When discussing the new Star Wars trilogy with friends my opinion was always something in line with the following:
I’m excited for VII, VIII and VIV. They’ve always been in some form of development and when they come out it will be really special. After that, who knows. The thing that excites me most is that filmmakers who were inspired by the original trilogy, will finally get to add to that universe, something Lucas’ stranglehold on the prequels lacked.
Now that JJ Abrams is confirmed to direct the newest movie, I’m forced to eat that last statement. No other filmmaker has shown his love for the Spielberg/Lucas era than Abrams (although thus far his tributes have been Spielberg focused) so it makes sense that he would continue the definitive blockbuster movie saga.
But is he the best choice? Sure, he took the other big science fiction franchise and turned it into a “fun and watchable action-packed thrill ride,” film with an upcoming sequel that’s the biggest summer blockbuster of the year. It stands to reason he will do the same after the disappointing prequels only had a bout 1 hour’s (a generous amount) worth of exciting action sequences.
So wherein lies the problem? It isn’t that the new trilogy won’t be a “true Star Wars film.” That idea died with the prequels and Disney avoided that issue by choosing the science fiction community’s second favorite filmmaker from the current generation, the first being relegated to an Avengers only schedule. The problem lies in the probability that Abrams may have used up his best space opera visions on the new Star Trek franchise.
I’m in no way saying that Star Wars and Star Trek are in any way similar outside of their title. The differences are the reasons why I have only seen two Star Trek films ( only enjoyed the latest) and why I have failed to get through the show’s pilot on multiple occasions. Now the franchises are open to even more unnecessary comparisons, despite the script being already underway from a different writer.
The true essence of a decision like this is that for every choice there has to be at least one (in this case many) non-choice. Abrams was the choice over Whedon, the non-choice, since he is being incubated in the Marvel universe and another franchise would keep him from other passion projects. Duncan Jones and Rian Johnson were also non-choices, likely because they haven’t helmed a large franchise and Disney couldn’t afford to take a risk. Hopefully they’ll contribute somewhere down the line. Finally, the other rumored favorite, Brad Bird, was knocked out – despite his more than adequate success with the latest Mission Impossible - due to fellow Pixar alum,
John Lasseter Andrew Stanton directing the bomb John Carter.
So here we have a list of non-choices each with a reason for being so and for every reason there are just as many for why they would have been the perfect choice and just as boring and potentially as unsatisfying and that’s the true issue. Myself and other fans could never be pleased with whomever they chose just as its impossible for all to be pleased with the end result. Hopefully most of us will.
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