By: Dominic Jones
After the cover story and amazing photographs in the latest issue, Vanity Fair has been posting extended interviews with key members of the crew of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. Today they posted their interview with Lucasfilm president and The Force Awakens producer Kathleen Kennedy. While nothing major was discussed Kennedy did share some thoughts on re-capturing the magic of the Star Wars as well as moving the franchise into the future. Check out an excerpt below,
Bruce Handy: One thing that’s interesting about Star Wars is that, probably more than any other blockbuster-level franchise, it really came out of only one guy’s head. And that guy was probably as much of a control freak as any filmmaker ever could be working on that kind of scale. So how do you make a Star Wars movie without George Lucas?
Kathleen Kennedy: I think that it comes down to one key principle, which is it is extremely important to make it personal. J.J. had to make it personal. Even [writer-director] Rian Johnson, when he moves into Episode VIII, he’s going to have to make it personal. George made it personal. He just made a movie that meant something to him. And I think that's probably the biggest challenge for anybody stepping into this is that they can’t spend a lot of time thinking about what other people are going to think of the movie. They have to come at it from the point of view of, What does this mean to me and what does it have to do with me? Frankly, I don’t think great movies ever get made unless there’s some aspect of that going on between the creator and the story that’s being told. It can only become emotional [for an audience] if it’s operating on some kind of personal passion.
So that's what I've tried to encourage with each of the filmmakers is: “Don’t get too hung up. You already are a die-hard fan. You already respect George Lucas and everything he created inside Star Wars.” Many of the people coming into this franchise know 10 times more about it than I do. And that’s fantastic. Because there is this allure to what George created from a mythological standpoint. It’s not just because it’s a successful franchise—it means something to people on a really deep level. And if you fall into that category of a generation that grew up on the movies, then for those filmmakers it ends up being one of the most meaningful movies in their lives, one that influenced their careers. But now you got to say to that fanboy or that fangirl, “Where are you in all of this?” Because otherwise it is just going to become derivative. And you don’t want that.
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