I awoke one day and twitter was all abuzz about JJ Abrams signing on to direct the next Star Wars film. If you have been in hibernation for the past few months, George Lucas sold LucasArts to Disney, and Disney announced that Star Wars: Episodes VII-IX will happen. Episode VI is expected to come out in 2015.
Now, I’ve loved Star Wars for most of my life. That’s true, I think, for a lot of people who were born after the first three films came out. I enjoy the prequels—they do a number of things very well, though they have their shortcomings. Honestly, much better than any of the films is the current series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which is expected to move from Cartoon Network* to DisneyXD after this season, now that ownership of the series has changed hands. Hopefully, none of the content of Clone Wars will change. It’s seriously just . . . so much better than the films. Have a marathon of Clone Wars with some friends and then try to watch one of the films. It’s a weird experience.
I am cautiously optimistic about Disney’s ownership of LucasArts. I mean, Disney is a giant, terrifying corporation. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to quality. This is the company that made the iconic movies that dominated just about everyone’s childhoods. They’re not out to ruin the franchise that they just paid billions of dollars to buy. Plus, Leia is a Disney Princess, now. Super exciting.
Now, JJ Abrams will be directing the next film. Once I have learned all that I can about something, I usually react fairly quickly with “I love this” or “I hate this.” According to high-powered executives on some comedy shows (like Better Off Ted), that would make me a great leader. However, when the JJ Abrams-as-director thing was announced, I had a more cautious reaction.
First of all, JJ Abrams destroyed the planet Vulcan in his first Star Trek film, for which I will never forgive him (yes, the planet is ugly and brown, but seriously the Vulcans are awesome leave them alone). At least now he will be in a setting where the destruction of planets is less of a shock and more of a fact of life.
JJ Abrams’ previous projects are . . . well, interesting. He did a wonderful thing for Star Trek. And while I have some issues with a few things from the 2009 Star Trek film and while all that I know from the trailers for the next Star Trek film is that there will be many explosions and that Benedict Cumberbatch’s face is as ridiculous as his name, I’m glad that he’s doing it.
Lost is much-acclaimed by some people but irritates me to no end. That said, JJ Abrams really just did the pilot of it and then the writers and showrunners after that kind of had no idea where they were going with it. The best things that I can say about Lost is that they had two former cast members from Babylon 5 and that Lost was filmed on the same island as Dante’s Cove.
Fringe is definitely a weird show (and it recently had its finale), but it’s a truly enjoyable show that I . . . did not watch all of the way through.
So I really think that we should be open-minded about JJ Abrams taking on Star Wars. That said, I was “open-minded” about M. Night Shyamalan adapting the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender (one of the greatest shows of all time) into a live-action film, and The Last Airbender turned out to be an outrageous abomination. I’m not saying that I would kill him, but if M Night Shyamalan were dying of thirst and I had an unlimited supply of water, I don’t know that I would share. And I don’t even drink water.
So, JJ Abrams needs to be careful and make something that will please the show’s fans and possibly even attract some new ones. But we should not just dismiss him or these new Star Wars films because we’ve been disappointed in the past.
*This is probably for the best, as Cartoon Network apparently likes to cancel its best and most well-rated shows. Like, for example, Young Justice is ranked #2 on IMDB of Cartoon Network’s shows, but they have failed to renew it for a third season. I am all kinds of outraged over this. They’re keeping The Annoying Orange and some of their other, um, “stellar” programming. Oh, and they’re continuing to air live-action shows. On Cartoon Network. Because that makes so much sense. (No but seriously I am so irate with them)