It has been revealed that Lawrence Kasdan, the scriptwriter of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, will pen either the second or third film in the new Star Wars trilogy. Michael Arndt has already penned an outline for the whole trilogy and will be writing the script for Episode VII. The remaining film will be penned by Simon Kinberg.
Kasdan's involvement has excited fans, since The Empire Strikes Back remains widely regarded as the highpoint of the original trilogy and the entire Star Wars franchise to date. Return of the Jedi is less universally well-regarded, though the problems with the movie (such as the replacement of the planned Wookie army with Ewoks) are more often blamed on changes introduced by George Lucas himself. Kasdan's work since Jedi is less well-regarded, with his biggest hit being The Bodyguard. However, Kasdan's involvement does add some credibility for the fans hoping for a return to the form of the original trilogy.
Kinberg's track record is spottier, with concern being voiced over his position as scriptwriter for X-Men: The Last Stand, widely-acknowledged as the weakest film in the franchise to date. However, he did work on the better-received X-Men: First Class as a producer, as well as co-writing the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes. Kasdan and Kinberg will also produce the new films in addition to their writing duties.
Kinberg's links to Matthew Vaughn - who developed X-Men: The Last Stand before dropping out and later directing X-Men: First Class - have strengthened rumours that Vaughn will be working on one of the new movies as director.