This is just a speculation taken from the comments section that I find really interesting. I'm not saying it's happening but it's really one possible explanation of the script rewrites...
Again this is just a speculation. Here's a direct quote of the comment:
The question of course is, just how long had Michael Arndt been working on the screenplay prior to Disney's buyout of LFL? Arndt was announced fairly early on, so my bet is that he had already started looking through the rough storyline created by George Lucas much earlier than October 2012, and that fast forward a year and he'd either gone as far as he could with it following "creative input" from JJ Abrams, Kathleen Kennedy, Lawrence Kasdan and Lucas himself, or there's been a massive change that has resulted in Arndt saying enough's enough?
If it is the latter of the two then I sense a great disturbance in the Force, one that has seen a certain Mr Harrison Ford finally make up his mind, and that after months of playing the media, and constantly being barraged with questions about Episode VII when all he really wanted to do was concentrate on promoting Enders Game has finally seen him say to Kennedy, Abrams and all, you know what, no, I don't need Star Wars as much as people believe Star Wars needs me.
Michael Arndt is a world class writer and I find it very unlikely that the script is being rewritten just because the studio didn't like his story. Remember that Arndt also has George Lucas' outline on the Sequel Trilogy so he has a solid foundation for the story. I think it's very probable that an outside factor was the reason for the announced rewrites and the replacement of Arndt.
Now which aspect of one movie has the biggest influence on the story? Of course the characters. Many Hollywood productions suffer rewrites when one of the stars of the movie decides to drop out. So what if Harrison Ford finally decided that he is too old for this and had enough of Star Wars?
And Ford is really acting crazy in all interviews when asked about the new movies. He always looks less enthusiastic about the topic. Remember that he was quick enough to say that he is ready to do another Indiana Jones movie. Of course the studio might have told him to not reveal anything about his involvement with the new movies. But so were Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher told as well and they really act it well.
Also remember the rumors that an Episode 7 announcement was delayed because Ford first wanted to finish his promotion campaign of his latest movie Ender's game (opens November 1). First we assumed that the announcement should be about the big three returning but what if it was quite the opposite? Or at least Ford.
And we always new that Harrison Ford wanted Han Solo dead in the Original Trilogy. :) (thanks to Michael Andersen for the video)
Now let's say that this speculation is true and Harrison Ford decides not to come back as Han Solo. What are the studios options? I think there might be two possibilities.
- They find a way to explain in the beginning of Episode 7 that Han Solo was killed during a mission or something. This way we'll still have Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprise their roles. Or...
- None of the original cast returns and they are really doing a major rewrite (as some rumors suggested) with new characters and story. Remember that in one interview Mark Hamill said that they will reprise their roles in the Sequel Trilogy only if they are all returning.
I really hope this speculation is not right but still have it in mind. There were reports that the script rewrites actually started in July so I don't think this will have any impact on a possible upcoming Episode 7 announcement. Still there are many reports saying there won't be any Episode 7 announcement on October 30. I still believe there will be.
Also just one week after October 30 is Disney's 2013 Earnings Results Webcast. They will discuss the financial results for the fiscal full year. I'm sure they will give an update on their Star Wars projects one year after they bought Lucasfilm. So stay tuned for November 7th as well.
And here's another point of view for the rewrites from a guy considered to be reliable. Again speaking of character changes. (posted on the superherohype forums - credit - Solidus)
Different characters is all I can say. I am not being secretive to be an a-hole; real life friends, like @Diggs, know all I know but this is not my info to give. Arndt had one way of looking at post-Jedi world; Abrams had another. To be honest, Abrams was right, at least thematically (Once again, I have no idea at all about the Arndt script; what I do know is that there has been a shift in characters).
And, as you and I both know, despite the coolness of the Arndt perspective, Abrams' is the right one. Thematically at least.Whatever the case at this time we don't have any reasons not to trust Kathleen Kennedy. And according to her:
"I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script."Which is great to hear!