The next Star Wars to be directed by J.J. Abrams – my thoughts


After days of rumors (or maybe weeks; I don’t get out much), it’s been confirmed that J. J. Abrams has been selected to direct the next installment in the Star Wars franchise, now owned by Disney, with an expected release sometime in 2015.

Some additional details:

Screenwriter Michael Arndt, who won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine, is penning the script, and Episode VII is being produced by Abrams, Bryan Burk, Abrams’ Bad Robot company and Kennedy under the Disney/Lucasfilm banner.

Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg have signed on to be consultants on the project. Kasdan was a screenwriter on two Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Backand Return of the Jedi, as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Kinberg was writer onSherlock Holmes and Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Obviously this, or any news actually, has the Interwebs in an uproar – positively, negatively, and snark-ely.



I for one am excited, on MANY fronts. And it takes a lot to get a guy my age excited, blue pill notwithstanding. Star Wars, when it was released in ’77, was a seminal moment in my life. I admit, as seminal as anything can get for a 7 year old, but there it is. As silly or trite as it may sound, it was literally life-changing. Every scrap of interest I ever had in science fiction, space exploration, technology, communications, gadgets, and so on can be traced back to that day I saw Star Wars in the theater. Seriously. No joke. If it wasn’t for SW, things may have turned out a lot differently for me.

When Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, was released, I was ten, and still to this day remember how amazed I was at the opening Hoth battle. And I do believe it still holds my record for most number of times watched. Hot Stuff with Dom DeLuise is a close second (strange time in my adolescence, don’t ask), and perhaps The Fifth Element is soon to pass it, but Empire still shocks and awes. So when the announcement was made that a prequel trilogy was going to be filmed, decades after Return of the Jedi, that feeling of impending shock and awe returned. Only to be replaced with disgust and loathing. And Jar Jar.

Yes, the choice of J. J. Abrams may be controversial, as in, “Hey, he’s not a Star Wars guy.” But maybe that’s a good thing considering where Lucas had taken the last three films: great effects, laughable acting and storyline. I’ve been an Abrams fan for quite some time (Alias is still one of my favorite television shows), and he actually does have geek cred: Fringe, Super 8, Cloverfield (say what you want, still entertaining), and a fabulous reboot of the Star Trek franchise. Not to mention he’s got the handle on storylines, both individually (Person of Interest for example) and full arcs (Lost). Yes, I understand he was ‘only’ executive producer on some of those, but still part of his resumé. And he did write Lost…

Back to Star Wars. That 1977 movie set me on a different path. Seriously. I quickly was swept into Battlestar Galactica, Star Blazers after school cartoons, Star Trek TNG, and so on, and never looked back. When the Star Wars prequel was released, I thought maybe this would be a seminal moment in my kids’ lives. Alas and alack, it was not. I can’t expect a movie in the 21st century to hold the same wonder and amazement for today’s youth as it did for mine. But I can expect that they’ll dig it, and maybe their imaginations will be stirred a bit.

What are your thoughts on Abrams’ selection? Looking forward to a new Star Wars? Dubious? Excited? Don’t give a $%&$?