Writer Lawrence Kasdan will not be returning for Star Wars: Episode VIII. According to an interview with German tabloid Bild, the upcoming, untitled Han Solo spinoff film will be his last contribution to the Star Wars franchise. “I have now made four Star Wars movies [including the Han Solo project]. That’s more than enough,” Kasdan says. Kasdan is currently writing the Solo-centric standalone film with son Jon.
The return of Kasdan as screenwriter was a major coup for the makers of The Force Awakens: Kasdan, along with producer Gary Kurtz, has long been credited as two of the major forces in the success of The Empire Strikes Back, which many fans consider to be the best film in the Star Wars franchise. (Kasdan also co-wrote Return Of The Jedi and even had a hand in Shadows Of The Empire.) Known for his quick dialogue and old Hollywood sensibilities, The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has said that working with Kasdan was like “taking an extended master class in filmmaking.”
Abrams also told Wired this week that he would not be overseeing the Star Wars films after The Force Awakens the way Lucas’ beard could be felt looming over Empire and Jedi. Referring to Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, Abrams said: “He’s neither asking for nor does he need me to oversee the process. What [Kasdan] and I did was set up certain key relationships, certain key questions, conflicts. And we knew where certain things were going. The story he told took what we were doing and went in the direction he felt was best, but that is very much in line with what we were thinking as well.”
[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]