George Lucas Met With Screenwriters, Mark Hamill & Carrie Fisher About 'Star Wars 7' Before Disney Sale

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by Kevin Jagernauth
November 1, 2012 9:04 AM
13 Comments
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Two days after it was announced, the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney and the revelation of a new trilogy of "Star Wars" films on the way continues spur discussion, excitement, speculation and more. We're still three years out from 'Episode VII' arriving in 2015, but given the amount of updates and tidbits pouring out over the past 48 hours, you would think it was coming next month. What we do know thus far is that, once again bucking fan expectations, Lucas has decided not to use the revered books, but is launching an original story, one that will reportedly feature Luke Skywalker, now in his 30s or 40s, in a tale that will follow "Stars Wars: Episode IV - Return Of The Jedi." And while a treatment is done, it appears that George Lucas was open to other ideas.

The LA Times reveals that in the months before the sale to Disney was announced, Lucas, his replacement at Lucasfilm and new co-chair Kathleen Kennedy met with writers to hear pitches for what 'Episode 7' should be. According to their source, the talent "were well-known screenwriters with experience creating big-budget Hollywood films." So, was Lucas feeling out who would be best suited to bring his treatment to life? Or was he ready to switch gears if a better idea came along? Depending on who you believe, Lucas has either always planned his saga this far out, or, as he has sometimes said himself, he hasn't. However, while fans continue to cross their fingers for Christopher Nolan or David Fincher to direct (sorry guys, not going to happen), at the screenwriting level at least, it seems they are going for big names.

Another interesting tidbit comes from EW, who caught up with Luke himself, Mark Hamill, to talk about the news. He remained cautious about saying too much, but did confirm that he and Carrie Fisher met with Lucas this summer, where Lucas told them his plans for a new series of movies. "He did tell us last summer about wanting to go on and do [Episodes] VII, VIII, and IX, and that [newly appointed Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy would be doing them," he said, adding: "I missed his call yesterday, but I spoke to him maybe three weeks ago. But until we know more, it’s hard to make any comment other than congratulations to George."

"...last August, he asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the 'Star Wars' TV series that I’ve heard about — which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor — or the 3-D releases. So when he said, 'We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,' I was just gobsmacked. 'What? Are you nuts?!' [Laughs]," Hamill said.

But for now, it seems Lucas was just giving his original cast members a heads up, rather than eyeing them for roles. "...he was just talking about writers and the fact that he wouldn’t be directing. I guess he wanted us to know before everybody else knew. He said, 'Now you can’t tell anybody!' [Laughs] Even now I’m nervous about saying anything. I just don’t know!," Hamill shared.

Lastly, we've all ribbed Lucas a bit for pocketing a check for $4 billion for Lucasfilm, but it appears he's going to do some tremendous good with the money. THR reports that Lucas will channel a good portion of the money into a foundation that will focus on educational issues. “For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company,” Lucas said in a statement. “As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy.” And you know what? That's pretty rad.

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13 Comments

  • NYJ | November 5, 2012 12:32 PMReply

    HEY DISNEY! HOW ABOUT RESTORING THE ORIGINAL FILM WITHOUT LUCAS' ENDLESS REVISIONS?

    1. Nolan is not the right director for this type of film. Those calling for his involvement are suffering from geek delusion.
    2. If we're going back to the OTC characters I've no interest in anyone onther than the original actors reprising their roles. After the last three installments, it is doubtful I'll even bother with this otherwise.

  • Luke | November 5, 2012 9:27 AMReply

    I am so happy to hear the news of episode 7 8 & 9 becoming a reality ! I have loved watching the Star Wars movies as a youth and the new trilogy as a father ! There is a lot of haters out there talking trash about 1 2 & 3 and no one cares what they think because the truth is they were all excellent movies ! I hope that Disney keeps the original actors involved in episode 7 at least! I want to see what happend after Return of the Jedi because happily ever after does not exist there is always some new evil arising somewhere in the universe

  • Matt | November 2, 2012 1:49 AMReply

    I think its going to be amazing. Every known man and women in the film business is going to be knocking down doors to get in on this action!
    Honestly I like the idea of Luke being an elder jedi who is the leader of the Jedi Council. Then Han and Leia should be like Aunt and uncle Ben, who live off the beaten track. Then you have some new characters who play the main Jedi and Sith.
    My personal recommendation was for when Clone Wars ends, make a "thrawn trilogy" animated series that is set in between Episodes 6 and 7!

  • MikeyM | November 2, 2012 12:17 AMReply

    Keep Mark, Carrie and Harrison.

  • Dengar | November 1, 2012 10:04 PMReply

    Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, NolanNolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan, Nolan. Annoyed? Yeah, so am I!

  • triguous | November 1, 2012 3:16 PMReply

    One important thing is missing... the names of the screenwriters Lucas met with. I hope they're great writers. Star Wars needs it.

  • dany | November 1, 2012 10:01 AMReply

    For me they can do what they want. They can even make star wars the origin of sith and jedi. I don't care. It will be nice if it's NOLAN that not only writes it, but direct it. A more drama Star wars and action. I don't think it's a good idea to have the older actors back. I think the number 7, 8 and 9 must be completly new. New movies, new faces and new story. I trust Disney but seriously, don't make the same mistake as John Carter. Is wasn't a bad movie, but it wasn't a great movie eather. So I hope that the can ask Nolan to writhe or involve him in the production.

    Thx and can' wait until 2015.

  • MJ | November 4, 2012 1:15 PM

    If you are actually a fan of either SW or Nolan you'd know the two are incompatible. Honestly, ever since he took on Batman Begins the world has had to endure comic book movie fanboys trumpet his name for every possible project without any thought about his sensibilities or the needs of the project.

  • JD V | November 1, 2012 11:33 AM

    "Is was more drama Star Wars and action, so I hope that the can ask Nolan to writhe."


    That just kinda says it all, doesn't it?

  • Yetti Gold | November 1, 2012 9:23 AMReply

    Dear Disney and LucasFilm,

    Congratulations! You now possess the power of the force and with it comes a great deal of responsibility. So here's what you're going to do:

    STEP 1 - you're going to set the new films (Episode 7, 8 and 9) 30 years after episode 6 (Jedi) and you're going to have the FULL original cast back playing themselves as older people. DID YOU HEAR ME? You are going to cast Harrison Ford as Han Freaking solo, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Leia, Billy Dee Williams as Lando and even Denis Lawson back as Wedge Antilles. HERE'S THE CATCH: THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE THE MAIN CHARACTERS. They are older now and you can use them as side characters revolving around NEW lead characters. We don't care what new characters take over leading roles but you HAVE to bring back the old cast for this all to be LEGIT and to come FULL circle. PLEASE don't cast new actors in these roles and don't CGI faces to make them look like the actors 30 years ago (Like in Tron Legacy) PLEASE!!! You can even kill them off in the first scene, just don't replace them.

    STEP 2 - DON'T LISTEN TO ANYTHING GEORGE LUCAS SAYS! You paid him $4 Billion so tell him to shut up take his money and go make Radioland Murders Part 2! Put somebody in charge of directing who knows what we want. WE WANT EMPIRE STRIKES BACK ON CRACK. That means ACTING, ACTING, ACTING, ACTING, CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, DRAMA, DEATH!!!!!

    STEP 3 - Whatever you did to make AVENGERS as good as it was, do the same for STAR WARS! I feel the force is strong with you and your company can pull this off. The prequels were the worst films EVER MADE! They showed us just how evil the dark side of the force can be when it seduced George Lucas and took over his ability to distinguish right from wrong! Please redeem the Star Wars Universe. DO OR DO NOT...THERE IS NO TRY

    Sincerely,

    Geeks

  • MikeyM | November 2, 2012 12:21 AM

    I couldn't agree with u more.
    No recasts!

  • Disney and LucasFilm | November 1, 2012 10:04 AM

    Dear Yetti Gold, we did not read your comment. Sincerely, Disney and LucasFilm

  • McRaj | November 1, 2012 9:30 AM

    Please turn down the crazy.

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