Get ready fans of the Force, you’re about to meet your newest accompanying special power: Lens flare!
That’s right boys and girls, according to several sources, including Deadline.com, the Los Angeles Times, MTV.com, and the Hollywood Reporter, the next installment of the Star Wars saga will be directed by none other than J.J. Abrams. Confused a bit like me? Of course you should be because let me throw out a quote from J.J. Abrams from Empire in December about rumors of his involvement with the storied franchise:
[quote][Lucasfilm president] Kathy Kennedy is a friend and there are no smarter producers,” he said at the time. “It’s in great hands. There were the very early conversations and I quickly said that because of my loyalty to ‘Star Trek,’ and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.[/quote]
Obviously something changed. Let’s just assume that Disney threw bunches of money at J.J. to test his actual loyalty to the Star Trek franchise. It is more than apparent Disney wants to launch the franchise in the biggest way possible and landing J.J., who is very well respected amongst all the filmmakers out there under consideration for this epic film series, is a huge get for Kathleen Kennedy and the Mouse House. It was interesting to note that Ben Affleck was listed in the article sources above as a frontrunner to take over the franchise. I think that would’ve been a great choice as well as it would solidify him as one of the premier directors out there but again, if you want the go-to guy in Sci-Fi, Abrams is it (unless you can get Ridley Scott a few decades ago).
I do like the selection of J.J. quite a bit as I do love Lost (even as convoluted as it got), Fringe and everything that he touches (except for the second half of Super 8). I’m also curious how this affects the Star Trek franchise. I think J.J. will be able to separate both franchises and make sure that we see new things as opposed to borrowed elements from both series (which, imagine if that happens, the internet message boards and trolls would be out in full force claiming one is a rip off another, people rioting at Comic-Con, cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria, that sort of stuff). I have faith in this plan because Michael Arndt is writing the new Star Wars Episode VII and he did a great job in incorporating family in Toy Story 3 and Little Miss Sunshine that I think it’ll be great if we follow the story of the Han and Leia kids. Again, we don’t know the actual story yet but we can assume that there will be so many hands involved with Star Wars, Abrams job will be to make sure it all clicks together on the big screen. With the Star Trek franchise, he was pretty much ‘it’ as producer and main decision-maker, let alone director on those flicks so I’m sure we’ll see the differences enough to make both enjoyable experiences.
I will say this, as soon as this news came out, I went “Wow.” He’ll do a good job and with the team behind him, they’ll make sure he doesn’t screw up too. Although if they borrow the monster from Cloverfield and Super 8, I’m going to have a Jar Jar moment. In case you need the information, Star Wars Episode VII is due out on 2015. Start getting excited friends.