The same director that got us Lost on a cancelled Alcatraz is going to be taking over the helm of at least one of the new Star Wars films slated for release in 2015. While I am vociferously critical of some of his shows, he did bring us Alias, and managed to get the defibs on the chest of Star Trek before the franchise flat-lined into obscurity. While I am excited for the new movies, and part of me is excited to see who they have directing (I loved the new Star Trek), I’m also a little nervous. Abrams is known for good action, suspenseful story-telling, and tempered humor, he is also known for confusing plot lines, overuse of the red herring (only good with butter and lemon), and unfathomably stupid characters. The one bright, shining hope he has for us is he is a fanboy as well. He loves the original movies, so we can all relatively be assured that he knows them well enough not to jack them up. He should have a good grasp of the theme of the movies, the feel of the stories and characters, and the direction of the Star Wars universe. If I had to say one thing about Abrams it would be that he is adaptive. I know a lot of directors whose stuff I liked in the beginning but hated their later work (M. Night), or some that were bad at first, but grew to be great, and some that are just great all around (Whedon). Abrams is the only one that I can think of that I like some of his stuff, and dislike some of it, but have to admit that overall he’s been extremely popular. He knows his target audience, and delivers exactly what will get them in front of the screen time and time again. I will say this however. If the Force turns out to manifest itself as a smoke monster, or our hero won’t push a red button because he doesn’t believe it will destroy the universe, it will be the first time I get up and walk out of a movie.
New (old) Writers
Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are both confirmed to be working on stand-alone Star Wars movies that will come out after Michael Arndt’s Episode VII. I’m excited about these guys writing for the new franchise because I like their related work. Lawrence Kasdan is an old hand in the game when it comes to these types of movies. In fact, he is the writer who worked on Empire (the best of the films) and Jedi as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark (also the best of its franchise). We definitely expect big things from Kasdan. Kinberg has a bit shakier past with me. He did write Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes and This Means War, but he also wrote X-Men: The Last Stand. I liked The Last Stand, but it definitely wasn’t the strongest of the series. He also wrote Days of Future Past, the latest X-Men movie, but we haven’t seen it yet so I’ll reserve judgement on that one. Overall I’ve liked his writing. It hasn’t always been stellar, but he hasn’t written anything I hated either so I think he should be able to deliver a good script than can then be made better with the right cast and direction. It is said these two will be each writing a movie based on our favorite anti-hero and villain from the original trilogy. Keep reading for more details.
The Stories We’ve Always Wanted
Disney has confirmed that the first two stand- alone movies in the Star Wars franchise will be one about Boba Fett and another about Han Solo. They didn’t give up much when it came to the Boba Fett movie, but they did talk a little about the solo..Solo film (see what I did there). It will be set in the time between Episode III and IV. There’s certainly a lot of material there, Han’s involvement in swoop racing, his criminal history, even his enlistment in the Imperial Academy. It is also the time where Han met Chewy, something that is sure to be touched on. Both of these can be great movies, and I for one am looking forward to them just as much as I am Episode VII. I just hope they remember, Han Solo is not a pretty boy and neither was Harrison Ford. I hope Disney and the producers remember that when they cast the role. Too often Hollywood tends to think of making teenage girls swoon more than they think of fitting the look to the part. Whoever they pick has to actually look like he couldn’t get trounced by a 13 year old pageant princess, or worse yet, look like he belongs in a dress and tiara.
Well ladies and gents, that’s all I have for now. I’ll bring you more as I find it, and do my best to keep you up to date until the Summer of 2015 and beyond. May the Force be with you.