I know this news has been floating around for a day or so, but I didn’t want to post anything until it was official… And now it is! Disney have confirmed J. J. Abrams will be the director on Star Wars: Episode VII!
“To be a part of the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, to collaborate with Kathy Kennedy and this remarkable group of people, is an absolute honor,” J.J. Abrams said. “I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.”
So, what do we think?
Well, there are lots of extremely encouraging things about picking Abrams to direct. First, he did a stunning job on rebooting Star Trek. Most brilliantly, finding a way to make it new without trampling over everything that had come before, and risking the wrath of the fans. If he can do the same with Star Wars, that’ll be a major victory. There was a lot of talk early on when Disney announced there would be more movies, about how they would throw all the existing Expanded Universe stuff out of the window, and start again. However, I feel with someone like Abrams at the helm, there’s a good chance it’ll be more a merging of old and new. Yes, it’ll change, but his work on Star Trek proved he’s clever enough to realise riding roughshod over all the things that have kept Star Wars alive as a franchise is more likely to upset fans than endear them to the new movies.
Next, he’s a fan himself. Not only does he love the sci-fi genre, he loves Star Wars. If there’s one guy that’s going to want to make a Star Wars movie that doesn’t suck, it’s J. J! As a fan himself, he’s not going to want to be know as the director that screwed up the chance to make an awesome Star Wars film! He’s proven he understands sci-fi blockbusters. Star Trek, Cloverfield, and Super 8 all show this is very much in his wheelhouse, and that he can make great, interesting sci-fi, that isn’t just ‘tab a into slot b’ formulaic film fodder.
And lastly, this could also bode well for the Star Wars live action TV series. Similar to what they have done with Whedon on The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series, Disney have picked a director for Star Wars who has a proven track record on the small screen as well. With Abrams helming the movie, it would make sense that they’d also want him in control of the tv show.
Overall, I think Disney have made a really smart choice in their choice of director, and for me, 2015 can’t come soon enough!