By: Dominic Jones
Lawrence Kasdan, the writer of four Star Wars movie past, present, and future (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens, and the 2018 Han Solo Anthology film) sat down with The LA Times to talk about his career in Star Wars and the future of the franchise.
On the high expectations surrounding The Force Awakens, Kasdan said,
"They're very high expectations. The business expectations are sort of irrelevant to me. That's going to do what it's going to do. People are going to come — does it matter where it lands in the all-time list? I think no, not at all.
What does matter is, do we feel good about it and do we think we fulfilled those things we set out to do? I've seen it six or seven times, and I feel very good about that. When this movie starts, you just can't believe how dynamic and fun it is. I don't know anybody who can resist who's slightly open to it. [Director] J.J. [Abrams] just knocked it out of the park."
On what different directors bring to Star Wars, Kasdan to the LA Times,
"I don't know if people recognize it or not, but the saga is this big tapestry that's cut into sections that are defined by the directors. George made one very George-y movie, and if you saw "American Graffiti," you're not surprised to see the ebullience that's in "A New Hope." Then for "Empire," he said, "I want this next chapter to have Irvin Kershner's quality to it." And it's dark and serious and scary and treats the characters differently. Richard Marquand was a lovely man, and "Jedi" has a kind of easygoing "this is going to be the happy ending" quality that he brought.
Just jump over the prequels for a second, where George was doing what George was doing and fulfilling his own desires. Now with J.J., you get a whole new generation with a kind of dynamic mastery of camera and effects put together by someone that has a strong personality himself. He's a really decent guy, and he makes movies the way I try to make movies, which is that it's a privilege to make a movie and no one should be miserable. You're spitting in the face of luck if you're not having a great time. And that's infused in the movie. So what you're going to get is very much the J.J. Abrams movie.
These movies will all be so different. ["Episode VIII" director] Rian Johnson is a friend of mine — he's going to make some weird thing. If you've seen Rian's work, you know it's not going be like anything that's ever been in "Star Wars." You couldn't have three more different people than J.J., Rian and ["Episode IX" director] Colin [Trevorrow]. Those movies will have the "Star Wars" saga as their basis, but everything else will be different. Then Phil Lord and Chris Miller are going to make the Han Solo film and I can't guess what that will be like — and I'm writing it!"
On the Han Solo Anthology film he's writing with his son Jon, Kasdan said,
"You know, he's younger in this [spinoff] movie and that's fun because you have to imagine him 10 years earlier in his early 20s. What was he like before he hardened up? Before he had some setbacks? Before he put on this cynical coat? What got him there?"
The rest of the interview is fantastic, Kasdan gives his true opinion on "canon", you can read the rest over at the LA Times.
I love what Kasdan says about the impact of directors on Star Wars films. One of the things that excites me about the Anthology films in particular is that we'll have lots of new interesting directors being brought in to put their spin on the Star Wars galaxy.
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