Jan 25 2013

Sure, Let JJ Abrams Direct a Star Wars Movie

Published by at 11:00 am under Editorials,Movies

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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.

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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.

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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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15 responses so far

  • Danny

    It definetly could have been worse.

    That being said, I would rather see an “unknown” director to do the job. And by unknown I mean very talented, but not a superstar (kinda like Joss Whedon). Because this Star Wars movie won’t be considered as “the new Star Wars movie”, but as “the news Abrams movie”.

    Of course I’m expecting quality with this episode, but absolutely not a movie where the director puts his personnal ambitions. I’m afraid it will be “Star Wars though Abrams eyes”.

    I hope I manage to express how I feel about this.

  • jediguy

    I have to stay I’m really excited. Any new Star Wars movie is good news in my book and I’m with you in that I’ve liked all of JJ’s previous works and what he did with Star Trek and I don’t even like Star Trek. I can’t wait till 2015.

  • Cube

    It is a sound choice. I just hope that he leaves out the lens flares and brings back the hyperspace jump star field shot. I can’t believe that there is not a single shot from the cockpit inside a ship of star field jump in any of the last three movies.

    • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

      Huh, I never really thought about that until now. You’re right.

  • Mr. B

    Yes I guess it could be worse but I do often worry about JJ.

    For all the good work on Lost, the finale was awful, just awful. And it worries me that he didnt see it. As for Star Trek, entertaining, sure, did a fair job on the characters, sure, but plot holes you could literally fly the Enterprise through. And again it worries me that he didnt see these, or if he did, didnt care much.

  • DocDoom

    This is just him directing EPISODE VII. I personally think it would be awesome to have a couple Star Wars movies in one year, dealing with any number of things beyond the Skywalker saga. Get Brad Bird on something STAT!

  • Jake Fortner

    JJ Abrams definitely is a good choice, and I do think that he knows his style and how much he should let overflow into the next Star Wars movie. My personal pick was Brad Bird above everyone else. I really thought he would have made something similar to Empire.

    I’m only afraid Abrams’ film will feel less Star Wars. Even if it’s a good movie, if it doesn’t feel like Star Wars I will be somewhat disappointed.

  • beorach

    I loved the new Star Trek movie, too, such that I’m pretty happy with Abrams (though LOST really pissed me off given the unrealized potential it suckered us in with). I’d even have been happy with Peter Jackson since it’s just Star Wars. It was never, for lack of a better term, high cinema after all…

  • Keith

    The only things that worries me about Abrams doing the movie is his buddy Lindelof.

  • Robert

    @Keith

    Why?

  • Chelsea

    For those people that have a problem with JJ Abrams because of LOST, you can’t blame him for the items you mentioned. He didn’t do the writing at the end, it was all Cuse and Lindelof. Plus, I’ll defend the entire LOST series until my dying day. Brilliant, not flawless, but satisfying.

    As for Abrams directing Star Wars, I’m ecstatic. He’s brave to do it since no matter WHAT he does, he will have millions of people who hate him for it while millions of others love him. Star Trek is in my top 10 favorite movies and I give all the credit to Abrams.

  • Keith

    @Robert

    The mess surrounding World War Z, The terrible character motivations and plot holes in Prometheus, Cowboys & Aliens, The nonsensical parts of Lost.

    It seems to me that Lindelof just thinks that he can make people think he’s a really smart writer by making the audience confused by all kinds of unanswered questions that in truth have absolutely no answer, or no never actually needed to be brought up in the first place.

  • David R

    Abram’s can handle shallow fun better than most, but attempts at depth have been unsuccessful so far. As someone who thinks the Saga has quite a bit of depth, I’m skeptical. Keep him away from the script – Super 8, despite entertainment value, proved he absolutely does not understand story – and it might work out. If he does a draft, I’ll assume that the movie will be crowd-pleasing but nothing more.

  • wevs

    Paul, I’d just like to point out that the Wachowskis are no longer brothers, and if you respect Lana’s decision you should refer to them as siblings, rather than brothers. I noticed you did the same thing in your Cloud Atlas article.

    As for Star Wars – rock on, I think Abrams will do a good job. To be fully honest I’m not expecting a groundbreaking masterpiece, but thinking Abrams will screw the pooch is just stupid.

    • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

      Oh right, I forgot about that. Sure, I respect that decision. The Wachowski siblings sounds odd though. Maybe just “the Wachowskis” now I guess.

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