star wars episode 8

The great thing about Lawrence Kasdan is that he’s critically bulletproof. No matter how many bad movies he makes (and he’s the main guy responsible for Dreamcatcher), he’s still the man who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, Body Heat, and The Big Chill. And he’s allowed to say whatever the hell he wants about Star Wars because he wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Are you, lowly Star Wars fan, really going to argue with the guy who actually put words in the mouths of Han, Luke, and Leia?

Director J.J. Abrams brought Kasdan back into the Lucasfilm fold for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with the two of them co-writing the screenplay together after the original writer departed the project. He brings with him a certain amount of goodwill – he knows what made the best movies in the series tick because he was there. Which is why this new interview, where he explains just how different Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars Episode 8 will be and how Star Wars should always be a little goofy, is vital reading.

Kasdan sat down with the LA Times and he wasted no time in saying things that will turn some heads.  When describing the future of the Star Wars series (Kasdan is also writing the Han Solo spin-off film with his son, Jon Kasdan), he made it clear that fans are in for something completely different:

These movies will all be so different. [“Episode VIII” director] Rian Johnson is a friend of mine — he’s going to make some weird thing. If you’ve seen Rian’s work, you know it’s not going be like anything that’s ever been in “Star Wars.” You couldn’t have three more different people than J.J., Rian and [“Episode IX” director] Colin [Trevorrow]. Those movies will have the “Star Wars” saga as their basis, but everything else will be different. Then Phil Lord and Chris Miller are going to make the Han Solo film and I can’t guess what that will be like — and I’m writing it!

You’ve got to love Kasdan complimenting Johnson, the immeasurably talented filmmaker behind Brick and Looper, by assuring everyone that his Star Wars movie is going to be “some weird thing.” The last thing we need is a director as unique as him just churning out studio product. Hearing someone so close to the process assure us that Rian Johnson is going make a Rian Johnson movie with Episode 8 is your Uplifting News of the Day.

The rest of the interview (which you can and should read at the link above) is filled with little gems, like Kasdan admitting that he knows nothing about the Star Wars canon despite having written four Star Wars movies:

And with the canon — everyone refers to the canon, but it has zero meaning to me. I don’t know what the canon is. I cannot get that straight. […] I’ve written four “Star Wars” movies now, and I don’t know what the canon is.

And in a moment that is surely going to ruffle the feathers of a certain breed of Star Wars fanboy, Kasdan comes right and admits that Star Wars, but its very nature, goofy and that we should embrace that:

The thing I always loved about “Star Wars” — and George had this when he made “A New Hope” and J.J. can hook into this very strongly — is that it’s goofy, you know? There are big issues and there’s some philosophy, but it’s basically goofy. And I think “The Force Awakens” is goofy — in the best way. Wherever there’s a question: Could that happen? Well, why not?

You know what? Star Wars is goofy. It’s a movie series about a space wizards with laser swords. It can be dramatic and moving and exciting, but it’s still silly. Acknowledging that is the first step in truly appreciating what the series accomplishes and how the best movies so effectively blend tones. There’s nothing wrong with being a little goofy.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens on December 18, 2015, Star Wars Episode 8 opens on May 26, 2017, and Kasdan’s untitled Han Solo movie opens on May 25, 2018.

Cool Posts From Around the Web: