Screenwriter Michael Arndt is exiting Star Wars: Episode VII with director JJ Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan assuming scripting duties.
LucasFilms made the unexpected announcement today.
Kasdan co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi, making him a revered figure in Star Wars lore. The 64-year-old scribe, who also wrote Raiders Of The Lost Ark, had been serving as a consultant on the film.
Arndt was named the sole screenwriter last year. He won an Oscar for the script to Little Miss Sunshine, and also wrote Toy Story 3 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
Shooting for Star Wars: Episode VII is to start in the spring, with the film due out in 2015.