So... Disney bought LucasFilm and the Star Wars franchise from George Lucas, announced plans for three more movies, and has already selected J.J. Abrams to direct the next film, which is apparently coming to big screens in the next few years.
I don't know what to make of it all. I'm fairly certain it's a good thing that George Lucas is no longer in charge. He proved with the prequels that he's not too good anymore with directing human actors or writing plausible dialog—among other faults (linked video is somewhat profane but hilarious and surprisingly insightful.)
But J.J. Abrams' involvement baffles me. I mean, he's already done so much, including the Star Trek reboot. I've enjoyed a lot of his work. But I'm deeply ambivalent about what he did with Trek. From Alias to Lost to Fringe, ultimately, the fate of the nation and/or world has hinged in painfully specific fashion on the back-story of the main characters. I watched enough Alias to realize that, had they wiped out Jennifer Garner's character and her family early on, the U.S. government could have eliminated threats occupying the entire attention of multiple international espionage agencies for years. In the end, everything was about her. I guess people like to believe such things about themselves, but it sure didn't work in the ending for Lost and such. Abrams took this insular approach directly to the Trek reboot, (spoiler alert) even making the utter destruction of a major federation planet a point of revenge against a key crew member. To me, that shrinks the expansive Trek universe and robs it of its potential wonder. Good sci-fi is not supposed to be that way.
On the plus side, one example of this kind of back-story working out is the first three Star Wars films. Perhaps that's because Star Wars is space fantasy, not science fiction, and the discovery of a secretly consequential fate for the young main character is a fantasy staple.
But I still feel ambivalent about J.J. Abrams taking the helm. What do you think?
Here's another way to consider that question, from Cyril: will the new sequels be better than the prequels were?
I guess I think they very well should be, with Abrams involved, but I fear that Disney has chosen a relatively secure mediocrity and a likely bankable product over the potential for true greatness.
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