J.J. Abrams Discusses Star Wars And The Mystery Box

By Rudie Obias | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

There is no question that J.J. Abrams is one of the hottest directors around right now. The announcement of Abrams taking the Star Wars directing job was mind blowing! With him now at the head of two huge sci-fi franchises, it’s worth looking back at what makes J.J. Abrams tick.

We all know Abrams has the pension for the dramatic, in terms of creating a certain element of suspense with his brand of storytelling. This is, of course, what he has called “the mystery box.” This is the central question his narratives revolve around. Below is J.J. Abrams’ TED Talk from 2007, where he describes the “mystery box” and how it relates to Star Wars.

The mystery box doesn’t only pertain to the big picture, but also the smaller scenes within the narrative. Sometimes the mystery box method of storytelling gets J.J. Abrams into trouble, namely with the TV series Lost and the movie Super 8. But when it works, the results can be phenomenal.

TED Talks are a collection of keynote presentations from leaders in technology, entertainment, and design. The concept behind a TED Talk is to deliver “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

Currently, much of the mystery surrounding Star Trek Into Darkness revolves around the true identity and motives of its villain, John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). Will Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII follow the pattern and have a similar mystery at its core?

You can watch J.J. Abrams’ complete TED Talk here.

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