Apr 1 2013 12:00pm

Michael Arndt Reveals How Star Wars Episode VII Fits Into Existing Continuity

Star Wars Episode VII Michael Arndt script details

Though Michael Arndt has previously been silent about the story for the much anticipated Star Wars sequel, at a recent press conference the Oscar-winning screenwriter let slip exactly how Star Wars Episode VII fits into the continuity of the existing films and expanded universe media. Possible massive spoilers below. You’ve been warned!

Speaking at a press junket for a special Tokyo-only IMAX 3D edition of Toy Story 3, Arndt had this to say about his approach to writing the new Star Wars film:

“I’m actually writing the script in such a way that it [Episode VII] will contradict the continuity and events of all the existing Star Wars films.”

When pressed for reasons why he is deliberately making the story inconsistent with previous installments of the mega-popular franchise, Arndt amiably replied that he is “just trying to be true to the spirit of Star Wars.”

“I really have big shoes to fill,” the screenwriter continued, “And I figured the only way to do justice to Star Wars—the way George Lucas would have wanted it—is to make sure nothing really matches up with anything we’ve seen before. I mean, I think most people were let down by the prequels and I hear that. They really didn’t go far enough.”

While some speculation swirled that Arndt was implying a kind of alternate-universe reboot in the same manner as 2009’s Star Trek, he was quick to quash those concerns. “It’s not going to be any kind of retcon. Think of it more as a jumping-on point for people who aren't familiar with Star Wars.”

A fan and scholar of the original Star Wars trilogy, Arndt reveled in several plot points from the existing films which he called “brilliant examples of inconsistency.” When asked to list some of his favorite moments in the original films Arndt gave a laundry list including: How it makes no sense in Return of the Jedi that the Empire gives up just because the Death Star is blown up. From A New Hope, the notion that Red 6 (Porkins!) dies in the first Death Star Battle, only to have someone say “Red 6” a few minutes and later and have him respond. And when talking about the Empire Strikes Back, Arndt became giddy, listing all of his favorite aspects:

“I mean how much time passes between them leaving Hoth and getting to Cloud City? No one knows. It’s wonderfully vague! The lessons Yoda teaches Luke about not helping people are dubious and kind of not true! Not to mention Vader not recognizing Force powers in Leia? And don’t get me started about the baffling contradiction that the energy shield on Hoth is something people can walk underneath and that somehow the Rebels have an awesome ion cannon that can shoot through the energy shield? Why wouldn’t they just use that technology all the time?! The cacophony of illogic that is The Empire Strikes Back is just beautiful. Everyone says it’s such a perfect film, and they’re right, because perfect movies are always lacking that one element we have in real life: explanations for why things happen.”

Arndt went on to assure fans that he understands “...that being immersed in Star Wars is to truly embrace madness, not only in small nitpicking details, but also by delivering sudden character motivations, plot points which inexplicably change, and tonal levels which stretch credibility to the breaking point.”

In terms of his collaboration with Episode VII’s director, J. J. Abrams, Arndt was happy to report that he’d not even spoken to the director about the project.

“I really hope I never see him!” he said, “I mean, I’m not even sure I believe J.J. Abrams exists? That guy is a media hoax, right? If he is, it will make for a great Star Wars movie. I think when they see it, the fans will agree. This one makes the least sense, is the most ridiculous, and will make us say…yes…yes…this is the Star Wars we’ve all been waiting for! I would say ‘May the Force Be With You,’ but I’m not sure if we’ll even have those words in this new movie. It’s gonna be that good.”

When asked just how far the new movie will go out of its way to contradict the existing movies, Arndt finished his comments by saying:

“If you think this is going to be set in space just because it’s called Star Wars, I’d say, you’re not really a true Star Wars fan.”

Stubby the Rocket is the mascot of and thinks we haven't seen the entirety of Jar-Jar Binks' story.

Chris Nelly
1. Aeryl
OMG, I almost fell for this.

I mean, I was seriously about to say that if Michael Arndt doesn't know the difference between proton shielding and ray shielding, then I don't want him anywhere near my Star Wars.
Matthew C Glover
2. Matthew C Glover
I know this is for April 1st, but the idea of sequels being written that contradict prior work is an intriguing one, based on the idea that the original is a retelling of legend. So you could have Legend A where Our Hero is afraid of heights, and Legend B where Our Hero has a massive purple roc that they've been flying on since infancy...
Chris Hawks
3. SaltManZ
I was so excited to read this until I remembered what day it was.
Chris Nelly
4. Aeryl
@2, Check out Sara Douglass' Wayfarier Redemption series. The first three are your typical prophetic Manichean fantasy, then the last three take everything you thought was true, and flips in on its head. Heroes become villains, villains become heroes, great stuff.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
5. Lisamarie
I almost fell for it too. Oh man - I don't care if it contradicts the EU since I am fine with it in my head being its own little continunity, but I'd be a bit upset as a fan if it just disregarded the movies too. I know it's not unheard of for there to be multiple movies that contradict each other (like in the X-Men movies) but when you're calling something Episode VII...I expect a bit of continuity ;)
Matthew C Glover
6. BMichaels
Ugh, hooklinesinker...

... then my muddled mind snapped back to reality as the words, "IT'S A TRAP!!!" echoed through my skull.
Matthew C Glover
7. Rebecca P
Oh, you guys!
Michael Grosberg
8. Michael_GR
Let's just assume for a moment this was true and Arndt is the biggest troll ever. What would you put in a Star Wars movie that will get maximum negative fan reaction?

First and foremost - a Luke and Leya love story. turns out they're not twins after all...
A scene that reexplains the force as having a devine source, that source being whatever it was in the Wookie Christmas special that stood for Jesus.
Han not only shot first but also poisoned Greedo's Drink.
Everybody has phasers instead of lasers. Ooh, and we could also have a Jedi mind meld while we're at it.
A flashback to the Kessel run that explicitely uses "parsecs" as a time unit.
Any other ideas?
Chris Nelly
9. Aeryl
The Kessel run is a race through a field of black holes. Seeing who could get through it in the shortest distance travelled, not the time, is what mattered. Now, that doesn't fit with Han's bragging over speed, but that's ONE thing the EU got right!!!
Sol Foster
10. colomon
What's great about this prank is how right it is about Empire. That movie is great, but it's also a complete mess continuity- wise.
Joseph Newton
11. crzydroid
Of course I almost fell for this until glancing ahead at the first comment...because I wouldn't have even realized it was April 1st today unless I'd already seen it on facebook. I was all ready to explain that the ion cannon doesn't shoot through the energy's clearly stated in dialogue that the energy shield is opened for a few moments so the ships and ion cannon can get through.
Matthew C Glover
13. Ainalhafila
He's not contradict the lore because "that's Star Wars" or anything, he is doing it because Disney is trying to reboot the franchise and attract a new generation (if you will) of customers. In the process completely disregarding the fact that Star Wars still has a active fan base.

The only time you try to reboot something is when its fanbase has next to died out... very much not the case here.
And the closing down of Lucasarts is just shameful...
Matthew C Glover
14. serius b
Get ready for surprises. the next two years are gonna be a ride.
Matthew C Glover
15. Darth Hobble
Dont' fail me again admeral.
Matthew C Glover
18. william L Clarkson
ITS A RUSE April first for an IMPORTANT interview like this Damn He better not F this up.
Matthew C Glover
19. Morpheus
The new films will pretty much tear apart the continuity of the Expanded Universe, or the post Episode VI events either way, can't expect much better when it's been all those years since a film came out and a vast amount of novels, comics, and video games have since been made of what happens after ROTJ, either way, you can treat Star Wars like Star Trek, especially with Abrams running a lot of the show now.

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