According to The Wrap and other sources, J.J. Abrams is set to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. Despite earlier proclamations about his loyalty to the Star Trek films and ruled out a directing gig for Star Wars, it’s seems to have been a smoke screen to throw off people, especially snoopy journalists. The Wrap also claimed that Ben Affleck was strongly considered for the job. Maybe he’ll have a chance with Episode VIII.
J.J. Abrams has the credentials for this directing job. He created the acclaimed series Lost and even in that show his fan-worship of Star Wars came about, especially during season five when Hurley was stuck on the island in the 1970s and tried to write an improved screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back. He also co-created the just concluded sci-fi show Fringe and has a good track record as a director. While his first big-screen job was on Mission Impossible III, he came to prominence when he directed the reboot of Star Trek and then Super 8. In fact, one of the complaints about Star Trek was that it felt more like a Star Wars film with the big-action scenes and spectacular special effects. If anything, that film proved that he was one to seriously consider for a new Star Wars film. Regardless, he should be credited for bringing the franchise back from the dead even if it came in a slick package. It still worked. Fans should also look at Super 8, which showed that the director could helm believable and sympathetic characters, something that the Star Wars films need at this point. In other words, Abrams can bring out fine performances from his actors.
Abrams has said in the past that Star Wars was his passion and it makes sense that someone like him should direct the start of the next trilogy. He can be seen by many as a solid choice to direct the next Star Wars film but he has his detractors. Already the forums are burning up with statements of lens flares polluting Star Wars: Episode VII. Some people have reacted with a shrug and a “whatever” to this news. Some feel that his films are largely superficial and fail to deliver satisfying conclusions. Those are the fans that J.J. Abrams has to win over. Still Disney could’ve done far worse. At least it won’t be Zack Snyder.
One more thing, this probably means that a new director will be needed for another Star Trek film. Most likely Star Trek Into Darkness could be J.J. Abrams’ last Trek film because he’ll be busy.
Lewis T. Grove and C.S. Link