Development is ongoing for Star Wars: Episode VII, which features J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) as the director and Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) as screenwriter. The film will usher in a new generation of Star Wars movies – now that George Lucas has stepped aside as the franchise architect and president of Lucasfilm – beginning in Summer 2015, with either a new Episode or spinoff/standalone installment arriving each year thereafter.
The first two Star Wars spinoff/standalone features, which are currently being kept tightly under-wraps, will be scripted by series vet Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg – whose screenwriting resume includes Mr. and Mrs. Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes and next year’s X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Kinberg was interviewed earlier this year by Hero Complex, but his interview has only just seen the light of day, to commemorate “Star Wars Day” (a.k.a. May 4th) in 2013. Here is what he said, with regard to where development is (or, rather, was) at:
“We’re really at the early phases of figuring out the details, but the spirit of the original movie is the thing I fell in love with, so it’s the spirit of that that I think will guide us.”
The screenwriter went on to confess his nervousness about tackling Star Wars – despite his previous involvement with franchises like X-Men and Sherlock Holmes – by calling it the “cultural referent for our generation.” He also indicated that having to generate new content, along with people like Kasdan and Arndt, is intimidating, yet invigorating, and something that will encourage him to step his game up.
“I’m not in the same category as Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt. It’s great to have a chance to work with those guys. Larry is really an idol of mine. He is, as much as anybody, the reason I wanted to get into screenwriting when I was a kid. “Raiders” and “Empire Strikes Back” were the two things that I saw when I was younger that I wanted to one day somehow emulate. So having the opportunity to be around him is as exciting as any aspect of the “Star Wars” process.”
Lastly, Kinberg echoed calls from people like Kasdan and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, by agreeing that the next wave of Star Wars movies should “go retro” – by harkening back to the storytelling and intimate character focus of the original trilogy (rather than follow the prequel installments by relying heavily on technical aspects to paint a broader, yet more hollow, portrait of life in a galaxy far, far away).
“[I agree completely]. I think what worked so well in all of the “Star Wars” movies is the characters. I think the reason that they’re different than other science fiction or other genre movies is because George [Lucas] created a universe of people that you wanted to go back and see over and over again, and that’s why it’s spanned and spawned so many different mediums, so many different generations, every different language. You want to go back and see those characters, like I did when I was a kid. ‘Empire Strikes Back’ was the first movie I saw in a movie theater more than once. And I went back 10, 15 times in the theater, and I’ve seen it probably over a 100 times since. But I saw it that many times in the theater because I loved those characters. I loved Han, I loved Leia, I loved Luke, I was right at the age when I was old enough to start to understand the nuance of that movie. I think I was too young for ‘New Hope’ when it came out in the theater, although I loved it and it was my favorite film until ‘Empire.’ And then really, that changed my life, that movie.”
Which old-school supporting characters (Yoda, Lando Calrissian, etc.) would you like to see featured in their own Star Wars standalone/spinoff films? Do you think those movies should focus on introducing new characters only? Let us know in the comments section!
Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to open in theaters by Summer 2015.
Source: LA Times