The Dark Side of the Star Wars Writers Shake Up

The other day Lucasfilm announced that Director JJ Abrams and writer Lawrence Kasdan would be taking over for Michael Arndt on the screenplay for the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode VII”. The Force does work in mysterious ways as there has been plenty of speculation for the sudden change.

Some speculate that creative differences have arisen and that Arndt’s vision is not what Abrams and Disney had in mind. Other believe that Disney is unhappy with the development and are willing to change writers in and effort to ensure that shooting dates and planned release dates are met.

During the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Chairman Alan Horn told fans how he could not wait for the summer of 2015 to get here as they are going to love what they have in store for them regarding “Star Wars”. The big issues is that the clock is ticking and with actors to be cast and filmed, pre and post production work, and filming, the movie needs to get going soon if it is going to make 2015. The plan is to have filming begin at Pinewood Studios in London in the Spring of 2015 and with actors usually very busy with other projects, it is key that the studio have a firm timetable.

Disney is notorious for being even more cost aware than other studios and delays in filming will add to the cost of the already big budgeted production which is something they are eager to avoid.

My take is that as confirmed by Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Kasden and Abrams will be working from the material that Arndt has already done. The fact that Arndt worked on the script for “Toy Story “ for almost three years may be an indication that after roughly a year of work on the new film, Disney simply wants things to move at a faster pace than he is able to work at and figure adding Kasden and Abrams to the mix will allow the two writers to complete the screenplay faster.

The story is ultra-secret but it is known that George Lucas provided the outline for the film and that it will likely follow the efforts of the heroic stars to maintain the rebuilt Republic in the face of a new and even greater danger that will require heroes old and new to save the day.

I am a huge fan of “Star Wars” as I remember watching the original when it was released and being blown away by the visuals, story, characters and the world of story options Lucas presented. It put me on the path to where I am now as it has fueled my creativity in ways that no other series has to date.

To paraphrase Yoda, “Patience, you must learn patience”. This is not the time to rush a film into production and figure since it has the “Star Wars” name on it everything will be fine and that fans will flock to it. This is how we got some of the less favorable moments from the Prequel Trilogy.

Like in the Force there is a balance that needs to be met. One that will allow a good script to be created in a way that will please fans and ensure that the 2015 release date can be met. Pre-production work has already begun as you can bet the art departments have been churning out some amazing concepts for the film. Scouting and casting have reportedly already been done so now it is up to Abrams and Kasden to bring the film home.