One of the great things about cinema is that for every individual movie and everyone who sees a particular film, there are that many interpretations. And this doesn’t just involve fans and theatergoers, this also includes the filmmakers themselves. With Star Wars: The Force Awakens on the horizon, that particular far, far away galaxy is at the forefront of many minds, and even though he’s directly involved, Lawrence Kasdan has his own ideas about what the Star Wars saga is all about.
Kasdan has been all over the Star Wars franchise, penning The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and having a hand in the new installments (not to mention he’s written for the Indiana Jones movies and countless other classics). Talking to Wired, he revealed how he views these movies, saying:
Force Awakens, New Hope, Empire—these are movies about fulfilling what is inside you. That’s a story that everybody can relate to. Even when you get to be my age, you’re still trying to figure that out. It’s amazing but it’s true. What am I, what am I about, have a fulfilled my potential, and, if not, is there still time? That’s what the Star Wars saga is about.
One of the reasons that the Star Wars saga has endured for so long and has remained so popular across generations is the relatability that Kasdan talks about. Damn near everyone can themselves in characters looking for something big and meaningful and important in their lives, trying to fulfill their potential, as he says.
As deeply as he has been and still is involved in the Star Wars universe—he shares a writing credit with J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt on the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens—Kasdan did recently put an exit date on his tenure. Though the prolific writer won’t contribute to the next film, Gareth Edwards’ non-Episode Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, he will have a hand in the next standalone chapter, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s as yet untitled Han Solo anthology film. That 2018 project, however, will be his last time tinkering with Star Wars.
At least that’s what Kasdan says now. He was originally going to hang up his spurs after three films, following The Force Awakens, but came back for one more adventure. He is reportedly going to be around to at least some degree before that as well, helping to get Rian Johnson up to speed as he prepares to write and direct Star Wars: Episode VIII for a 2017 release.
While it will be sad to see Lawrence Kasdan depart, he’s given us some great times in the Star Wars universe, and we should be grateful that we still have two more to come. And one happens pretty damn soon, as Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens a month from today!