The New Star Wars Trilogy, Episodes VII – IX: Who’s Writing?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...This is something that I never thought would happen.  When the Star Wars prequels came to an end, it was pretty common knowledge then, that George Lucas was done with Star Wars films.  Back in high school, I would talk with friends about how there would eventually be nine films.  Now it’s happening, and there is more planned after that.

There has been a lot announced since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm was announced on October 30, 2012.  Nothing specific about the stories yet, but I’ll write more about what the stories mean for the expanded universe in another entry in this series.

Who is writing Star Wars: Episodes 7, 8 and 9?

Lucasfilm’s purchase came with outline treatments of the three episodes.  These outlines were written by George Lucas.  However, he’s only going to be involved as a consultant on the new films.  He might even be listed as a producer.  But he will not be directing, nor will he be writing the screenplays.

Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) is writing Star Wars: Episode VII.  He’s already been having story meetings with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy.  He’s got a great ability to inject a lot of emotion into his scripts.  This is something that there were glimpses of in the film saga so far, but nothing on the level that I’d like to see.

Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Homes: A Game of Shadows) are writing Star Wars: Episodes VIII and IX.  It hasn’t been announced which films each of these writers is scripting, though.  The hiring of Lawrence Kasdan tells me that Disney isn’t fooling around.  Simon Kinberg is also very talented, and able to handle larger casts where each character gets their time to shine.

I’m also wondering if these three will be writing all three screenplays together, with each writer taking the lead on one episode.  That way, the trilogy will have a consistent voice.  Not sure if that’s completely necessary, but it’d be interesting to know if that’s what they’re doing.  The spirit of collaboration so far, though, is very exciting to me.

Personally, I think this writing team is awesome.  I think this was the sort of thing that should have happened more often on the prequels.  (It did happen with those films, but not in the places that it was needed most, and not often enough.)

What are your thoughts on the writers they’ve hired?  Are they the right choices to bring Star Wars back to theaters?

Update (February 5, 2013): Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are consulting on Episodes VII – IX, and are writing their own standalone Star Wars films.  There is no word on if they’re going to be writing the sequels at all, or if other writers will be hired, but it looks like that will be the case.

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