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January 24, 2013
Star Trek Into Darkness helmer J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars: Episode VII for Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm, reports TheWrap. The site says that Ben Affleck was also in contention.
Back in November, Abrams commented on the possibility of him directing and it sounded like it wasn’t happening:
“Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. I frankly feel that – I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!”
TheWrap adds that Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy has been courting Abrams for the director’s chair for a while.
Star Wars: Episode VII is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015. Michael Arndt is writing the script. Disney and Lucasfilm are planning a new trilogy with a new movie coming every other year.
Okay I finally have a settled opinion about the new Star Wars.
And I’m okay with it. Before begin my argument, let me preface by saying that I ADORE Star Wars more than most things in my life. And while I love Disney, I was hesitant to feel one way or another about the announcement. It took me this long to formulate an educated opinion and this is what I’ve got so far:
- Michael Arndt is writing VII. Now granted, he may not have much under his belt. But what he does have makes my heart wrench with anticipatory agony (Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story III). As I tweeted last night “I can already feel myself sobbing into my popcorn”. So far, we know that he is heartfelt, witty, and smart. He makes intentional writing decisions (no aspect of what he writes is accidental), and knows how to tug on those little heart strings of ours. And say what you will but when each one of us goes into that theater at midnight two(ish) years from now, all of our hearts will skip a bit when the screen goes dark and all we see in a desolate, sorrowful but anticipatory shade of blue “A long time a go in a galaxy far, far away…”. In other words, it could be far far worse. And in this case, this is better than I had hoped.
- Avengers. Everyone knows the Avengers argument. Here’s my side of it. Avengers had INCREDIBLE success because of marketing; because it wasn’t a stand-alone film. Disney built up to it with each hero film they released and hinting at what would be it’s (up till then) final product. The movie marketed itself much in the way that re-makes and 3D versions of films market themselves. This will be the exact same case for Episode VII. Say what you will about Disney, they know how to market their shit. They have the proper resources and financial backing to make sure this film gets as huge as it was back in 1980 (I don’t say ‘77 because people were still a bit weary of the sci-fi action adventure that was the first of its kind. It’s a bit of a cult classic really but I digress…). And Disney has never steered Star Wars wrong or made a mockery of it (I can’t say the same for clothesline but that’s a different argument). Star Tours II is incredible and so much fun. And I still tear up every time a little girl or boy steps up to Darth Vader and swings their plastic saber at them at Jedi Training Academy in Tomorrowland. The fact that toddlers are in love with Star Wars says something: it hasn’t died. It can’t die. Do you know why…?
- A WHOLE NEW TRILOGY! Do you understand? We have a whole new series of films that are going to come out. I imagine this would be akin to Doctor Who fans who grew up with it in the 60s who still watch it today. We get to be part of something cinematically historical. Our generation was around in the height of all three Star Wars trilogies making an impact in pop culture and around the world. And what’s awesome is that this will stir interest in FURTHER generations. It literally cannot die. Just think of the amazing possibilities that these films hold. We have a lovely writer, a gigantic and strong fanbase, and a few years for people to calm their shit and just see what happens.
I’m not saying that it’s going to be awesome. I’m not saying it’s going to be terrible. But why let this be a bad thing? You may not like Disney, you may not like where Star Wars went with Episode I-III. But I think fans are going to have to learn to let it go. I know that I’ve been trying to do that (it’s really fucking difficult) but I want to make room something new and pleasant and awesome and explosions and planets and starships and strings of dry wit and monsters and JOHN WILLIAMS AND LIGHTSABER BATTLES AND THE CRAWL AT THE BEGINNING AND THE FIRST BAR OF THE SCORE WHEN THE WORDS “STAR WARS” BURSTS ONTO THE SCREEN AND—
—ahem. So yes. That is my assessment. Feel free to shoot me a message if you want to talk about this more.