‘Star Wars’ Writers Talk ‘Fun’ Approach To Episode 7-9 & Standalone Films

Published 2 years ago by

Star Wars Episode 7 Kinberg Kasdan Star Wars Writers Talk Fun Approach To Episode 7 9 & Standalone Films

For years, Star Wars fans had only their imaginations to tell them what stories an Episode VII would tell. Would it be set in the Old Republic, or follow the events of the original saga? And what about a female protagonist? Now a reality, Episode VII‘s script has already been completed, with Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: Days of Future Past) having been brought on to oversee and consult for the near future.

Unsurprisingly, the pair are optimistic about J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) agreeing to direct the film, and in a recent interview confessed that the excitement for Episodes VII-IX isn’t felt by fans alone.

With the Disney purchase and immediate greenlighting of Episode VII catching many off guard, it was the revelation that the film had already been written by Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3) that proved Lucasfilm’s new management meant business. And big business at that, with Han Solo and Boba Fett reportedly starring in spin-off films in between numbered ‘Episodes.’

Boba Fett and Han Solo Movies Star Wars Writers Talk Fun Approach To Episode 7 9 & Standalone Films

While already an Oscar winner, Arndt’s role as a relative newcomer to the franchise series may have worried some. Lucasfilm put those fears to rest by announcing that Kasdan and Kinberg would act as consultants and writers for future films. That’s familiar territory for Kasdan, but an entirely different experience for Kinberg, now asked to consult alongside an industry legend. Admitting to IGN that his current role is a dream come true, Kinberg doesn’t put aside his affection for the franchise when thinking of the next story:

“I honestly try to approach all of these movies — whether it’s a title like X-Men or Sherlock Holmes or Star Wars — as a fan. I try to block out the anxiety I feel if I worry too much about the responsibility, and I just try to focus on the fun of it and the reasons why I grew up reading X-Men comics and watching Star Wars movies and reading Sherlock Holmes stories, that first time I read or watched any of those things and why they were so magical to me. I try to honor that and return to that as I would a fan. That’s the way I feel.

“I understand the interest in the movies, because I would be interested and I am interested as a pure fan. I’ve never seen a level of attention for a movie that isn’t in theaters yet as I have for Star Wars movies, and I understand why, because they are arguably the greatest stories and the biggest cultural benchmark of our time. They’re, for our generation, the movies that made many of us want to get into movies in the first place. So there is a level of passion and emotion connected to Star Wars that may be greater than other franchises… I’ve worked on movies where you have to generate excitement. This is one where the excitement is built in.”

Kinberg is right about the original films inspiring many of today’s filmmakers, as J.J. Abrams – the director now given the chance to make (at least) one ‘Episode’ of his own – is one of them. As a veteran of the industry and tending toward the ‘understated’ side, Kasdan wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as Kinberg. But when contacted by unrelenting talent-recruiter and producer Kathleen Kennedy last fall, Kasdan was more than willing to return to the galaxy far, far away:

“I was pleased that there would be new ones, that there was a chance to capture some of the spirit of the original trilogy that I’d worked on. I thought there’s an audience out there — my grandchildren, lots of original Star Wars people — and there always will be. It’s only good that we try to do some more great ones.

jj abrams star wars1 Star Wars Writers Talk Fun Approach To Episode 7 9 & Standalone Films

With various insider reports over possible directions that the Star Wars films could take, Yoda being among the many rumored leading men, it’s safe to say the knowledge both Kinberg and Kasdan possess at this moment would make any geek quiver. Frank Oz is interested in a return of Yoda, but when pushed about specifics Kasdan wouldn’t give any more details than the following:

“They’re going to be fun. J.J. ’s a great director for the first sequel. Perfect. We’re very happy to have him. The writers I’ve been working with — Michael Arndt, who’s going to write the sequel, and Simon Kinberg, who has, like me, been sort of consulting — they’re great. I’ve never really collaborated a lot, and I’ve never been a room with a bunch of writers thinking, “Well, what should this thing be?” It’s fun. It’s really fun. And J.J.’s a writer. Yeah, lovely guy. I’d met him but didn’t know him. But now I’m totally enamored by him. He’s really funny and so enthusiastic.”

Having confessed fans of the original trilogy being entrusted with the next chapter, it would appear that there is little cause for worry. Some concerns might appear farther down the line if Lucasfilm starts to fulfill their goal of producing 2-3 Star Wars movies a year, but we’ll all cross that bridge when we get to it.

Though Kinberg acknowledges he’s as excited as anyone, he did offer a piece of advice to those clamoring for every detail on the new films. Whether they’re based around a younger Han Solo, a rogue band of Jedi Knights, or even the founding of a Jedi Academy, we shouldn’t undervalue the element of surprise:

“This is what I would say: as a fan, I wouldn’t want to know too much. I know that’s impossible because it’s not the ’70s or ’80s anymore, but part of what was so exciting about A New Hope for me was I was entering into a universe I didn’t know. Even in Empire, I was surprised by a twist I never would have seen coming. But it’s different nowadays. I understand the excitement, and I’m happy that people are interested, obviously. But I’d rather people have something left to discover when they go in.”

Star Wars Logo Art Star Wars Writers Talk Fun Approach To Episode 7 9 & Standalone Films

We’d have a hard time accepting that Star Wars fans won’t want every piece of footage or marketing they can get their hands on, but imagining a modern-style trailer for Empire where the twist was all but ruined speaks for itself. Let’s all think like Jedi and consider that maybe discretion, not a lightsaber, is the better part of valor.

Will you heed Kinberg’s warning and stay away from spoilers as the new Star Wars films approach, or is that just wishful thinking in today’s industry?

Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters in summer 2015.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: IGN

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. I really think star wars 7 can be good I like Abrams and the wirters seem like they want to work with Abrams to bring back the magic of the original trilogy which I think is what needs to happen. As for the solo films I’m not so excited for them I mean it’s not that I don’t think they can be good I’m just not as interested in them as I am the actual series of movies, ah well who knows

    • I think Solo and his films are a cool idea,can’t understand why u are not excited by it ! Han is a Cool Character and for sure he has lots of stories to tell ! He had great books back in the day !

      • Just make sure to bring Jar Jar back!

      • I guess they will CGI Harrison Ford like they did Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy that would be cool…

  2. Cool. The Original Trilogy was fun also, but I just hope they can give it a brooding nature also like Empire Strikes Back.

  3. I kind of hope they tone down the lightsaber usage for these new ones. The awesomeness of seeing them once or twice a movie was depleted by the prequels with about a lightsaber or fifty a scene swirling around like batons every second. Totally lost their weight. I miss the grittier focus on blasters, dirty freighters, and criminals who had probably never even seen a lightsaber before, and when they do they’re just like wtf, what a convenient taun taun cutter!

    • That is so well said. My favorite lightsaber battle in the entire Star Wars universe, is the one between Ben and Vader on the Death Star. I hate Kung Fu Jedi.

      • Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, but while a lot of the original star wars still holds up, the light sabre battle in A New Hope is quite lame. Keeping the prequels in mind, Vader and Obi-Wan’s battle should have been far more intense and quick-paced–I mean these are Jedi Masters! It appears that Lucas recognized this flaw because the battles between Luke and Vader were far better.

        • I think they were still feeling embarassed about the lightsaber dance-off they had the last time they got together and decided they should tone it down

        • Of course you are right that, “everyone’s entitled to their opinion.” Let me explain why I like the saber battle between Ben and Vader in A New Hope the best. First off it was the first one. Second I think the magic of the original trilogy was more about what was not said or shown but what was left to the imagination.

          So by the time ROTJ came around and we saw those epic lightsaber battles between Luke and Vader, it got me thinking about the “lame” saber battle between Ben and Vader in a new hope. And it hit me. Ben and Vader had come along so far in the Force that their confrontation on the Death Star wasn’t so much about prowess with a lightsaber as it was a mental duel.

          • No you’re quite wrong, it had nothing to do with it being a mental duel over physical. It called nothing more than horrible fight choreography. That’s why the Luke/Vadar fights are much better and the Darth Maul/Obi-Wan/Qui-gonn fight owns all lightsabre battles in every other film.

            • Lol, well said. Though I do think he has somewhat of a point that Ben was purely stalling in A New Hope, clearly he never meant to leave that place alive. He was done, and his last mission was to confront Vader with selflessness and sacrifice to try to wake him up.

              Nevertheless, I do agree, F the haters, the Darth Maul saber duel remains the most epic SW battle ever.

            • Have you re-watch the Darth Maul/Obi-Wan/Qui-gonn battle lately. I remember thinking it was cool when I first saw it, but I recently went back and watched all the star war movies. Darth Maul/Obi-Wan/Qui-gonn battle was one of the worst fight in the series. It is very slow paced and there are sever scenes where you see OBI-Wan or Qui-gonn standing there waiting for there turn to swing the saber(it looks very awkward).

              • I remember watching that fight recently, and the whole time I kept thinking why doesn’t one of them just swing there light saber and end the battle rather than just stand there not doing anything.

                • From my personal experience… (as a kid of course), when you’re having a 3+ person (plastic lightsaber) sword fight, it’s tough to just “jump in”.

                  If you’re about to “kill” the “enemy” and he jumps out of the way, your teammate might end up hitting YOU on the head with his (plastic) lightsaber.

                  Watch that battle in SW1 again. Try to image yourself in the person’s shoes. And remember, in the movie the lightsabers weren’t plastic… they were REAL!! :o
                  One wrong move and THEY get slashed in half.

                  Also, from a story-telling standpoint, it’s not very heroic if the protagonist wins the fight by stabbing/slashing the enemy in the back when he’s distracted by someone else.

                  • They’re also Jedi with fast enough reflexes to block laser blasts… Nobody’s going to accidentally hit someone they weren’t trying to.

                    • You got me there… they do have extraordinary reflexes.

                      Point still stands though, it’s not very heroic to kill someone like that (and fairly anti-climactic as well).

            • It’s not an even comparison. The IV/ANH scene was not an actual lightsaber duel so much as a general character confrontation. And yes, I think that Obi-Wan was stalling. I like the scene, becuse it utilizes restraint and is thought-provoking. The Maul/Qui-Gon/Obi-Wan fight in I/PM probably was the best pure lightsaber duel in any of the films, true. But a very different kind of scene. My personal favorite is the one from Empire.

              • I am sure the simple fact that Guiness being an older man, Vader’s suit being made more for appearance than moving around quickly (and Prowse was already having some health issues, esp with his knees even back then…), saber fighting still being developed in a decided direction, etc, had a lot to do with why that battle went as it did as well. Even with Lee’s fighting, a “special” wrist-action related style oe saber fighting was used. You can say it was stylization for the character all you want, but Lee isn’t too spry either at his age…

            • Actually I believe Obi Wan was thinking he need only stall Vader for Lukes escape and Vader had already chipped the Falcon and wanted Luke to escape. Plus they were very old and the maneuverability of both characters had come down since their youth.

          • Stabber ,totally understand you ! Glad to read you man !

      • The best Light saber fight in the Star wars saga (IMO) is between Luke and Vader in ROTJ (Although, ESB is very close). Vader was played by a real swordsman in that scene and it all looks real and powerful. It has none of that over-choreographed samurai stuff that looks pretty much only a show off for the camera.

        I also agree, seeing loads of flipping Jedi swinging their lightsabers all over the place just took away the mystery and magic of the whole thing. Yoda shouldn’t have even had a lightsaber. He should have just been super powerful with his will of the force. (As, I thought was the whole point originally, that his weak and humble physical for gave no warning to the immense control over the force he has.)

    • I agree. There really wasn’t a Han Solo-type character in the prequels, and honestly the smuggler/rogue/beat-up-spaceship element was probably just as much a strength of the original trilogy as all of the Jedi stuff.

    • But yet you cannot blame the prequel trilogy for its usage of that many lightsabers. The preqeuls were the lead up to the originals of course and by showing you the fair amount of jedi that used to be, now there is a true impact or at least a thought when you look back and say “Huh…..I guess so.”

  4. Pleas indulge:

    Star Wars episode VII

    A Lost Hope

    Scene one:

    Space: Twin “Defense Stars” hover ominously over the planet Coruscant.

    Scene two:

    Coruscant : A great celebration is taking place, the masses are celebrating the *christening of the, two new “Defense Star” space stations built under the decree of Chancellor Akbar and to be administrated by Admiral Calrissian.

    Scene three:

    Coruscant: A upper scale home.

    (Leia) “ Han your going to be late for the ceremony, the last shuttle laves in ten minuets.

    (Han) “Take it easy, I have plenty of time besides they wouldn’t start without me. How do I look?”

    (Leia) “…Han you look wonderful…and I love you.

    (Han) ”…and I love you…” (Han clears his thought) “ Is Luke going to be there?

    (Leia) “I don’t know, I haven’t talked to him in months, he’s been busy on Dagobah, but his son will be there.

    (Han) “Are you sure you don’t want to go? I can arrange a transport for us if we’re late.

    (Leia) “No Han, I’m tired of all the diplomatic hoopla, and I didn’t support the construction of these “Defense Stars” in the first place. Me and Chewy will hold down the fort, you go and bask in the glory of the new republic.

    Well, what happens is at the *christening of the new twin Defense Stars, the one holding the ceremony, Defense Star one (DS1) fires on it’s twin,(DS2) disabling it. It (DSI) then fires a second shot at the planet Coruscant, destroying 1/3 of the planet.(the new republic would never build a weapon that could destroy an entire planet.) The 1/3 of the planet that was destroyed happened to be were Han and Leia, there children and yes Chewy lived, killing them all, except Han, who was at the ceremony on (DS1).

    The rest of the story tells itself. May the force be with you.

    *christening: I know this is not the right word for a galaxy far, far away.

    • please don’t post super long posts that no one reads and just takes up space

    • Sounds like it could be really good

    • I read you Stabber ! Please don’t listen to the non believers !

    • sounds like the plot for the new startrek movie…

  5. Yes, we’ve had nothing but our imaginations…and books, comics and video games. The thrill is this is that we have been lacking in films specifically, not stories in general.

    “Fun” is a good thing, no? And technically speaking, I hope that they are fun, but that word is a little bit scary to me in the context of Star Wars, because some people’s idea of “fun” is…well, you know.

    • That is, I should say, most of the best Star Wars stories have been the ones that are more serious in tone. Well-written characters can always naturally bring some fun/humor into the mix, i.e. Han in TESB.

  6. I for one do try to shield myself from things as time gets closer to opening days for movies. Like now with IronMan3 approaching, the superbowl trailer enlightened us a little to much for my liking. Now knowing that he can only carry 4 others and there is 12ish falling out of AirForce One…and seeing it break apart in the background as well. I feel that they are releasing to much in trailers to get us excited …and then when we do go it is almost a let down because we know most of it and there are no surprises or twists. The Amazing Spider-Man is a perfect example, I remember seeing a 20ish minute that someone had re-edited into the movie, before the movie had even been released, they didnt get the footage through bootleg copies or from russia…it was all released through promotion for the movie.
    As time draws nearer to the release of Iron Man 3, and The Man of Steel, I doubt I will be watching anymore trailers that come beforehand…to avoid any footage that may include wasp or wonder-women cameos. Remember one of the things that made The Dark Knight such a good movie…halfway through we had two face front and centre, because we all thought he would just be Harvey Dent in this one …

    • I totally agree with you. I don’t need any promotional material for movies that I know I’m going to see for sure anyway. I actually try to avoid featurettes and trailers as the release gets closer, because I’d rather see them for the first time in the actual movie, and they tend to show too much.

      The one exception was the Hobbit production blogs that Peter Jackson released. They didn’t reveal much more than what was in the trailer or on the poster, and they even blurred out a lot of stuff. It was fascinating to see what went into the film making process though.

  7. Sabers are not the problem its the way they are written into the story. Its just not Star wars without Jedi & Sith. Having tons of Jedi running about with no one to duel with to me was the weak part of Lucas’s writing & his Rule of Two Sith. Which was broken all the time in the Clone Wars series. I would like to see a Sith power struggle left by Vader & the Emperor’s deaths. With old man Luke trying to stop it.

    • That would definitely be cool to get more into Sith culture, but I still hope it’s not a lightsaber dance-off like the prequels duels. They weren’t even trying to hit eachother they were just spinning their lightsabers around half the time like that part in Revenge where Anakin and Obi Wan are standing right in front of eachother literally just spinning their lightsabers for a good ten seconds before they clash. What are they, wind-up dolls? Stop spinning around and hit eachother. Pretty sure Darth Vader just wants to destroy things not audition for lightsaber cirque de sole

      • You have a point but I’ve been thinking about this, and though it might sound stupid, they really do can sense what’s coming, good Jedi can, so wouldn’t the Force come in to play in their battles as subtly as simply sensing what the other is going to do? Normal people can be completely surprised, even the best sword fighters, but Jedi is a tricky deal isn’t it? I don’t know if its meant that way, probably not, but I did always like the idea that the battles take this long because its also a battle of who can break the others concentration with the Force.

        That, and a lightsaber hit results quite easily in an instant kill, remember that especially Jedi aren’t out to immediately kill someone, they’re defensively minded, most of ‘m I’d say.

        So yeah I get where you’re coming from, but in the case of Jedi/Sith I do think there’s an added complexity to it that I’d like to see be made explicit.

        • I can see that perspective on it bc my other SW nut friend argues that, but in reality, they were just trying to spice things up. With Revenge I get that they wanted to go balls to the wall with the last lightsaber duel ever…but damn. It just looks like a half hour long baton-twirling contest. Darth Vader fighting shouldn’t remind me of little girls practicing for a parade. I still think the Vader/Luke duel in ESB did the best job or showing the Sith aggressiveness vs the Jedi defensiveness. Without any spinning Vader is like a wrecking ball in that fight, and he’s just messing around. Luke’s just trying to fend him off the whole time, and resultingly that fight demonstrated the power of the Dark Side its threat to Luke’s soul/light side/whatever a lot better than competing gymnastic skills. Just imagine Han watching Hayden Christensen standing 10 feet away twirling around. He’d burst out laughing, and then he’d just shoot him.

          • I prefered it when the Jedi’s were all a mystery. Since the prequels everything about them has been disected and all the magic has been removed. This has made them a lot less interesting.

    • Well since Abrams Star Trek is superior to every other Star Trek movie out there, yes even Wrath of Khan, I’m sure he will give us something on par if not better than Empire.

      • Sarcasm? Abrams’ Star Trek film was the most exciting, and incredibly beautiful, but it was not better than Wrath of Khan (or The Undiscovered Country). Why? Because of the story. I hope for the best with the new Star Wars and Trek films, but one of the things that really concerns me about Abrams is that many of his projects don’t seem to have much of an actual story. Just flashy plot points that lead to more flashy plot points. Empire is a high standard to replicate…here’s hoping.

        • word.

  8. If I see that same picture of JJ Abrams on this site one more time….

    • He’s flipping you off. No one else.

  9. Yoda died in ROTJ, there’s no reason to bring the green little fella back or any rational explanation for doing so. Yoda could only come back as a spirit, which would be bogus since the books have covered the notion that even after their deaths the Jedi can only hang around so long before they must move to the after-life. Obi-Wan could only stay connected to Luke for about 5 yrs after his death. Since ep 7 is most likely going to take place much later than ROTJ then it would be implausible for Yoda to still be hanging around. Gosh, lets just move on and create some new and more interesting Star Wars characters rather than rehashing old ones.

    • Yoda could still show up in stand-alone movies… set in the past.
      They could tell a story set in the old republic when Yoda was still a young Jedi, or they could do a story set between Ep3 and Ep 4 (maybe adapt the novel, ‘Yoda: Dark Rendezvous’)… or they could do something completely different.
      Sky’s the limit when it comes to the greatest franchise of all time.

      I think the new trilogy will feature lots of new characters (I mean, if Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford return, it’ll only be small appearances I think), but there’s still an opportunity to tell new tales of the old characters people love.

      • Yeah plus there is almost 900 hundred years of Yoda they could use!!!

  10. The only way i will pay to see Episode 7 from Disney is if the original trilogy theatrical versions from 1977-1983 finally get restored and get their due on blu ray.

    To me that would be a good faith gesture and the only thing that soured Lucas legacy outside the prequels, is people want the films they grew up with back.

    • While I agree, it would also feel like another cash grab. They have re-released them in so many formats (Taking an eternity to release on DVD) that it almost seems disrespectful to expect fans to fork out again.

      • I disagree. I am not about to buy a Blu-Ray set of the “revised” original trilogy. The one worthwhile Star Wars video release that we have been and are still waiting for is exactly what skyjedi said. Give the original theatrical versions from 77-83 the royal restoration treatment that they of all films deserve, and release them to the loyal fans who have been neglected and disrespected by George Lucas for so long. And include the deleted scenes for the original trilogy in the original trilogy set – don’t force people to buy the whole 6-film set. If Disney gets this right, they will win a lot of respect from me.

        • Oh, I know that but I begrudge forking out money to buy them again. I’ve bought them too many times already and that doesn’t even incude Blu-Ray.

          If buying the original cut of the movies meant the automatic deletion of the prequels from the known universe then I’d buy them at least five more times though.

    • @ The Avenger
      I agree with you on this point but disagree when it comes to movies about Yoda, Young Han or anything prequel like.
      Sure, I could be wrong and they could end up brilliant but IMO forward is the way to go. If Episode 7 can introduce new and exciting characters I’d rather see standalone films about those characters rather than going back once again…

  11. The new trilogy is the meat and potatoes and that’s what I care about. So far that project is in the best hands that I can think of. The spin-off movies, however, are just bonus, so I don’t really worry about them. If they turn out great, wonderful! If they don’t it doesn’t really matter, because there is still the trilogy. ;)

  12. IMO, making stand alone movies is too much of a good thing. I love Star Wars, but Disney is going to milk that franchise until there is nothing left.

    • Indeed. The Thrawn Trilogy should be used.

  13. Anyone know where that updated Star Wars logo comes from? I keep seeing it used, guessing it’s not official.

    • I hate it.

      • Good to know!

        • Just keeping you informed.

          I’ll let you know if it grows on me.

  14. What if a Star Wars spin off had three Jedi and a clone from the old republic frozen in carbonite because they were being smuggled off Coruscant because they were escaping order 66. When the ship they were in was destroyed buy a Star Destroyer. The wreckage and carbon frozen Jedi were floating in space for 16 years. The Jedi crash land onto the planet Mustafaar. Which melts the carbonite allowing the Jedi and clone who did not receive order 66 to be forced to survive in a different time era.

    • The Old Republic was thousands of years before the Clone Wars.

      • I think that maybe he meant “the Old Republic” in the general sense of before Palpatine “declared the Empire.” The Republic itself existed right up until that point. “For a thousand generations…before the dark times, before the Empire.”

        • Thanks I did mean that I probably should had made that more clear. On a different not what did you think?

          • Sorry I mean on a different note. I though the idea was different and unique with the last “good clone” maybe the clone receives order 66 in the movie and has to decide whether to accept it or not.

  15. loveing idea of star wars 7-9. also stand alone films especialy han solo prequals cos like ios said 11 hours ago,han solo had a good trilogy written about his earlier years b4 he met chewy etc etc… so put those 3 books in2 1 film and there u go 1 great film about the great han solo.

  16. Just try not to be so freakin’ cute. and you’ll okay. hey,

  17. I think Adams first instinct of not directing this movie was correct.

  18. “Fun” approach??? Isn’t that the same thing Lucas said with he told everyone about Jar Jar? I really don’t want a bad feeling about this…

  19. Combine the Han Solo and Boba Fett solo films.

    “Midnight Kessell Run”

    You are welcome, Disney.


  21. I nominate Norman Reedus and Sam Rockwell to play Boba Fett

  22. I won’t be able to help myself. I’m going to not only view/read every single piece of marketing/merchandising to come out about Star Wars in the coming years, I’m going to scrutinize and analyze it with the intensity of a supercomputer. What can I say, I’m a junkie…

  23. Not sure if its possible to have a spinoff movie out before the first proper sequel even hits. Abrams could finish in 14 months if he wanted to, but they “want to get it right” and all that jazz. Who can blame them

  24. Does everybody realise that the ‘fun approach’ is code for stand-alone films about Jar-Jar and the thrice damned Gungans? Hello?