In another interview from his appearance at the Paley Center on Thursday, Lawrence Kasdan told Hero Complex that he wants his film to be something new:
“I’m trying to start fresh,” he said. “There are certain pleasures that we think the saga can bring to people that they’ve been missing, and we’re hoping to bring them that, and at the same time, have them feel that it’s all new.”
It’s implied (by Hero Complex) that means ignoring the existing Expanded Universe, but it’s worth noting that some fans are also hoping these spin-offs don’t rehash things that the EU has already covered extensively – like Han’s backstory.
He also credits George Lucas with bringing him onto the project, his favorite Star Wars film, and the focus of the original trilogy.