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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Today in Star Wars reports: Michael Arndt is no longer writing Star Wars: Episode VII

Illustration for article titled Today in emStar Wars/em reports: Michael Arndt is no longer writing emStar Wars: Episode VII/em

Rebelling against the powerful skeptic’s empire that sought to quell the uprising of any more Star Wars, a new hope emerged in the form of hiring writer Michael Arndt, whose experience with crafting satisfying, award-winning screenplays like Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 is regarded as so masterful, writers far and wide seek him out to complete their own training. But it seemed twilight was quickly upon him, and now, night has fallen: Arndt has left Star Wars: Episode VII according to an official statement from Lucasfilm, departing the project after months of rumors of behind-the-scenes tensions surrounding his script. In his place, director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan will step in to either rewrite Arndt’s initial draft or, if Badass Digest’s Devin Faraci is to be believed, completely start over from scratch, on a project that now has a production date of “Spring 2014,” and the very real possibility that all of those casting rumors to date may have been a waste of time.

In the statement posted on StarWars.com, Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy praised Arndt for having done “a terrific job bringing us to this point.”  Wherever that point may be, Kasdan—the Empire Strikes Back co-writer who was already drafted to work on those other, standalone Star Wars films—will pick it up from here alongside Abrams, whom Kennedy calls “an incredible storyteller in his own right.” And we can all rest assured that, by continuing to take their time on preproduction like this, we’ll all continue to have something to think about besides ourselves.

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