Shortly after Disney bought LucasFilm in October 2012, it was revealed that LucasFilm founder George Lucas had written treatments for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. However, the studio decided to toss them out and develop their own story instead of using George Lucas' ideas. Until now, it was never known why. The print issue of Vanity Fair reveals that George Lucas' story largely centered on teenagers, which Disney was wary of due to the negative critiques of the prequel trilogy. Here's what producer Kathleen Kennedy had to say in a brief statement.
"We've made some departures...exactly the way you would in any development process."
While there is still much we don't know about the actual story in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it's clear that the story centers on a younger group of heroes. Although they are in their 20s and 30s, and not youngsters like Jake Lloyd, who was just 10 years old when Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace was released. Disney reportedly wanted to get rid of any similarities to the prequel trilogy, which were largely bashed by fans. These new heroes appear to be around the same age of the original Star Wars trilogy cast members.
Once the decision was made to ditch George Lucas' treatment, they brought on Michael Arndt (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) to work on the script, but he never even completed a draft. With just six months until shooting was set to start, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over the writing duties, and completed a draft between November 2013 and January 2014. Here's what Lawrence Kasdan had to say about how little they had to work with.
"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."
Producer Kathleen Kennedy also described the movie as going to a concert of your favorite band.
"It's sort of like going to a concert where you want to hear the new stuff they've written, but you really want to hear some of the old songs. And we're in a similar kind of thing: we're getting the band back together, and we know that people are going to want to be reminded of the things they love, but they're going to expect to have a new experience."
We have only seen two Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers so far, and there still hasn't been an official synopsis released yet, so hopefully we'll learn more specifics about this story very soon. Are you glad they didn't use George Lucas' original treatment? Chime in with your thoughts below.