If you’ve been around on the internet this week you’ll notice that the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7 has finally had a director announced for it after a great deal of anticipation by fans of a galaxy, far, far away.
When it was first announced that Disney had bought the rights to Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise in October, many, including myself, were both shocked and cautious, as well as excited for what this would mean to the series as a whole. Would Episode 7 be a continuation of where we left off at the end of Return of the Jedi? Would it be a brand new universe of characters? Would Darth Vader return from the dead (ok, nobody would really want this as it would be a move merely for the money Disney could make off of the merchandising, but you get my point)?
Almost every director under the sun was attached to direct this blockbuster event; including Matthew Vaughn, who helmed the critically acclaimed X-Men ‘reboot’, X-Men First Class; Ben Affleck, who has had a great success as a director with his feature films The Town and this years Argo, which has been nominated for a number of awards; and Joss Whedon, famous as the man who made the huge Marvel team up movie, The Avengers, work on the big screen; a feat many thought would not be possible.
However, none other than JJ Abrams, current director of the Star Trek film series was handed the reigns to produce and direct one of the biggest science fiction films of the current generation. This has not been without controversy though. Many fans of the Star Trek franchise feel that by focusing on Star Wars, yet again they would be seen as second string on the silver screen when it comes to science fiction. Abrams is also not without his controversy either; he co-created the infamous Lost TV series which whilst starting strong, had a mixed reception in its latter seasons.
JJ Abrams has had his fair share of success nevertheless. His reboot of the Star Trek series of films was seen as a great revitalisation to a franchise of films which have had their highs and lows. As someone who has never had much of an interest in Star Trek (but does respect it greatly for what it has done for science fiction) prior to his reboot, I was greatly surprised at how great of a film he was able to produce. From the clips I have seen of the original Star Trek series, he seems to have nailed the characters of Spock and Captain Kirk, even offering a cameo to the mighty Leonard Nimoy, the original Spock, in the film. With a sequel on the way later this year which looks just as brilliant as the first, Abrams is a great candidate to direct Star Wars.
What does this mean for the fans of Star Wars though? I, like many others, was rather let down by George Lucas’s lackluster prequel films. They had their ups and downs but I think many would agree with me in saying that overall they were a disappointment compared to what they COULD have been.
But I think fans of the franchise can be rest assured that we will be given a grand Star Wars film with Abrams. He has proven that he knows how to direct science fiction well and in a solid manner – I highly doubt we have to worry about another Jar Jar Binks situation. Overall, I have no worries with Abrams directing the seventh installment of the series. I for one highly anticipate what he will be able to bring to the franchise that we all know and love.
And remember: live long and prosper… wait, wrong film.