When Star Wars Episode VII was announced last year it was with both delight and trepidation from the geek community. There was the same feeling’s as the late 90’s when Episode I was announced, but this time, there was something different. Lucas wouldn’t be directly involved, paving the way for a new vision of Star Wars and importantly, a new saga.
Many names were floated around, including from the excellent Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) to Steven Spielberg, but one man got the job, that man was J.J. Abrams. Abrams has become somewhat of Hollywood’s next big thing, he’s been around for a while of course, but with TV shows like Alias, and more importantly LOST, as well as huge movies like Cloverfield, Super 8 and Star Trek, it’s no surprise he was chosen to tackle Episode VII.
Abrams originally turned the job down, citing his involvement with the Star Trek franchise, but eventually came round to the idea, which he discussed with Empire in their upcoming J.J. Abrams special.
My knee-jerk reaction was that I’m in the middle of working on the Star Trek movie and I can’t even consider it. But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation. I went down to tell Katie, my wife and I said ‘I had just a very interesting conversation with Kathy.
When asked how he would be tackling this enormous responsibility he had this to say:
I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.
How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”
It seems like he has a huge amount of passion for the project, but this comes across in everything he does. What remains to be seen is whether he’ll be sticking around for Episode VIII or beyond. My feeling is he won’t be, and that Disney will be wanting a new director for each new Episode in the third trilogy. That’s not a bad thing as it allows them to bring in new ideas, something that ruined the original prequel. Imagine a Tarantino Star Wars film? The possibilities are exciting and they begin with the foundation that J.J. Abrams will lay with Star Wars: Episode VII which will arrive in 2015.