In addition to the announcement that John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy talked more about the anticipated film at Star Wars Celebration Europe. In a panel hosted by Warwick Davis, Kennedy said (via IGN) that she is currently dividing her time between Lucasfilm and Bad Robot, where she’s having story meetings with J.J. Abrams and the writing team.
“The story and characters are all we’re talking about right now,” said Kennedy. “We have an amazing team at ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don’t have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing. I do think making huge popular culture – and I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of a lot it – is really hard to do and get right. And if you don’t spend the time you need on developing characters, and finding stories, complicated stories, the audience gets tired because they think they’re seeing the same thing again and again.”
She added that “Episode VII” will combine real locations and special effects. “It’s a conversation we’re having all the time in the development of ‘Episode VII.’ Looking at all the Star Wars movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films did, combining real locations and special effects – that’s something we’re looking very seriously at. So we’re going to find some very cool locations that we’re going to use in support of ‘Episode VII.’ And I think we’re probably going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox to create the look of these movies.”
Davis asked Kennedy what was in that toolbox, to which she responded: “It’s using model makers; it’s using real droids; it’s taking advantage of artwork that you actually can touch and feel. And we want to do that in combination with CG effects. We figure that’s what will make it real.”
Here is also her discussion backstage with Warwick Davis: