the perfect guy to direct this movie. I didn’t really know him but when I met him he was so funny and smart and irreverent about things and he understood the virtues of what we were trying to get back to. When he agreed to do it, I just flipped out."
That’s some high praise for Abrams, from a man that many Star Wars fans believe to be the absolute authority on Star Wars…even more so than George Lucas himself. Kasdan does bring up a point about the overlying theme of the entire Star Wars saga:
"The movies have always been about generations and families and passing on knowledge and what can be transferred and what is inherent in the universe. The Force has always been around from George’s first idea of it, and this philosophical thing mixed in with the excitement of the action — that’s a very powerful soup."
This is something that we’ve heard Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy discuss as well, which has set many Star Wars fans to speculate about the secret identity of Daisy Ridley’s Rey, and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren. If Rey is somehow related to Luke Skywalker as possibly his daughter or niece, as well as Kylo Ren being the possible son of Han and Leia, then the continued story of the Skywalker lineage will be safeguarded through an entirely new trilogy. And, that’s what it’s all about. The Force is in everything, and if Anakin skywalker was the Chosen One, leading to Luke as his son being the last Jedi, then the perfect story would be how Luke passes on the legacy of House Skywalker, to a new generation.
You can read the Los Angeles Times interview with Lawrence Kasdan, in its entirety, by clicking the link provided. Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters worldwide in just two weeks, on December 17 and 18.