We still haven't received official word from Lucasfilm, Disney, the Kennedy/Marshall Company or anyone else with a proper press release confirming the news that J.J. Abrams has been hired to direct Star Wars Episode VII. But journalists and people in the know have at least tweeted that it's true, just not a done deal contractually. So, perhaps there's still a chance for all you haters to convince the studio and producers that they're making a terrible choice. Hopefully more intelligently than "No! Lens Flares!" If only because you're satisfied with Drew Struzan returning for the poster art, and his prequel designs were as flare-y as any Abrams movie.
But the discussion is raging around the Internet in response to the news. Some see Abrams as a "new hope" for the franchise, while others see his involvement as the worst thing to happen to the franchise since Jar-Jar. People don't think he's a strong enough director, or they don't think he should be allowed to do Star Trek and Star Wars (what next, a Stargate reboot?) or they expect him to be too nostalgic, referential and influenced by his inner fanboy. Some say he's too safe in being a Spielberg wannabe rather than being the "next Spielberg." His apparent 180-degree turn from not wanting to ever direct a Star Wars movie has people confused and annoyed, too. Oh, and look what he did with Harrison Ford in Morning Glory, which he produced.
Those on his side have highlighted his use of practical (actual) environments, the fact that he has both the clout and fandom needed to maintain franchise integrity, and simply that he's a great director and storyteller. Many have excitedly mentioned the idea of Michael Giacchino taking over for John Williams (not that there's any reason for Williams not to do it). One critic even claims Abrams is the right choice because "he's not very good." And in spite of that 180-degree thing, another critic says Abrams wouldn't do it if he didn't think he could do it right and well. Oh, and look what he did with Harrison Ford in Regarding Henry, which he wrote.
As with anything we have a long way of seeing, it's hard to make a judgment call so early. There have been some really great and some really terrible Star Wars films and TV projects. And Abrams has made some really great and really terrible films and TV projects. Maybe they're made for each other, whether the result is good Star Wars but bad Abrams or vice versa or any other combination. We prefer more Empire Strikes Back/Lost than Phantom Menace/Super 8. But it's okay if he just does Phantom Menace/Lost, because Hurley was at least an improvment on the Jar-Jar role.
Are you for or against J.J. Abrams directing the next Star Wars film?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
Join the next discussion on Twitter by following Christopher Campbell (@thefilmcynic) and Movies.com (@Moviesdotcom).