Empire Strikes Back veterans weigh in on the future of Star Wars

Even though JJ Abrams hasn’t shot a frame of film on the next Star Wars movie, the news keeps coming in on what’s sure to be the geek event of 2015.

In fact, several  veterans from the best film in the series, The Empire Strikes Back, have chimed in about the future of the franchise, as well as Abrams taking the helm of it.


Lawrence Kasdan is the screenwriter of Empire, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi.

He may also be penning a stand alone film from the upcoming trilogy that rumor has it could be based around everyone favorite wise green Jedi, Yoda.

In an interview with IGN, Kasdan remarked, “JJ’s a great director for the first sequel. Perfect. We’re very happy to have him. The writers I’ve been working with – Michael Arndt, who’s going to write the sequel, and Simon Kinberg [X-Men: The Last Stand], who has, like me, been sort of consulting – they’re great. And JJ’s a writer…lovely guy. I’d met him but didn’t know him. But now I’m totally enamored by him.”

Kinberg is also honored to be working with Kasdan, who’s a legend of screenwriting. “Raiders and Empire were the two reasons I wanted to get into movies when I was a kid. Then I found out he wrote Jedi, The Big Chill and ten other classic movies. I studied Raiders and Empire more than any other movies. I’ve watched each of them probably one hundred-plus times…It’s an amazingly surreal thing, to imagine Larry as a colleague, because he has been an idol my whole life. It’s like, if you grew up wanting to play basketball, and suddenly you’re on the team with Michael Jordan.”

Reflecting on coming back to the Star Wars galaxy, Kasdan said, “I was pleased that there would be new ones, that there was a chance to capture some of the spirit of the original trilogy that I’d worked on. There’s an audience out there – my grandchildren, lots of original Star Wars people – and there always will be.”

As for the reports that there may be a stand alone Yoda film, legendary puppeteer Frank Oz, who voiced Yoda, as well as many other classic characters on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, told the L.A. Times he’d be happy to come back. “He’s in my heart,” Oz said. “I know Yoda very deeply.”

Lastly, two of JJ’s Star Trek alumni also weighed in on him taking over the empire. Zachary Quinto told Entertainment Weekly, “I don’t think anybody feels like he’s going. We feel like he’s growing. We’re excited that he is being so bold and so declarative about what he wants to do and sees ways to bring his talent to a classic franchise – like Star Trek four years ago – that can use a fresh injection of new perspective. And we all benefit as moviegoers.”