Gosh, it was a world of possibilities when A New Hope was the only Star Wars that ever was.
J.J. Abrams, director and now co-scriptwriter of the latest Star Wars movie, yearns for mystery. Gone are the days, he laments, when we knew nothing about Star Wars; when the Empire was a name without a backstory, and Leia was just a Princess, not Luke's sister or Vader's daughter. The first Star Wars was great, but since then too many stories have provided too much detail.
"The beauty of that movie [A New Hope]," says Abrams, "was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went." But by implication, Abrams doesn't seem too happy at the prospect of having those potential plot threads closed off by the later movies. "I think the key to moving forward on something like this is honoring but not revering what came before," Abrams said a while ago, in the bygone days when Michael Arndt, not Abrams, had scriptwriting duties.
Abrams is co-scripting with Lawrence Kasdan of The Empire Strikes Back fame, but you have to wonder who carries more weight in that team: Abrams, the director and the person Disney put in charge of its big franchise, or Kasdan, whose last trip to the Star Wars universe was 1996's Shadows of the Empire video game. However it pans out, there's not much time left to write this thing, not if Disney CEO Bob Iger's 2015 deadline is to be met; and Iger's adamant that it will be.
Shooting is to start spring 2014. Cross your fingers; this one may need all the luck it can get. Always assuming that there is such a thing as luck, of course.
Source: Hollywood Reporter