Thursday, January 24, 2013
'Star Trek' director Abrams to helm Star Wars VII
A not so long time ago, in a theater in a nearby city …
It was a period of great joy for fans of “The Force.” Specifically it was the summer of 1997, the 20 year anniversary of the original launch of the “Star Wars” franchise, all three films that had been made to date were getting re-released theatrically, I was in the summer between sixth- and seventh-grade with not a lot going on other than junior high school football practices.
I had yet to be introduced to Star Wars, I wasn't yet the nerd I would become. That summer changed my life.
I got to see each of “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” and “Return of the Jedi” for the first time, in a movie theater in Toledo.
I went from being a casual fan of cartoons to being a huge science fiction fan, regardless of the format. My love affair with Star Wars, and by proxy George Lucas films was kicked into full force.
Fast forward two years, I'm a freshman in high school, “The Phantom Menace” is released for the first time. At the time I didn't hate it, and I still don't entirely – please don't hate on me my fellow forcelovers. I was young and naïve.
I tell you the back story of my love for that galaxy far, far away so I can talk about recent events in said galaxy. I've seen nearly everything Star Wars related in the more than 15 years since then, from the animated Ewoks and Droids cartoons to the boot-leg copy of the never released holiday special.
A few months ago, George Lucas decided to officially retire and he sold his company, along with the rights to the franchise – to the evil empire known as The Walt Disney Company – I was shocked, it took me days to form an opinion on what it meant.
Finally I decided that if he were truly done, that at least someone would get to continue on with the characters, locations and other iconic imagery from the universe as a whole. Plus since Disney had already bought Marvel Comics and their relate characters, maybe there would be some cool crossover toy lines, video games or other items.
Of course in the days, weeks and now months since the sale, and Disney's near immediate announcement that they were moving forward with a seventh live-action film. That spawned millions of rumors of what the plot would be, who would be in the movie, and more importantly who would be the director.
That question was answered recently when it was announced that JJ Abrams, a self-admitted fan, would helm the picture.
Generally I'd be ecstatic, I've long been a fan of Abrams, and haven't disliked any of his projects that I've seen. However there is one major flaw with this. Abrams wrote and directed the Star Trek reboot in 2009, as well as it's sequel “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” which is out this year.
It's one thing for a bit-part actor to play in both universes, but its blasphemy to have one man direct a movie for both franchises.
I'm at once both outraged, and excited. We as fans (admittedly I'm also a Trekker, but Shh...) can't allow this to happen, yet I wonder what he'll do, and how it'll be done.
So once again I'm in a quandry about what to think about the future of the franchise. More importantly if he's working on the next Star Wars film, he can't be working on the third installment of the Star Trek rebooted series, which is my biggest problem with the whole situation.