Vanity Fair have posted an extended interview with Lawrence Kasdan, and if you want more reason to be positive about The Force Awakens, this interview gives it in spades.
Kasdan talks about his relationship with George Lucas, how he seemed to be one of the few people to be able to “get into [George’s] head” and how he’s “very much infused with the best of George”. He muses about fathers and sons, and how this theme is central to the Star Wars saga, and then he touches on other themes that may feature in this new chapter. And finally, he discusses how The Force Awakens is “full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects” and yet they’re still mindful of keeping the running time lean so that it doesn’t overstay its welcome.
Here’s the most important quote from the piece:
I’ve just been reading a lot of Dennis Lehane. He’s obsessed with the same things that I am: fathers and sons and passing on wisdom; the inability to gain wisdom, which is really what interests me; and death, which defines all our life.
Something about this interview gives me so much hope—that Kasdan intends The Force Awakens to go back to the source that The Empire Strikes Back tapped into, where there’s a sense that this is about the hardest questions we face in life. How do you face the fact that, even as a good person, you have the potential for evil? How do you live with regret? How do you frame your life’s narrative?
And as for Lando Calrissian…
Right now, there’s no Lando Calrissian in this movie. But Lando I don’t think is finished in any way, shape, or form.