'Star Wars: Episode 7' and J.J. Abrams: 10 Reasons Why We Think This is a Good ThingScreenCrush Staff |
The news that J.J. Abrams would be the man to direct 'Star Wars: Episode 7' and lead the 'Star Wars' franchise into a new era was met with mixed response today. While there were many who loved the news, there were others quick to shout "lens flare!" and rain on the 'Star Wars' parade.
But we think J.J. Abrams on 'Star Wars' is a good thing. We think it's good for 'Star Wars,' 'Star Trek' and fans of both franchises. Why? This is why. Here are 10 reasons why J.J. Abrams directing 'Star Wars' is a good thing.
A director who's a huge fan of a franchise isn't always a good thing. Sometimes they'll make decisions with their hearts instead of their heads. But J.J. - who is a self-professed 'Star Wars' fanatic - will bring passion back to a franchise that had completely lost all its passion. The last three 'Star Wars' films (and let's not mention the cartoons) reeked of a cash grab as George Lucas was inching towards retirement.
J.J. Abrams is not an up-and-coming director. He's not a hire that is basically a puppet being controlled by producers and George Lucas. J.J. comes with some considerable clout and is not afraid to flex that muscle for what he believes in. Few people over the years have had the stones to stand up to George Lucas and with the big man out of the way, J.J. Abrams will be able to step up to the plate and make the 'Star Wars' film he wants to make.
Some of the names we had heard as potential 'Star Wars' directors were interesting names but hardly had any experience directing on the scale of a 'Star Wars' movie. 'Safety Not Guaranteed' was a great movie and Colin Trevorrow is going to go on to make some great films but 'Star Wars: Episode 7' as his second film seemed like a big leap. And we love Ben Affleck as a director but 'Star Wars' seems way out of his wheelhouse. Abrams created 'LOST,' directed a 'Mission: Impossible' film and rebooted the 'Star Trek' franchise, which gives him the perfect amount of experience to handle 'Star Wars: Episode 7.'
With the 'Star Wars' franchise, we didn't want Lucasfilm to settle for a director or take a big risk. According to reports, Abrams is who they wanted early on. He initially passed because of his 'Star Trek' commitment but they were persistent and eventually were able to convince him. That they wanted J.J. and spared no expense to go and get him (and at this point in his career, J.J. Abrams ain't comin' cheap) shows great faith in both their director, the material and that they won't get cheap with the new franchise.
Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino has worked with J.J. Abrams on all of his films so far (plus 'Alias' and 'LOST'). That he would join him on 'Star Wars' seems like a forgone conclusion. It would be weird to hear a 'Star Wars' film without John Williams, we have to think that Giacchino - Williams' heir apparent - would make a great replacement.
The last few 'Star Wars' films got away from big action and got into big politics and let's face it, that got boring very quickly. When the opening crawl of your 'Star Wars' film is "The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute," you might be losing sight of what made the films so popular in the first place. We're not advocating a 45-minute car chase, but if there's anyone who can stage an epic and memorable action sequence, it's J.J. Abrams.
Let's face it - the 'Star Wars' franchise is in desperate need of a strong female character. Minus Princess Leia, 'Star Wars' has been lacking in this department over the years. From Felicity to Sydney Bristow, Abrams has experience creating a strong female voice. We have to think he'll use that to create a character who's smart and strong and every bit as tough as the male Jedis. Jennifer Lawrence anyone?
'Star Wars' aside for a second, we think J.J. Abrams directing 'Episode 7' is a good thing for the 'Star Trek' universe. Yes, it plunges that franchise into uncertainty without a captain to steer its shift but this is one of Paramount's biggest properties and they'll work to replace Abrams quickly. As much as we love Abrams, he's a guy with his hands in a lot of projects, which, often times, would slow things down. A new director could expedite the expansion of the 'Star Trek' universe into a rebooted TV series and a third film that won't take years to develop.
Hey, Edgar Wright said it best himself. Simon Pegg has starred in J.J.'s 'Mission: Impossible III' and his reboot of 'Star Trek' so why not go for the trifecta and cast Simon Pegg as a Jedi?
OK, so being a good guy isn't worth a whole lot in Hollywood - it's show business, not show friends as they like to remind us - but it can make us just happy for J.J. Abrams. As we saw last month, Abrams personally screened the new 'Star Trek' movie for a fan just days before he died. He didn't do it for publicity, just out of the kindness of his heart. It's that kind of attention to the fans that makes us just happy that J.J. Abrams is the guy taking over the 'Star Wars' movies.