George Lucas generally gets all the credit for making Star Wars, as well as for making Star Wars bad. But the original trilogy’s success owes just as much to producer Gary Kurtz and writer Lawrence Kasdan as it does the bearded one. Now Vanity Fair’s website features an interview with Kasdan in which they talk about his career as a director, working with George Lucas, and his work on the upcoming The Force Awakens.
Kasdan was hired by George Lucas to write The Empire Strikes Back after original screenwriter Leigh Bracket turned in a draft that Lucas felt was unsatisfactory; Empire went on to become Kasdan’s first produced screenplay and is generally held up as the best of the Star Wars films by fans and critics alike. Kasdan went on to write Return Of The Jedi, and even had a hand in the Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire multimedia project; now Kasdan is back in the fold for the new adventures of old Han, old Luke, and old Leia as a co-writer on The Force Awakens. In the interview, Kasdan shares how The Force Awakens will compare to other recent blockbusters:
One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, “I wish there’s more.” Or, “Wait, is it over?” Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there.
That’s all fine, but the question on everyone’s mind is: will we see the return of Lando Calrissian? “Right now, there’s no Lando Calrissian in this movie. But Lando I don’t think is finished in any way shape or form,” Kasdan says. (Except on Dancing With The Stars.)
Kasdan is involved in the Star Wars: Anthology spinoff series—perhaps he could be penning Smuggler’s Blues, a Miami Vice-style crime story featuring the early adventures of Lando and Han. Or maybe Baron Administrator, a Mad Men-style look at the Tibanna gas industry featuring Lando as a Don Draper-type womanizer alongside Willrow Hood, the Ice Cream Maker Guy. A little out there, yes, but those wouldn’t be the craziest Star Wars rumors—that prize goes to theories that Max Von Sydow will be playing an aging Boba Fett.