Is Abrams a New Hope or Will This Be The Return of the Sith?
By Matt Click / December 18

In a move that has the geek world all aflutter, Disney has announced that J.J. Abrams (the guy that dazzled us with Star Trek and frustrated us with Lost) will helm Star Wars Episode VII, the first in a planned sequel trilogy. The choice is at once baffling and completely expected. Abrams is heading the Trek reboot films, including the upcoming Into Darkness, and also directed Super 8. The guy knows his science fiction. But directing both Star Trek and Star Wars? Is that even legal? I'm fairly certain it's explicitly forbidden by galactic law. Can one man handle that much power without going all Senator Palpatine, dissolving the Senate and forging a totalitarian Empire that plunges the galaxy into an age of darkness? The way I see it, there's a few ways ol' J.J.'s Star Wars sequel can go:

He Tries Too Hard, and Ruins Star Wars

J.J. Abrams grew up with Star Wars, and idolized directors like Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Their influence is plenty evident in Super 8 and Star Trek. At the end of the day, Abrams is a fan like you and me. And that's great -- he has an appreciation for this universe, and will try his damnedest not to mess it up. But then again, imagine the average Star Wars fan boy directing a Star Wars movie. That chill you just felt run up your spine at the very thought is evidence enough. J.J. could make a Star Wars movie that tries too hard, like the prequels, to connect itself to the original trilogy. Too many characters included, too many callbacks and in-jokes, too few unique stories, characters, and perspectives. It could become the Star Wars movie none of us want or need: the anti-prequel, attempting beyond its means to be the original trilogy. 

He Deviates Too Much, and Makes a Non-Star Wars Film

On the flip-side, what happens if Abrams tries to forge his own path, create a unique vision of the Star Wars universe ... and it's so far removed that we recognize nothing. There's no feeling of nostalgia, no remnant of the franchise we all know and love. With Star Trek, Abrams managed to make a fun sci-fi action movie that still retained the heart of the original Star Trek series. Can he do the same with the Star Wars franchise?

He Makes an Awesome Movie That Rekindles Star Wars and Saves the Universe

Well, alright, maybe he doesn't save the universe. But geez, what if this works? What if we get a good Star Wars movie? And then, holy hell, we get two more good Star Wars movies? It's not a dream -- it's a very real possibility. If Abrams handles the universe with respect and reverence  while also not clinging to nostalgia, we could have one of the best Star Wars films to date, something that captures the essence of the original trilogy without trying to hard to appease fan boys. Something fun and wondrous -- the Listerine we need to wash the taste of the prequels out of our mouths for good.   

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