The Star Wars franchise found new momentum this week when Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg were hired to write Star Wars: Episode VIII and Episode IX.
Last week it was confirmed that Toy Story 3 and Hunger Games: Catching Fire writer, Michael Arndt, was hired to pen a treatment for Star Wars: Episode VII, and that Arndt would be writing the seventh Star Wars film. Although Episode VII is still without a director, it didn’t take long for Disney and Lucasfilm to nail down the writers for Episode VIII and Episode IX.
For those unfamiliar with the latest two Star Wars screenwriters, Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have written or several fan friendly films.
Fans should find some comfort in the return of Lawrence Kasdan to the Star Wars franchise since he wrote both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and also contributed to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Kasdan returns to the Star Wars galaxy with a writing pedigree that also includes The Bodyguard, The Big Chill, and Grand Canyon.
Although Simon Kinberg doesn’t have the same Hollywood track record as Lawrence Kasdan, Kinberg did write X-Men: The Last Stand, last year’s prequel X-Men: First Class, and is currently writing X-Men: Days of Future Past. After starting his career with xXx: State of the Union before rebounding with Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Kinberg stumbled with Jumper and This Means War. In recent years, however, it appears Kinberg has found his groove as a writer.
Immediately following the news that Kasdan and Kinberg were hired to write Star Wars: Episode VIII and Episode IX, fans took to message boards, comment threads, and social media networks to voice their opinions.
Some fans were critical, others hesitant, some optimistic and others confused.
From the comments at Hollywood Reporter, user Cornelius Swart revealed that he wants more from Disney and Lucasfilm:
“I thought Michael Arndt had signed to write episode 7. He’s a good choice. I’d love to see some more intelligence at work in the subtext in these films. Kasdan is too far behind the curve to appeal to the next generation of kids. What I’ve seen from Simon Kinberg has been OK. But I’d love to see Disney stretch themselves a little more. This is a kids movie franchise, so I’m hopeful in the Disney purchase, but I would want to see things pushed more towards the Pixar approach to writing than the standard Hollywood packaging model.”
Another THR user named The Colonel was pro-Kasdan.
“Good look! I appreciate Kasdan has had his share of klunkers, but getting the guy that did Empire back in there can only be a good idea. It’s like Black Sabbath bringing back Ozzy. As for this other dude: X-Men First Class was pretty rad, but I assumed it was because of [director Matthew] Vaughn. If this means Vaughn’s in on it, hot damn. Please just make a movie, bros, and not a CGI C-Span and everything will be cool.”
At the longtime Star Wars site TheForce.net, fans really began to disect the integrity of the upcoming Star Wars trilogy. User Chrono85 made an excellent point:
“It is has been confirmed by Lucasfilm that Lucas wrote treatments for the new trilogy and probably for other stories. Just because Kasdan has been approached, does not mean that he immediately starts work on the script. They may just want him to be free to do it when the time comes. Also, who is to say that the screenplay for E7 isn’t finished? I’m sure all of the major character and plot points are already mapped out since Arndt did a 40-50 page treatment.”
One of the biggest concerns across the online galaxy was the potential lack of continuity between Episode VII and Episode VIII. With different writers for each film, some feel that the tone could be very different.
Although George Lucas will be a consultant to guide things in the proper direction, he won’t be in control. That responsibility will fall on the writers, producers, directors and Kathleen Kennedy, the new head of Lucasfilm.
However, when you look back at the first Star Wars film, which was written by George Lucas, and The Empire Strikes Back, which was penned by Kasdan, the franchise arguably got better with two different writers. The fact that three different writers will pen Episode VII, Episode VIII and Episode IX may not be a bad thing at all.
Interestingly, some fans think that age may play a major role in the success of new Star Wars movies.
From SuperheroHype.com, user Neo wanted bigger change from younger eyes:
“People get old, lose perspective like oh… George Lucas, Steven Spielberg. The last Star Wars trilogy was crap. The last Indy was way off the mark. This is nothing to get excited about. It’s time for new blood.”
Should fans be nervous? Can Michael Arndt, Lawrence Kadan, and Simon Kinberg deliver on what fans want for the future of Star Wars? Are they the right men for the jobs?
Do you have new hope?