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'Little Miss Sunshine' writer to pen new 'Star Wars' film

With preproduction of "Star Wars: Episode VII" in full swing, Lucasfilm confirms the hiring of a screenwriter for the highly anticipated sci-fi movie.

Christopher MacManus
Crave contributor Christopher MacManus regularly spends his time exploring the latest in science, gaming, and geek culture -- aiming to provide a fun and informative look at some of the most marvelous subjects from around the world.
Christopher MacManus
2 min read
All we need now is a director and some actors. Lucasfilm

It looks like the next "Star Wars" movie might get completed faster than it took to construct the second Death Star.

Disney and Lucasfilm have chosen Michael Arndt to write the screenplay for "Star Wars: Episode VII," the long-awaited follow-up to the 1983 epic "Return of the Jedi."

For those unfamiliar with Arndt, he won an Academy Award for penning "Little Miss Sunshine" and then earned a nomination for "Toy Story 3." In the years that followed, Arndt picked up screenwriting duties for the upcoming films "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," "Oblivion," and an untitled Pixar movie.

Coincidentally (or maybe not so much), it appears Arndt often used the story arc of the original "Star Wars" movie as an inspirational teaching tool when speaking to aspiring writers. According to Vulture, several years ago Arndt spoke publicly about how George Lucas reached a Zen state with his original "Star Wars" screenplay.

"Arndt stated that if a writer could resolve the story's arcs (internal, external, philosophical) immediately after the Moment of Despair at the climax, he or she would deliver the Insanely Great Ending and put the audience in a euphoric state," said a 2010 Austin Film Festival attendee who attended Arndt's talk. "The faster it could happen, the better. By [Arndt's] reckoning, George Lucas hit those three marks at the climax of 'Star Wars' within a space of 22 seconds."

Vulture also reports that "Star Wars" executives want to bring back a "much older" Luke, Han, and Leia in the next movie, but no deals exist -- yet. In related news, here's a video released several days ago from Lucasfilm that features George Lucas and film producer Kathleen Kennedy discussing the development of "Star Wars: Episode VII." The movie is set for a 2015 release.