Part of the reason why the Star Wars prequels didn’t work, was because of all the teenage drama that was going on at the time. So when Disney acquired the rights to LucasFilm, and George Lucas had announced that he would be retiring from the franchise, there was a small sigh of relief. The director admitted that Disney had scrapped his ideas for the sequel, but those ideas were somewhat of a secret.
The recent Vanity Fair issue revealed some interesting tidbits about the upcoming film. In it we learn why Disney decided to go with a script written by director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, and that Michael Arndt‘s draft was never completed.
First, Lucas’ story ideas. We knew that the Star Wars creator had mapped out a story for Episodes VII, VIII, and IX, but that Disney decided to go with a new story. Here’s some of the details as to why Disney execs were unhappy with Lucas’ outline,
[Abrams] said Lucas’s treatment had centered on very young characters””teenagers, Lucasfilm told me””which might have struck Disney executives as veering too close for comfort to The Phantom Menace and its 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker and 13-year-old Queen Amidala. “We’ve made some departures” from Lucas’s ideas, Kennedy conceded, but only in “exactly the way you would in any development process.”
It’s comforting to know that even the Disney execs have some disdain for the prequels. The trailers have shown us that Disney is doing everything they can to distance themselves from them, with the exception of Abrams “wanting” to put Jar Jar Bink’s bones on the desert planet Jakku. But the idea of using teenagers as the lead would have just recycled the same narrative that we saw in the prequels, so in the end, it was a great idea on Disney’s part to veer away from using teenagers.
Michael Ardnt (Toy Story 3) was originally suppose to write the film, and we are just now learning that his draft never made it to becoming a script. According to Abrams, “There was a ton of ideas and outlines, a lot of cards on the wall, a lot of writing on whiteboards”
But with production scheduled to begin soon, and nothing on the table, Abrams and Kasdan went in and worked on a new Star Wars script themselves. Kasdan on the process of getting a draft ready,
“We didn’t have anything. There were a thousand people waiting for answers on things, and you couldn’t tell them anything except ‘yeah, that guy’s in it.’ That was about it. That was really all we knew.”
Now this isn’t entirely uncommon to hear, and the two did manage to get a script ready by January 2014.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens December 18, 2015.
[Source: Vanity Fair via The Playlist]