STAR WARS: Episode VII has it’s director!

Written by Jeff Snyder 

So it has just been announced that JJ Abrams will direct the next Star Wars film. The Wrap.com reports that Abrams will take the job despite earlier having turned down the opportunity in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. The reports of Abrams taking the helm of the new Star Wars films were later confirmed by Entertainment Weekly. The Wrap also reports that Ben Affleck, coming off his successful showing as director of Argo, was in the running to take the difficult task of directing the films. As of right now, there are no distinctions as to whether Abrams is contracted for just the first of the new films or the entire planned trilogy, which starts in 2015.

SWepisodeVIIWith “Little Miss Sunshine” writer Michael Arndt writing the film and Abrams directing, I feel fairly confident we don’t have another Phantom Menace on our hands. My only worry is that this film series could act as something of a poisoned chalice for any director brave enough to take the job. With the massive fan base it has built over the years, there is an incredible level of pressure and an almost unattainable level of expectation that simply comes with the territory when you are working with something as beloved as the Star Wars franchise. George Lucas learned that lesson the hard way with the Star Wars prequels. JJ Abrams, however, is a better director than George Lucas, in this writer’s humble opinion, and has experience handling massive amounts of sci-fi fanboy pressure. He handled it well enough to get a sequel out of his Star Trek reboot series. With this directorial appointment, I think that Disney has made an incredibly good decision as to the direction that they want to take this franchise. Abrams won’t have too much time to waste getting to work on his new film, however, with Star Wars: Episode VII scheduled to be released in 2015. I, for one, will be keeping a very close eye on the development either, and I know that I’m not the only one.



  1. J. Shaw says:

    For me, Mr. JJ Abrams seems like a natural fit for this project, considering in some of the interviews I’ve seen with Abrams on the set of filming his Star Trek movie a few years ago, he stated he always considered himself to be more of a Star Wars fan, but thought it would be cool to put a different spin on the Star Trek franchise when given the opportunity. I don’t feel the Star Wars franchise will be a poisoned chalice for JJ at all, considering his fantastic history with everything he’s done.

    Obviously I’m a huge Abrams/Bad Robot fan, but in regards to Abrams vs. Lucas as far as their directing abilities go, these guys grew up in different generations, developed their careers with different tools at their disposal (or none of the ones needed at all until invented by them, as was the case with Lucas and ILM), have encountered different challenges, red tape, etc, as well as the fact that as a director ages, their views on the world change and ultimately directing/movie making skills change along with them. Mr. Lucas has only personally directed a small handfull of films, bit has always been a fantastic producer and behind-the-scenes guy. American Graffiti, THX-1138 and SWANH (Ep.IV) were phenomenal. Irvin Kershner on Empire and Richard Marquand on Jedi, both did a fantastic job as well. I think that as jaded adult fan boys and girls, the bar has been set extremely high in regards to our expectations for the prequel trilogy that was. A perfect example would be that those movies were HUGE hits (and still are) with my kids and nephews, whom upon the films’ releases, were the same age that I was when the original trilogy came out when I was a kid and I fell in love with a galaxy far, far away. Hell…I had all the shirts, lunchboxes, action figures/vehicles, Underoos, records, VHS tapes (multiple editions, mind you), plastic model kits and novelizations. I even grew up to be a life sized action figure myself by becoming a member of the charity based organization the 501st Legion, going so far as to even create one of the detachments of the Legion. Super fan? Uh, yeah…I guess so…LOL. Growing up with such high expectations and canonizing the original trilogy in my mind the way I had for so many years, the prequels were an utterly disappointing to me when they came out, as they were so many others, be it fair to Uncle George’s vision, or not. As I was saying though, my kids and nephews loved the prequels, however, and I’ve learned to appreciate them for the part of the story and saga that they are 🙂

    As for an example of what I was saying above, in regards to how a director’s style and views evolve over time, I was a fan of some of the earlier Kevin Smith films before he became a bit more mainstream. I don’t care for his newer films nearly as much. Mr. Smith has stated himself that he’s an older man at a different stage in his life, and even of he wanted to, being the person he is now, there’s no way he would direct a movie like Clerks or Mallrats the way he did back when he made them. Given that this director seems to be getting only better and better with each project he is involved with, I have the utmost faith that JJ Abrams will give this highly scrutinized franchise a bit of his Midas touch, and the fact that he himself is a Star Wars fan, I’m sure he could appreciate what would make a great Star Wars flick from a fans point-of-view and is taking into consideration any lessons that are to be had, if any, from the most recent Star Wars prequel films made. Most notably, in my opinion, remember who will be scrutinizing you and your movies: Not the 8-12 year old kids that have grown up with Disney XD, Cartoon Network and “The Suite Life of Zach and Cody”…but the brutal fan boys and girls from generations past 😉

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