While Star Wars: The Force Awakens will undoubtedly be one of the biggest movies of the year—if not the biggest—it’s easy to forget that it’s essentially one of a number of blockbusters heading to the marketplace this year. The Force Awakens is, at its core, a big budget blockbuster movie intended to make Disney money. Speaking at this base level, it’s in direct competition with other similarly scaled features as varied as Terminator: Genisys and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
So, aside from the fact that it’s freaking Star Wars, how do J.J. Abram and Co. intend to make the film stand apart from the other blockbusters angling for audience attention? In a new interview with Vanity Fair, co-writer Lawrence Kasdan offered an update on the production and noted a trend that Abrams is hoping to steer clear of:
“This new movie, first of all, it’s turning out really great. J.J. directed it so beautifully, and it’s so exhilarating and everything. It’s a big movie. It’s full of wonderful stuff, incident and character stuff and jokes and effects. One of the things that we always refocus on from the get-go was that it not be one of these very long, bloated blockbusters. A lot of very entertaining movies lately are too long. In the last 20 minutes, you think, why isn’t this over? We didn’t want to make a movie like that. I mean, we were really aiming to have it be—when it’s over you’ll say, ‘I wish there’s more.’ Or, ‘Wait, is it over?’ Because how rarely you get that feeling nowadays, and I think we’re headed there. But it means that there will be constant critical looking at it from now to the end, saying, ‘Do we need this? Do we need that? Is it better if this comes out, even though we love it?’ Killing your darlings.”
Indeed, the last few years have seen a number of very lengthy blockbusters, including Abrams’ own Star Trek Into Darkness which ran 133 minutes. Even Avengers: Age of Ultron, though wildly entertaining, could’ve removed an entire set piece without really losing anything. Mad Max: Fury Road sheds a bit of hope on blockbuster runtimes, which at 120 minutes feel almost breezy.
The Force Awakens is still a Star Wars movie so I’d be surprised if it clocked in under two hours, but it sounds like Abrams is aiming for somewhere around there. The longest Star Wars film is Attack of the Clones at 142 minutes, while the shortest is A New Hope which runs exactly 120 minutes.
While Kasdan remained tight-lipped about The Force Awakens throughout the interview, he did offer some hope for fans of 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.”
Could he pop back up in a Star Wars Anthology film, or is Lando poised to make his triumphant return in Episode VIII? Time will tell, but it appears there’s reason to be optimistic.
Click here to catch up on all of our Star Wars: The Force Awakens coverage, or peruse the recent links below.
- Daniel Craig’s Possible Cameo in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Revealed
- Brad Bird Explains Why He Wanted to Direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII
- George Lucas Talks About His Original STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Treatment
- STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: J.J. Abrams Talks Cutting References to Original Trilogy
- New STAR WARS Picture Reveals Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma
- STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: Stunning Photos Offer New Character Reveals
- STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: First Look at Adam Driver as Villain Kylo Ren
- STAR WARS THE FORCE AWAKENS Lands on the Cover of Vanity Fair