Jan 25 2013
In the biggest movie news since it was announced there was going to be a Star Wars Episode VII, now a director has been attached to the project. Probably. Maybe. Hopefully.
It’s JJ Abrams, of LOST and more recently Star Trek fame, the sequel for which he’s currently wrapping up. Naturally, this has many in the geek community buzzing with their own opinions on whether it’s sacrilegious to be attached to both universes, and I figured we could discuss it here.
If you haven’t guessed from my title, I’m in favor of this development. Truth be told, I’ve liked JJ Abrams’ shows, LOST and Alias, and his movies, Mission Impossible 3, Super 8 and of course, Star Trek.
That said, there are a lot of ways this could have gone. Really, I would have been happy with any number of talented directors taking the helm. Of course someone like Christopher Nolan would have been many’s top pick, but also Ben Affleck, Matthew Vaughn, Duncan Jones, Peter Jackson, hell, I’d watch a Wachowski Bros. Star Wars movie. Really, I just want someone other than George Lucas at this point, and unless they picked Uwe Bole or Brett Ratner, it was sort of hard to go wrong when going down the A-list.
But I understand why Disney chose Abrams. When Star Trek came out, me and many others said “that’s what I wish they would do with Star Wars.” Red Letter Media, famed critic of the Star Wars prequels, said something similar. They pointed out that Abrams knew what to do with characters to make them interesting, and the action to actually make it exciting. They showed clips that compared various characters in the Star Wars prequels having conversations sitting on couches or walking slowly down hallways to Abrams’ style in Star Trek which had his crew conversing as they sprinted through corridors.
The man knows how to make a good blockbuster, yet manages to infuse emotion at the same time. He’s great at finding relative unknowns to fill big shoes, something that will obviously be required for a new Star Wars movie, and more important, he excels at making these characters likable. And that’s what was missing from the Star Wars prequels. You really weren’t rooting for anyone.
Of course Star Trek wasn’t perfect. There were probably more plot holes than the average film and perhaps a few too many lens flares, but despite all that, Abrams came through with a good film, even a great one. Why? Because the man is a good storyteller.
And I really don’t see the “blasphemy” in having him move his talents from Star Trek to Star Wars. Sure, the fanbases have been warring for a while, but most sci-fi fans love both. If the man can make a good movie, why does it matter what else he’s worked on? Should Joss Whedon have turned Star Wars down if it was offered because Firefly was its own thing and fantastic? I wouldn’t have expected him to, and I can’t blame Abrams for going against his earlier statements and ultimately accepting the gig.
I have more confidence in Abrams than I do the average director. I’d have been a bit worried about Zack Snyder because he’s shown he’s capable of producing terribleness (Sucker Punch). Christopher Nolan would have left zero doubt in my mind it would be good. Michael Bay would have been a joke.
But Abrams? He’s at the upper end of the trust spectrum for me. I may have taken issues with elements of his films, but I still ended up liking them overall. And plot holes and lens flares aside, if he can do to Star Wars what he did with Star Trek, to me, that would be a success. And remember, they’re going to keep making these after Episode VII, and I suspect other directors will get their turns.
Well, that’s enough of my own thoughts. I’m curious to hear what you guys think of this (more than likely true) news. Go for it!
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