Star Wars the Force Awakens update

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According to a Vanity Fair piece on The Force Awakens it was revealed that after the Disney-Lucasfilm transaction took place, the Mouse House and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy opted to go in a different direction than what Lucas had came up with. As for why that was, Vanity Fair’s Bruce Handy says it would have recalled painful prequel memories:

[Abrams] said Lucas’s treatment had centered on very young characters – teenagers, Lucasfilm told me – which might have struck Disney executives as veering too close for comfort to ‘The Phantom Menace’ and its 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker and 13-year-old Queen Amidala. “We’ve made some departures” from Lucas’s ideas, Kennedy conceded, but only in “exactly the way you would in any development process.”

As Abrams and company worked on crafting a new story, the process didn’t always go so smoothly. Oscar-winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) was initially hired to pen the screenplay, but later departed – paving the way for Abrams and Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan to write the script. In the Vanity Fair article, Abrams explained that the two essentially started with a clean slate, as the final narrative still hadn’t been completed as early as November 2013:

“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.”

source Vanity Fair