Last week, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival awarded director Lawrence Kasdan with its first ever Icon Award for Contributions to the Cinematic Arts.
While most Star Wars fans couldn’t care less, the occasion allowed the Atlanta Business Chronicle to corner Kasdan and interrogate him about Star Wars stuff Bespin-style!
Here’s the choice intel from the interview, including a sick burn about the prequels:
- The Han Solo film will start shooting in January 2017 in London. Kasdan and his son Jon have finished the story treatment, and the script is now in the hands of the directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord.
- It’s scheduled for release on May 2018, 7 months before Episode IX. This makes it the only movie in the new franchise to screen outside of December (in contrast to Rogue One, Episode VIII, and Episode IX).
- Kasdan was originally part of the Episode 7 story group alongside Michael Ardnt, who then backed out due to the time pressure involved. Later, J.J. Abrams took over Episode 7 and Kasdan found himself concentrating on the Han Solo standalone film, while consulting for The Force Awakens.
- He claims to have little information on the complete story arc of the new trilogy. However, he is friends with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and he’s getting to know Episode IX’s director Colin Trevorrow.
- Kasdan says that despite the overwhelming expectation of writing a Star Wars film, “it’s not that much pressure.” And here’s the reason why:
What the pressure is — you don’t want to disappoint people. That’s all. And you’re hoping in the case of the series that it’s an installment that people like, because there are installments people don’t like. So, you want to rectify that.
When asked if he was alluding to the prequels (which he didn’t write), Lawrence Kasdan just laughed politely. Remember, this is the guy who wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back. For Kasdan, there are no such things as Gungans or little Anis.
Disney is on Star Wars overdrive. They’ve established the norm of shooting two films simultaneously, and starting work on the next movie as soon as one is finished. In 2015, Rogue One began shooting just as work on The Force Awakens wound down. And three months before TFA even screened, the crew were back in Skellig Michael start on Episode VIII.
Right now, Disney has two films in production: Rogue One and Episode VIII. Right after Rogue One screens in December, work will then shift to Han Solo.
So what does this mean for fans? It means that 2017 will be a deluge of Star Wars.
First we will have the much-awaited Episode VIII by Christmas next year. Then we’ll see the young Han Solo by summer, barely enough time for the previous film to come out on Blueray. Finally, the biggest mama-jama of all, the trilogy-ending Episode IX, will debut 6 months later.
There has never been this much Star Wars stuff. For the original trilogy and the prequels, fans had to wait 3-5 years between each movie. Today, Disney has cut down the waiting time to between 6 months to 1 year. Could this zeal lead us to peak Star Wars and a saturated market? Only time will tell.
For true Star Wars however, the more the better.