Now, the Star Wars franchise has produced a whole lot of legends over the years, some of them contentious (step forward George Lucas), but a whole lot more far less so (come on down, Harrison Ford). In amongst the Mark Hamill's, Carrie Fisher's and Billy Dee Williams', though, there are a whole lot of behind-the-scenes personnel who deserve - and in the eyes of many fans, have - just as legendary a status as the principal cast.
Indeed, of everyone involved in the making of the original Star Wars trilogy, an argument can be made that no-one (short of George Lucas) helped to shape it more than Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Indeed, the fact that the legendary scribe will (along with his son Jon) be penning the script for the upcoming young Han Solo spin-off movie is a major factor in the prospect of its existence not being terrifying.
That good news, though, sadly comes with a dark cloud attached. Y'see:
The Han Solo Movie Will Be Kasdan's Last Hurrah in the Star Wars Universe
As the writer - who also collaborated with J.J. Abrams on Episode VII: The Force Awakens - recently revealed to German newspaper Bild:
"I have now made four Star Wars movies. That's more than enough"
Which, with Kasdan seemingly passing the Star Wars torch down to his son Jon, makes sense and all, but it's still hard to take. After all, a whole lot of what we all love about Star Wars can be directly attributed to Kasdan, so it's inevitably tough to see him go (even if we do still have two more movies with his fingerprints on them to enjoy before he does).
To ease the blow, then, here's a quick look at three of his greatest cinematic achievements, starting with...
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Yup, that's right, not only did Kasdan work on two Star Wars movies, he wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, too. Which means he's at least partly responsible for every time you've ever asked yourself why it had to be snakes...or simply enjoyed one of the greatest movies of all time.
Now, it's easy to forget that Kasdan was also an accomplished director, spending much of the 80's and 90's writing and directing acclaimed, successful movies (often starring Kevin Kline). He may have made better pictures than Silverado, but since a) it's a western starring Kevin Kline, John Cleese and Danny Glover, which is awesome, and b) it pretty much gave Kevin Costner a career, it's hard to see many others as being more important.
The Return of the Jedi
Now, while The Empire Strikes Back may be widely considered to be the superior movie, Kasdan only took over writing duties on it after the tragic death of original writer Leigh Brackett. Return of the Jedi, though, is much more Kasdan's baby - and since he co-wrote it with Lucas, most of the Ewok-blame can probably be placed on ol' George. Plus, there's this:
And if that doesn't make Kasdan deserving of a Stormtrooper guard of honor, I honestly don't know what does...
That, for sure, does.
And now? Well, now we can start looking forward to Episode VII again...
What do you reckon, though?