Creator / Lawrence Kasdan
Lawrence Kasdan, circa 2003

Lawrence Kasdan is a well known film screenwriter and director.

He originally trained to be a teacher, but when he couldn't get any teaching post, he became an advertising copywriter. He hated the job, but it didn't affect his performance as the Clio Award he won indicates.

Finally moved to Hollywood and finally got into the movie writing business when his script for The Bodyguard was finally bought after 36 refusals and remained in Development Hell until 1992 when Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner starred in it.

However, he got his big break when he sold his script for Continental Divide to Steven Spielberg, which drew the attention of George Lucas who commissioned him to write the screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark and then later on to finish the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back and write the one for Return of the Jedi. His impact on the films was immense if only that it replaced Lucas' clunky dialogue for smoothly believable, even poetic when called for, lines for the actors to speak. Basically if the best lines spoken weren't improvised by the actors, then it was Kasdan's doing.

Here's an example of Kasdan's talent at work with one of Yoda's most profound lines:
* Lucas's version: “Not material are we. Luminous beings are we, tied together by the Force. Yes. There are two of you… your body and your energy.”
* Kasdan's version: “Luminous beings are we [pinches Luke's skin], not this crude matter.”

Eventually, he moved on to doing his own films like The Big Chill, Grand Canyon, and The Accidental Tourist, which got Academy Award nominations. He most often works with Kevin Kline for his films.

Nowadays, his stature as a big part of the talent that made Star Wars so great has grown so much that just the news of him writing the upcoming Episode VII was a moment of celebration with the fandom.

Films written and/or directed: