Lawrence Kasdan explains why Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t your typical blockbuster

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Dec 17, 2018, 5:00 PM EST (Updated)

As one of the guys who helped write The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lawrence Kasdan has been around the Star Wars franchise a long time, so it’s worth listening when he starts spouting wisdom about why The Force Awakens isn’t your typical tentpole fare.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Kasdan opened up about the philosophical approach he and director J.J. Abrams are taking with the long-awaited Star Wars sequel. First up, he’s very pleased with production at this point, which is always a good sign. Second: He promises this won’t be a bloated sci-fi blockbuster like the films that have been clogging up the box office in recent years.

Basically, it sounds like Kasdan wants to take the approach of keeping it awesome and tight, while leaving fans wanting a bit more — as opposed to wondering if the can hold out another hour between bathroom breaks while nursing that Big Gulp. Here’s what Kasdan told Vanity Fair about the process:

"This new movie, first of all, it’s turning out really great. J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over?

We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, ‘I wish there’s more.’ Or, ‘Wait, is it over?’ Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, ‘Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?’ Killing your darlings."

In a world where most major sci-fi flicks can run close to the three-hour mark, filling time with over-long FX set pieces, it’s refreshing to hear Kasdan’s throwback approach to filmmaking. The original trilogy films all wrapped up at about two hours run time and crammed in a ton of great stuff, and it sounds like they’re shooting for the same model here.

What do you think? Can they actually recapture the magic?

(Via Vanity Fair)

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