Yesterday news broke that JJ Abrams – best known for, well, everything he’s ever done ever (except maybe Felicity) – would be directing the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII film for Disney. Abrams has been the fan favorite for the role since the news broke that Disney was acquiring the Lucasflims property and planning to relaunch a rebooted film series based on Lucas’s expansive universe. I’ve been hoping for Abrams to take up the reigns from day one but even after the news ‘broke’ that he would, I was still skeptical. It seemed to be too good to be true.
So I am absolutely ecstatic to say today that everything has been confirmed.
JJ Abrams WILL be directing the next Star Wars movie.
I can’t say this entirely came out of left field because pretty much everyone and their mother wanted this to happen. Between JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon you won’t find two guys that nerds are more willing to let take control of their beloved franchises. That said, though, both of them had other franchises to handle. And unlike Joss Whedon – who was never really in the running – JJ Abrams’s other franchise he’s taken control of is a direct competitor to Star Wars.
You know. That little thing he’s working on called Star Trek.
The man is working on Star Trek. If there is anything that has ever before divided nerds and geeks into two camps more strongly that these two franchises please let me know in the comments because c’mon. And Dan Slott got it right when he said every convention Abrams ever goes to from now on, there will be that one douche who just has to ask a basic Star Wars v. Star Trek question.
Because it’s always been Star Trek fans against Star Wars fans.
JJ Abrams, though, is a man who could finally bridge that gap. He’s proven that he can make a movie that both new and old fans of a franchise can enjoy. And he’s also the kind of guy who tends to reuse actors and friends when he gets the chance. We could potentially see some familiar faces popping up in cameos in the Star Wars Universe.
And fans really do just love him. The guy knows what he’s doing. We feel like we can trust him. And he’ll love both franchises to the end. He won’t pick favorites. JJ Abrams could finally help us put this rampant Star Wars v. Star trek nerd argument behind us. (Because some of us really do love both of them equally!)
It does beg a lot of questions though. What does it mean that the man who was responsible for the resurrection of Star Trek to now be the man responsible for doing the same thing for Star Wars? All joking aside, they are two directly competing franchises produced by two directly competing studios. Because he will still be producing Star Trek 3. The revamped Star Trek films already pull a lot from Star Wars and JJ Abrams has gone so far to admit that he was heavily influenced by the original trilogy.
But now he’e actually is making Star Wars.
In a lot of ways, Abrams is inheriting a very similar property in Star Wars. Both fans of Star Trek and Star Wars had been extremely disappointed by previous attempts to expand their beloved universes through prequels and ill-received films. Fans watched the creation of Star Trek (2009) with a skepticism that proved to be unwarranted. They will do the same with Star Wars: Episode VII.
Ben Affleck was also apparently on the very short, final list and while I like him as a director (Argo was freakin’ awesome) he isn’t the sort of person you can really trust with Star Wars. He’s a real dramatic director; JJ Abrams knows science fiction. And he knows how to blend science fiction with a sort of film your average viewer wants to see.
If anyone can do it, I think it’s him.
Nerds are hitting the web with their own perspectives on this, of course. Obviously we have. But only time will tell how things work out. I for one, remain hopefully optimistic and trust Abrams to do what he thinks best.
May the force be with you, JJ.