New 'Star Wars' movie will be driven by story and characters, says Lucasfilm boss

'Star Wars: Episode VII' is slated for release in 2015 with JJ Abrams as director

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has given an update on Star Wars: Episode VII.

"The story and characters are all we're talking about right now," Kennedy said at a Star Wars celebration event in Germany on Saturday (July 27), which was attended by IGN.

"We have an amazing team at [Lucasfilm special effects division] ILM, who can create fantastic effects, but if we don't have a great story and characters, the effects mean nothing."

Kennedy, who became Lucasfilm's President after George Lucas stepped down last year, went on to reveal that the "look" of the new Star Wars movie will be shaped by both computer-generated effects and old-fashioned craftsmanship.

"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," she explained.

Meanwhile, Kennedy also confirmed at the event in Germany that legendary composer John Williams will return to score the next three Star Wars movies. Lucasfilm has slated the first, Star Wars: Episode VII, for release in 2015 and hired Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt to pen the script. JJ Abrams is on board as director though Lucasfilm has recently been forced to deny rumours that he's close to quitting.

Original cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill have all hinted very strongly that they'll be returning for Episode VII. Rather more surprisingly, Florence Welch has recently been linked to a "leading role" in the film.

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