Here’s something you probably wouldn’t expect to hear from me: I am stupidly excited for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “What?” you say. Yes, the guy who directed the worst Star Trek film is involved with a movie I feel incredibly positive about, and his position as its director is part of the reason that I’m optimistic. Abrams’ devotion to utilizing as many practical effects as he can is refreshing, and since this is a franchise he actually cares about, I guarantee he is thoroughly invested in every aspect of the material (there’s no way he gave two shits about his Star Trek scripts. Even the first movie, which isn’t bad, has a terrible script).
We know that Rian Johnson is slated for Episode VIII, another great choice for this franchise, but we haven’t heard about the final installment’s director. If Latino Review is to be believed (I’d trust them with my non-existent first born child), it looks like Abrams will probably take one more trip into that galaxy far, far away. He’s listed as an executive producer for Episode VIII, so he’s not completely jumping ship at any time.
Abrams’ polished aesthetic and desire to be the next Spielberg jives so much better with Star Wars than it ever could have with Star Trek. You can tell that this isn’t a cash grab project for him, and though I’m not a fan of pretty much anything he’s directed (except the pilot for Lost), this seems like the film (or films possibly) that he was born to make.
I hope that this new trilogy of films manages to play with tone the way the original trilogy did, but I also hope that shift is guided by a grand overseer and Abrams seems like the obvious choice at this point. If he manages to usher in a return to focusing on practical sets and effects, then we all win.
I know you have opinions about this, Chewers. Don’t make me regret being upbeat.