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 Tor.com and thinks we haven't seen the entirety of Jar-Jar Binks' story.