The Empire Strikes Back writer making docuseries about George Lucas
Lawrence Kasdan will always hold a special place in the hearts of Star Wars fans as the man who wrote what many consider to be the best Star Wars movie, The Empire Strikes Back. And Kasdan’s involvement with the franchise runs deeper than that; he also co-wrote Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens and Solo.
Weirdly, Kasdan has been trying to leave the franchise for 40 years, clearly without success. The writer initially said he was done with Star Wars back in 1981 after The Empire Strikes Back. However, George Lucas supported his erotic thriller project Body Heat as an uncredited producer that same year. Kasdan felt obliged to return when Lucas asked him to work on Return of the Jedi. Once again, after Solo: A Star Wars Story, the writer insisted he was done.
Speaking at the Austin Film Fest in 2019, Kasdan recalled his attempts to get out. “I didn’t want to sit down and read someone else’s Star Wars movie. I’m just not interested in Star Wars.”
Don’t think for a second I don’t know how lucky I am that they’re sending a Star Wars script to my door and I can say, ‘No, I won’t accept it.’ You have to be in a very privileged situation to do that, and I don’t ever take that for granted.
Lawrence Kasdan’s George Lucas docuseries is basically done
However, it now seems that Kasdan has a whole new Star Wars project in the works. Speaking on Score: The Podcast, composer James Newton Howard revealed that Kasdan has directed a six-episode docuseries about George Lucas. Howard provided the score. “It’s in the box,” he said, so we could expect it fairly soon.
What the series is and how it flew under everybody’s radar is unknown, but with Kasdan at the helm it could be very interesting, since he was around for much of the history of Lucas’ work at Industrial Light & Magic, which was formed in 1975 as a division of Lucasfilm. ILM’s films include the Star Wars franchise and the Indiana Jones movies — they’ve also worked blockbusters like the Marvel films, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mission :Impossible, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Avatar, and Jurassic Park, just to name just a few.
We’ve gotten lots of insight into ILM over the years thanks to Blu-ray extras, books, and an excellent 2010 documentary voiced by Tom Cruise: Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible, which features interviews with Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, John Lasseter, JJ Abrams, and Jon Favreau.
However, a six-part series should be more in-depth. Whether the docuseries is an official Disney production that will appear on Disney+ is unknown. Full access may give fans glimpses into more recent ILM projects such as The Mandalorian, WandaVision, The Batman, and the forthcoming Indiana Jones and Jurassic World movies. There is, as yet, no release date for the project.
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