The coveted grand prize of being named the director of Star Wars: Episode VII is pretty intimidating. Whoever gets the job will be under the public eye like few directors before them. Every decision they make will be dissected, scrutinized, and examined by both the fans and the media. Needless to say, despite the job’s appeal, it’s not a job all directors want. Who wants to risk being known as the director who ruined Star Wars? [I will not make a George Lucas joke. I will not. – Ed.]
In an interview, geek icon J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8) was asked if he was up for the job of directing the new Star Wars film. Despite his love of the property, Abrams says he would be reluctant to take the helm the reinvigorated space opera. Here are his comments, including a line that will probably get longtime Trek fans grabbing their pitchforks once again:
Look, Star Wars is one of my favorite movies of all time. I frankly feel that — I almost feel that, in a weird way, the opportunity for whomever it is to direct that movie, it comes with the burden of being that kind of iconic movie and series. I was never a big Star Trek fan growing up, so for me, working on Star Trek didn’t have any of that, you know, almost fatal sacrilege, and so, I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer!
J.J. Abrams already has Star Trek under his belt, so there’s no need for him to take up the reigns of Star Wars too. If nothing else, we prefer our Star Wars without the lens flares, thank you very much. Next!
Director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Cowboys & Aliens) was also asked about the Star Wars: Episode VII directing gig. Favreau and Abrams grew up in the same generation when Star Wars was first released in 1977. The original Star Wars saga shaped the way they eventually told stories themselves as filmmakers. Jon “Trouble With the Third Act” Favreau has the credentials of big summer blockbuster movie-making, but he doesn’t necessarily have the directing chops requited to make Episode VII a success. Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Jon Favreau: Master of the Run-On Sentence.
I think both J.J. and I come from a generation of people who formed our whole creative persona around what we experienced as kids from watching those films, and I have had the good fortune of working with George [Lucas] and around George, and whether it is doing a voice on Clone Wars, or being at the Skywalker Ranch mixing Iron Man — so I have been very happy and lucky to just experience the culture that Lucas has created, both in my own life growing up as a kid and professional — whether it was interviewing him at film festivals on stage, he is just a really wonderful, talented gifted guy who has changed the business so much, so I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We’ll see.
Star Wars needs an unproven director instead of an established one. Star Wars: Episode VII will make boatloads full of money regardless of who directs it, so Disney should consider quality instead of style. Fans want to watch a Star Wars movie, not J.J. Abrams’ (or any stylistically heavy director’s) vision for Star Wars.