Yesterday, we received a tantalizing bit of news. Now, dat stuff's official: J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars Episode VII. The only question left is, how excited should we be? The answer? Very.
Before the fanboys get in a tizzy, let's realize that the main man himself, George Lucas, is on board with this. For my sake, I like to imagine that the 1970s Lucas brain made the decision and not 2012 Lucas. You know, less Red Tails and more Captain EO.
So why is Abrams a good choice? First and foremost, he's a talented guy. Go ahead an bring up those less-than-stellar projects to which he's attached his name, like Cloverfield, Revolution, and lens flares. I'll just argue that he gave us Super 8 and the Star Trek relaunch, which are both fun and well made films. Sure, these movies haven't won him any Oscars, but with the way the Academy has been focused recently, there's a snowball's chance in Hell that Star Wars will win anything but recognition for special effects.
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Next, Abrams is a smart dude; he has his head in the right place. He knows to give the fans what they want (a sprawling spectacle of a sci-fi epic that doesn't stray too far from what made the original trilogy good in the first place) and to avoid what pisses them off (galactic trade routes and racist overtones). Lastly, I trust that Abrams will do his best to keep Star Wars on the screen as much as possible. As the documentary The People vs. George Lucas shows, Lucas began putting more of his focus on the marketing side of things rather than on the films themselves. Sure, this led to the brand we know and love (and Lucas making bank), but it also led to The Phantom Menace.
There's still one reason I'm the least bit worried about J.J. Abrams as the new director: Star Trek, but not for the reasons you may think. When it comes to the Trek vs. Wars debate, I've never given a damn; if that makes me wrong, I don't want to be right. They each have their own stories, fan bases, and reasons for people to enjoy them, and I frankly don't see why Abrams heading both projects should upset this balance. However, I do worry about his level of focus. Into Darkness is almost upon us, so that's most likely wrapped up. Yet it should come as no surprise that there's a third installment already planned. Which project, Episode VII or Star Trek 3, will get the majority of Abrams' attention remains to be seen.
All in all, he seems like a pretty good fit. He, along with the bevy of talent present today, should make for a worthwhile and memorable Star Wars flick. What do you guys think about all this? Is there any other director you think would be better for the job? Leave some comments southward, and I'll see you next time.