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Mid-Week Poll: Will J.J. Abrams Save ‘Star Wars’ or Ruin It?

Last week, nerd worlds collided when Lucasfilm’s new corporate owners at Disney announced that the next ‘Star Wars’ movie will be directed by J.J. Abrams, the man currently holding the reins of the ‘Star Trek’ franchise for Paramount. Is this a great idea, or a terrible one? Vote in our poll.

Abrams’ ‘Star Trek‘ reboot was an enormous hit that breathed some much-needed life into a stagnating franchise, and proved broadly popular with both general audiences and many existing fans. Its upcoming sequel is one of this year’s most highly anticipated summer tentpole pictures. Yet it wasn’t universally beloved. A contingent of die-hard Trekkies (and no, I will not call them “Trekkers”) were unhappy with the way that the director tampered with forty years of franchise continuity. For myself, although I found the movie greatly entertaining, I was a little disappointed in the way that it focused exclusively on superficial action and spectacle without any of the big philosophical ideas that series creator Gene Roddenberry originally tried to infuse into ‘Star Trek’.

To be fair to Abrams, the director has freely admitted that he grew up more of a ‘Star Wars’ fan than a ‘Star Trek’ fan. He may be even better suited to taking over ‘Star Wars’ than he was ‘Trek’. And quite frankly, ‘Star Wars’ has never been a particularly deep or intellectual series. If Abrams can bring the same sense of fun and adventure, as well as the same attention to character, that worked so well in his ‘Star Trek’ movie to ‘Star Wars’, he could be greatly successful.

Even so, I feel a little uneasy about letting one man control both the ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ franchises. Something about that notion rubs me the wrong way.

What are your thoughts on this?

How Do You Feel About J.J. Abrams Taking Over 'Star Wars'?

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Here’s a bonus poll while we’re at it. Cast your vote in the eternal nerd debate: Which franchise do you like better?

Which Is Better: 'Star Trek' or 'Star Wars'?

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In related news, after the box office disappointment of last year’s ‘The Phantom Menace – 3D’, Disney also announced that plans for future 3D conversions of the remaining ‘Star Wars’ movies have been put on indefinite hold.

36 comments

    • Dom

      Best comment I have seen on this news so far. This sums up almost everything I have seen from Abrams and his friends.

      I’d also add that it will be anti-intellectual.

  1. There’s nothing in JJ’s past work that leads me to believe the next Star Wars film will be anything less than spectacular. It’s not about lens flares people, it’s about storytelling…and JJ is damn good at that.

    • William Henley

      I agree 100%. I couldn’t be more excited about them casting him as director. If you have him, and get a halfway decent screenplay, this could be the best Star Wars yet! Something Lucas doesn’t have his hands on! Disney owns the rights! I mean, unless Disney wants to rewrite the story and have Luke and Leah not be related, and have them fall in love instead, and big bad Vader can turn himself into an ugly old woman or a dragon or something. No, if this movie gets effed up, it will be because of Disney, not because of JJ Abrams.

    • People who want to hate on J.J. without anything to back it up always bring up the Lens flares. Silly really.

      Considering what they had to do with star trek, the result was pretty amazing.

  2. I’ve learned to stop getting my hopes up in regards to Star Wars. It most likely won’t be up to my standards, but at the very least Ol’ Georgie is finally handing over the reigns. The franchise desperately needs a fresh perspective and not a boatload of ass-kissers constantly parroting “That’s great, George!”

  3. tomandshell

    JJ will make it for the fans. George made the prequels for himself and his kids, and bad luck for the audience if they didn’t like Jar-Jar, space politics, etc. Abrams will serve up exactly what fans want, but I think that some of the odd, unexpected, eccentric and whimsical touches are part of what give Star Wars its identity, and JJ/Disney will be too reverential to add anything like that. I expect to see a fun film that is basically JJ’s version of the top ten things fanboys want to see in a Star Wars movie, with nothing else thrown in that might divide or surprise.

  4. Matt

    Star Wars just makes more sense for JJ’s style than Star Trek, though I am very grateful for him being able to revive Trek. His take on Kirk, et al was very fun but I did miss the “Big Ideas” (at the risk of being preachy sometimes) that Trek was really about.

    Star Wars has always been about the Action/Adventure. JJ will do well.

  5. It bugs me that the same guy is heavily invested in both franchises. I like Abram’s film work, but now the franchises won’t be stylistically dissimilar enough. Instead of two cool sci-fi film series to choose from, the distinctions will partly collapse and the universes, both merging, will rip each other apart as they did in Fringe. Abrams must send a machine back in time to which he is the biological key to operating it, so he can contain this cross-dimensional contamination and ultimately sever the link. He may be erased from existence, but saving two universes is ultimately worth the price.

    In and of itself, however, yes, I am cautiously optimistic concerning Star Wars: Episode VII. It is no longer in Lucas’ now ruinous hands and it could be something halfway decent.

    Also, why couldn’t we get a sidequel trilogy updating us on what Jar Jar Binks was up to during the empire’s Death Star era? I bet he got into some shenanigans!

  6. JM

    J.J. is a solid poser, probably the safest hack on the short list, and will direct the shit out of ‘Little Miss Star Wars.’

    Throw in some Yuen Woo-ping, Amber Heard as Mark Hamill’s illegitimate niece, a pink lightsaber, Chewbacca, and John Noble as a Sith Lord…

    It’s naive to expect a $1 Billion movie to be good. It’s an ad to sell toys.

    But maybe J.J. will win a Clio.

  7. I believe that J.J. will freaking rock this thing if left to his own devices. I’m worried about outside influences though. I know he’s not directly involved, but the shadow of Lucas is still there. Call me cautiously optimistic. And kind of terrified.

  8. JoeRo

    There’s no way Abrams can screw up Star Wars since it’s already hit rock bottom. At worst there will be some needless ties to the rest of the Abramsverse that is completely out of place (slusho anyone?), but I can’t imagine anything being worse than the prequels. I’d rather watch an Adam Sandler movie than watch one of those things. I mean it.

  9. David

    Even if JJ does a terrible job, it’s sure to be a substantial improvement over what Lucas did with the the prequel trilogy.

  10. As Ben says – he will save it and ruin it. It will sell like crazy because it’s Star Wars, but it will have the same hollow feeling that most of his other movies have (including Star Trek.)

    • That hollow feeling uou speak of is the space where the rest of us keep our hearts.

      You don’t like his work but the numbers don’t lie, a metric f$^k ton do.

      Apparently you don’t watch Fringe his finger prints are all over that series, trust me after Alias, Lost, and Fringe he has more than enough cred in that department.

  11. Pyronaut

    I’m actually excited that there will be another Star Wars that’s in the hands of a proven director. Can you imagine that nerdgasms that will erupt after the first teaser trailer?

    I’m not as much of an original trilogy hater as many are, but I will acknowledge that there were a lot of annoying things about original trilogy movies, and Abrams will probably learn from that give the fans what they want.

    He won’t be directing the next Star Trek film, only producing, so I don’t think there will be as much of a conflict of interest as most people think.

  12. I’m a HUUUUUGGGGEEEE Star Wars fan, so I’m torn over the whole “new Star Wars – Yay!!” and “But Lucas isn’t the main figure behind anymore – Booo!!” thing. Regardless of the flaws with the prequels, I love that it is essentially one person’s vision. It gives it a soul that can be lacking in more ‘franchised’ films… Lucas may not be perfect, but he’s taken chances with his work that no-one else could have or would have. Look at it this way, who seriously thinks any studio would green-light a serious of three big-budget films where the lead turns into the ultimate bad guy at the very end?

    It could go either way with Abrams, I reckon. He’s got his good points and bad points. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  13. Defshep

    I am thankful for his involvement. The guy brought the Mission:Impossible franchise back from near death, and increased Star Trek’s fanbase (yes, my wife even liked a Star Trek movie). Maybe he will actually involve use of models for the ships, as he did in ST. The less cgi, the better.

    • RollTide1017

      Not to burst your bubble but no models were used in his first ST movie. Everything in space was CGI, even the lens flares. They say this many times on the BD making of docs. They also state that the Enterprise was one of the largest and most detailed CG model ILM has ever built.

  14. Sim_Mat

    Abrams will make a better Star Wars film than any of the Prequels (not that this is hard, I’ve deposited things in toilet bowls that could make a better Star Wars movie than any of the Prequels)

    If you look at the look and the feel of Super 8, it is a very good, if perhaps a bit slavish, duplication of the exact kind of films Lucas and Spielberg had a hand in in the early 80′s. The story was shit, but the atmosphere was spot-on. If Abrams can make his star Wars look and feel like the Original Trilogy (and I would be very surprised if that wasn’t what he was aiming for) then it will be a great addition to the Star Wars universe IF it has a decent story. The story is everything. Abrams has all the technical and dramatic skills any director could ever need. Whether the new Star Wars is good or bad is entirely down to the quality of the script!

  15. RollTide1017

    why do people think JJ can’t or won’t direct Trek 3 now? Why are people convinced that the next Trek will come out in 2015 when there were 4 years between the first two? If the gap is that long again I see no reason why JJ couldn’t find the time to direct both. This conflict of interest stuff is a bunch of hogwash. If directors couldn’t put the last movie they made behind them, they’d never make anything new. As long as the scripts are good and entertaining for both series then I don’t have any issues with JJ directing both, especially if the results are as good as his first Trek.

    • Sim_Mat

      Abrams’ Trek seems cool on the surface but dig below that surface and well, let’s be frank, it sucks. The plot is a contrived mess that is more like Star Trek: Nemesis than anyone is willing to admit. But you all know its true. Can anyone explain to me how Nero’s character and his motivations and ultimate goals, are any different from Shinzon’s? Then even look almost identical.

      I have no problem with the look of the film (though the scale of the ships was seriously out of whack) but man, its a very poor story.

      But if Abrams is given a decent script, which isn’t some bullshit reboot, then I can’t see star Wars going too wrong. It might even be solidly entertaining. I’d be happier with a solid movie that focuses on character than an over the top exhausting spectacle.

  16. bhlombardy

    Abrams directing… I have no problem with that. He’s a talented director and has proven himself in the genre.

    It’s the WRITING of the film(s) we ought to concern ourselves with.