I Have A Bad Feeling About This: Star Wars: Episode VII Switches Writers
May The Force Be With You
My first thought upon reading that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are taking over script duties for Star Wars: Episode VII was: “Wuh-oh. That can’t be a good sign. Why change writers unless there’s a problem with the script?”
Second thought: “Well at least it’s not Damon Lindelof, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman.”
It’s been almost a year since Toy Story 3/Little Miss Sunshine scribe Michael Arndt was announced as the screenwriter for Star Wars: Episode VII, to be helmed by that most beloved-of-nerds director J.J. Abrams.
Except now Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are taking over. Says Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy:
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script. There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”
Kasdan penned The Empire Strikes back and Return of the Jedi, and Lucasfilm’s already tapped him to write one of those character-centric spinoffs they’re planning. If you’re going to have someone write a Star War it should be him, basically. And as for Abrams… my guess is that he’ll be contributing to the writing on a conceptual level rather than by actually putting pen to paper, since that’s how he generally operates. So if he’s working with a good writer—rather than, say, Lindelof, Orci, and Kurtzman, who gave us the muddled mess that is Star Trek Into Darkness—I have faith that the end product could be good.
Still a bit nervous, though. The release is still scheduled for summer 2015. That’s about a year and a half from now. An effects-heavy film like Episode VII is going to require no small amount of time in post-production, even if, like Kennedy says, it won’t be a CGI-pa-looza. Shouldn’t the script be past the point of changing writers by now?
May the Force be with us.
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