Abrams and Kasdan rewrite Star Wars Episode VII screenplay

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Emperor Kasdan
Emperor… Kasdan?

Whoa! Anything that even sounds like the faintest whisper of Star Wars Episode VII news gets everyone’s ears perked up, but this is indeed a big deal. Academy Award winner Michael Arndt, who raked in the Oscars for Little Miss Sunshine and wrote the script of Toy Story 3 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, was supposed to be the man putting lightsaber ink to the pages of Episode VII’s screenplay. Not anymore, though!

While that might sound like bad news, it’ll be director J.J. Abrams and Star Wars legend Lawrence Kasdan penning the highly-anticipated debut of the now Disney-owned franchise. Kasdan is worshiped by geekdom for co-writing The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, in addition to Raiders of the Lost Ark, so Episode VII is certainly in good hands.

I mean, much of the restored faith in the upcoming trilogy’s direction (as opposed to the kiddy-style, lightsaber-ballet that was the Lucas-driven mess of Episodes I, II, and III), is thanks to Abrams promising that the story’s returning to its more realistic roots. You know, less spinning around in circles with a rainbow assortment of Jedi weaponry and more uniquely satisfying characters, subtle uses of the Force, and captivating villains. I will say that Palpatine was a delightfully nutty evildoer and Ewan McGregor was a legitimate younger Obi-Wan, so not everything was bad in the prequels.

Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy made sure to put fans at ease on StarWars.com by explaining, “I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script. There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a ‘Star Wars’ story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.”

Hmm, I wonder if Kasdan, who was already working behind-the-scenes giving advice for Episode VII, pulled some genius Palpatine power plays to become the main guy? Maybe nostalgia got a hold of him, whispering, “Good… gooood… come to the dark side. Strike down Michael Arndt, and you can rule the galaxy!”

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm.