Lawrence Kasdan Talks 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

By Matt O'Bryant

What's up guys and gals,

Recently Lawrence Kasdan the writer of the Empire Strikes Back and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens sat down for an interview with the LA Times.  We have some of the best parts of the interview for everyone to check out below.

Check out the interview below:

LA Times: When you look back at the run-up to the releases of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, how does the anticipation and hoopla surrounding The Force Awakens feel by comparison?

There’s no comparison. The way the world is connected now, the fact that everything is instantly available to everybody, that you release a trailer and five minutes later it’s all around the world — there was nothing like that back then. Back in the ’80s, it was like, “Have you seen the trailer?” “No, I have to go to a movie that’s playing it.” I mean, Empire and Jedi were big movies. But it was just a different world.
— Lawrence Kasdan

LAT: At this point, it’s hard to imagine how much higher the expectations could get. There are already predictions this could be the biggest hit of all time.

They’re very high expectations. The business expectations are sort of irrelevant to me. That’s going to do what it’s going to do. People are going to come — does it matter where it lands in the all-time list? I think no, not at all. What does matter is, do we feel good about it and do we think we fulfilled those things we set out to do? I’ve seen it six or seven times, and I feel very good about that. When this movie starts, you just can’t believe how dynamic and fun it is. I don’t know anybody who can resist who’s slightly open to it. [Director] J.J. [Abrams] just knocked it out of the park.
— Lawrence Kasdan

LAT: When you were brought on board The Force Awakens, you represented a connection back to the roots of Star Wars. Did you ever imagine you’d return to the franchise?

When Jedi was over, I was like, “That’s the end of Star Wars for me.” I had gone away and done a lot of other things. It’s always with you when something is that big, but I had put it out of my mind. In October of 2012, I got a call from [Lucasfilm President] Kathy [Kennedy] and she said, “We’re going to do some more movies. Can you come up and talk to George [Lucas] and I?” I went up and George had sort of roughed-out many movies — not just the new trilogy but other movies, the spinoffs and things. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do anything, but I said, “I could do the Han Solo movie” — because he’s my favorite character. Then they hired me to consult on Episode VII. And within weeks suddenly Disney owned the thing and everyone was shocked. When we got J.J., I got really excited, because I just thought he was the perfect guy to direct this movie. I didn’t really know him but when I met him he was so funny and smart and irreverent about things and he understood the virtues of what we were trying to get back to. When he agreed to do it, I just flipped out.
— Lawrence Kasdan

LAT: What was the process of collaborating with him on the script like?

We did it under so much time pressure but in actuality it was the most fun writing process I’ve ever had. We hashed out the story by walking miles and miles together — Santa Monica, New York City, Paris, London — with him recording on his iPhone. We produced the first draft in six weeks. We worked right through Christmas. It was so energized.
— Lawrence Kasdan

LAT: Was the plan always to bring back Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia and mix in a new generation of characters?

Yeah, the basic thing was: We’re treating it as 30 years since we last saw them. And that’s fun because we’ve all lived 30 years in that time and we’ve all changed. We’re not pretending it’s any different than it is — 30 years have passed, whatever that means in that galaxy, and we have Han and Leia and Luke and Chewie and C-3PO, so that’s one element that’s so solid and has so much nostalgia and resonance for people. Then you have this whole brand-new cast — wonderful young people, some very young — who have never been in the movie. There has never been anyone like Adam Driver in a Star Wars movie. Daisy [Ridley], John [Boyega], Oscar [Isaac], Domhnall [Gleeson] — it’s unbelievable fresh blood. You know all these elements are going to come together in this story and you know the virtues that you’re trying to reawaken. That tells you a lot and it starts to shape up to a movie. Then obviously there’s something about Darth Vader that is so powerful and the movie embraces that and that’s another element you’re bringing in. The movies have always been about generations and families and passing on knowledge and what can be transferred and what is inherent in the universe. The Force has always been around from George’s first idea of it, and this philosophical thing mixed in with the excitement of the action — that’s a very powerful soup.
— Lawrence Kasden