Many consider Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back to be the best film ever made in the franchise, so fans can sigh a heavy bit of relief in the fact that the film's screenwriter, director Lawrence Kasdan, is being sought by Walt Disney Pictures to return in penning the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Lawrence Kasdan also wrote Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi and Raiders of the Lost Ark for Lucasfilm. Disney's plan is to get the director, known for helming the 80s classic The Big Chill and this year's romantic comedy Darling Companion, working on the sequel to Star Wars: Episode VII while that first film is still being written by the earlier confirmed Michael Arndt.

Screenwriter Simon Kinberg is being eyed to cover scripting duties on the final chapter in this upcoming trilogy, with Star Wars: Episode IX. He is known for his franchise work on X-Men: First Class and the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr..

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It is being speculated that both Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have already signed on, but Disney will not confirm that news at this time. Since all three films are being written at essentially the same time, its likely that the three writers will be collaborating amongst themselves in terms of sorting through George Lucas detailed story notes. More as the story breaks...

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B. Alan Orange