“Star Wars” spin-off writers Lawrence Kasdan (“The Empire Strikes Back,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark“) and Simon Kinberg (Sherlock Holmes,” “X-Men: The Last Stand“) recently spoke about “Star Wars: Episode VII” and the post-George Lucas universe moving forward and revealed…next to nothing. They feel a great responsibility towards the material, they’re pleased Abrams is directing, yadda yadda yadda, and they wouldn’t confirm or deny whether these “spin-off” scripts would be starring established “Star Wars” characters or focusing on new ones.
Obviously, these guys aren’t about to reveal any major clues lest their heads get chopped off by a lightsaber, but in an subsequent interview with the L.A. Times, Kasdan was somewhat more forthcoming. Perhaps most amusing was the way the screenwriter danced around the quality of the uniformly maligned “Star Wars” prequels without ever dropping a proper diss (that’s 64-year-old wisdom and diplomacy for you).
“The ones I worked on were a long time ago, and they had a slightly different feeling than the ones that followed,” he said tactfulfully. “The first three, ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Empire’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’ are all sort of more about people than the ones that followed. ‘Empire’ appeals to people, I think, because it’s the second act of a three-act play, and everything sort of goes to hell during the movie. And when you leave, everyone is in trouble, and that is the best part of the story to write. And people responded to it. Irvin Kershner was a completely different kind of director than George, so the movie’s much darker than the first ‘Star Wars.’ It’s more edgy.”
But the million dollar question: will the spin-offs feature folks like Han Solo, Boba Fett, Yoda or new characters all together? Kasdan wouldn’t say (nor would he comment on movies based on those characters), but he did drop this statement that fans will puzzle over and piece apart for the next few days. “I’m trying to start fresh,” he said. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.”
Does that mean new characters? To some, yes, definitively. But we think it’s so safe and middle of the road, it seems to suggest a balance of new and old (again, the safest answer possible). Your thoughts? That’s your of-minor-interest “Star Wars” update for the day. Oh and Frank Oz wants to return to voice Yoda. Who wouldn’t?