Today: Jun 18, 2024

May the force be with Abrams

Ryan Ianni – Staff Writer

Just a mere two and a half months ago, my inner nerd had the opportunity to literally run amok, as it was made public knowledge that my all time favorite film series would be returning once again to the big screen: Star Wars.

Since this revelation was brought to the world’s attention, there has been absolute chaos in terms of the specifics of the upcoming films.

Who is going to star? Will Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia be played by the original actors? What time period will the new trilogy take place in? Who is going to direct?

Well, those of us who have such a passion and longing to know every single detail about that galaxy far, far away have just been given a massive piece of the puzzle to spur opinions and debate, with the announcement that J.J. Abrams has officially been signed to direct Star Wars Episode VII.

There has been an absolute gluttony of directors mentioned in the past couple months as to who would take the helm of this influential series.  Ranging from Zack Snyder to Quentin Tarantino, and even George Lucas’ longtime friend Steven Spielberg.

However, when the dust settled, it was Abrams who was the last man standing.  As I let the information seep into my brain when the decision was made known to the masses, I calmly and rationally came to the conclusion that this is a brilliant choice.

Abrams’ body of work has been nothing short of impressive when you take a look at the success he has had, both in television and in major filmmaking.

He is a renaissance man in the film world, serving as a writer/director/producer, which basically means, he does everything.

He has created three massively popular television series in his young career.  The TV show Alias, which turned Jennifer Garner into a much sought after actress, was one of Abrams’ first brainchildren.

Post Alias, Abrams pitched a show to Fox about a group of people who crash land on an island and must come to terms with their new home.  Sounds fairly simple, but this was in fact the birth of the enigmatic show Lost.  It was consistently one of the highest rated shows on cable television, and it truly put Abrams on the map.

He made his return to television, to the joy of many, this past year he helped create what has become one of NBC’s best-rated shows of the fall lineup, Revolution.

However, it is Abrams’ film exploits, which make him such a solid candidate to guide the newest rendition of Star Wars films.

In 2006, he took control of the Tom Cruise action series, Mission Impossible, by directing the third venture.  To date it is my favorite entry in the series, and it is when I first took notice of Abrams as a major director to be reckoned with.

But what truly makes Abrams such a solid choice is the last two films that he has completed and are both deeply entrenched in the sci-fi world.

First was Super 8, a homage to blockbusters of the past, as well as a modern day rendition of E.T. in many ways.  However, what endeared him to so many, and what is his most critically acclaimed file to date is the 2009 reboot of Star Trek.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a “trekkie,” which for those of you who are unfamiliar is a fan of the Star Trek series.  Yet despite my lack of enthusiasm for that series, I still can pay tribute to the commercial success it displayed, especially from the sci-fi world.

One last point worth mentioning, but I believe is key to this assessment, is Abrams’ age.  He is 46-years-old.  This means that when Star Wars Episode IV was originally released, Abrams was 11.  What do I think this means? I think this means that he was of the age when the material and the whole world of Star Wars could dig itself into his young mind and take hold there, like it has for so many of us.

Star Wars is an enduring franchise, and it’s hard to see it ever truly vanishing, but it will be a slow, often painful process for those of us who adore that galaxy, which doesn’t always seem so far away.

With Abrams at the helm, for at least the first installment, I feel a little more at ease that my favorite series will be steered toward the brilliance that the original trilogy displayed so well.  So, as always, may the force be with us all.

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