back to article Star Trek saviour JJ Abrams joins the dark side: Star Wars VII

Star Wars creator George Lucas has given the thumbs-up to the appointment of JJ Abrams as director of the seventh outing for the sci-fi franchise. Lucas said the Star Trek helmsman is the "ideal choice" to take the reins of the movie, which will be the first Walt Disney Co foray into the Star Wars universe since it swallowed …

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      1. Annihilator
        Meh

        Re: With any luck .....

        This is the same Lawrence Kasdan who did Dreamcatcher :-\ Granted the book was terrible too, but it's still worth noting

        1. Eradicate all BB entrants

          Re: Dreamcatcher

          I didn't even bother with the film after being caught out by Stephen King books. 500 pages of build up then 5 pages of deflate ..... ass gremlins indeed.

  1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    I'm not going to judge what happens until the film are released and I get to see them. The first three films (IV to VI) were genre changing for what they did although by today's standards they don't look it, the next three films (I-III) were kiddified toy marketing and computer game cash in opportunities made into film so while entertaining enough (sans Ja Ja Binks) they just don't deserve quite such the same place in movie history as the first three.

    While I don't particularly like the new Star Trek reboot and it's easy to hate change and difference in something you were brought up with, some of the changes just seemed to be made because it could introduce stupid Earth bound scenes and product placement rather than for any valid plot reason so they just felt very out of place. However, without exception, any time Star Trek goes near the concept of time travel the plots, characters and everything just seem to disappear up themselves in some inane wormhole continuum arsehole implosion and you're left with some special effects and a heavy sense of wtf have I wasted the last X hours watching this?

    It'll be interesting to see what happens as while Disney itself has produced some great films recently it's also produced a lot of real dross. Lucas appears to have lost the plot recently in some ways, although how much of that was down to him and how much to the studios (or more accurately, the financiers behind them) would be interesting to know. The combination of what comes out will be interesting all right.

    So if they can get quality direction and backing from Disney without it being massively turned into one very long product placement merchandising ploy, have worthwhile actors cast in the film rather than "stars", they keep sodding time travel out of it entirely and stick true enough to the spirit and background of the Star Wars "universe" then I don't see why Abrams couldn't do a good job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "the next three films (I-III) were kiddified toy marketing"

      Don't fool yourself, the first trilogy was the same.

  2. Katie Saucey
    Pint

    Rats!

    I've finally grown up, this sucks. One for the road...but it's Monday...

  3. RainForestGuppy
    Go

    Instructions for enjoying Sci Films

    1.) Go to Cinema (or at home if you have a good surround sound systems and agreable neighbours) preferably with friends.

    2.) Turn off mobiles, blackberries, laptops, ipads, generic other tablets etc.

    3.) Turn off high brain functions

    4.) Suspend your sense of reality

    5.) Ignore minor errors in plot, script, physics.

    6.) Sit back and enjoy a piece of FICTIONAL ENTERTAINMENT!!!!

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Instructions for enjoying Sci Films

      Thank you for your Knuckle-Dragger's Guide to Film, complete with MULTIPLE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!11!!!11!1*

      I don't want to turn off my brain, ever. Present a film with a straight face and I'll view it the same way. Your argument boils down to "it's great, so long as you ignore all its flaws and just watch the pretty lights." That's not good enough for me, and defences like that are the mark of a really shitty film.

      If all you want is lasers and explosions, then good luck to you. I like to have some kind of coherent narrative along with it. Maybe I'm the lunatic here, but to me good sci-fi is mind-expanding, not mind-limiting.

      *CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL

      1. JDX Gold badge

        I don't want to turn off my brain, ever

        You seem to be providing a pretty decent impression that it's already switched off.

        1. Greg J Preece

          Re: I don't want to turn off my brain, ever

          You seem to be providing a pretty decent impression that it's already switched off.

          Fancy providing an actual argument, oh intellectual superior? Not sure how you get unintelligent from my post, however sarcastic.

          Then read a flippin' book! "Sci fi" films have rarely if ever been more than lasers, explosions, and special effects, you are never going to get a proper thoughtful sci fi film out of Hollywood. Star Wars is fun for the light sabers, space ships, and engaging characters, it's a swashbuckling adventure and nothing more. Don't expect anything any deeper than that.

          You haven't watched enough sci-fi. Try some 2001, Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly - hell, even Gattaca.

          I can do action and explosions, too, but it needs a coherent narrative or it's just noise.

      2. Rattus Rattus

        @Greg J Preece

        "If all you want is lasers and explosions, then good luck to you. I like to have some kind of coherent narrative along with it. Maybe I'm the lunatic here, but to me good sci-fi is mind-expanding, not mind-limiting."

        Then read a flippin' book! "Sci fi" films have rarely if ever been more than lasers, explosions, and special effects, you are never going to get a proper thoughtful sci fi film out of Hollywood. Star Wars is fun for the light sabers, space ships, and engaging characters, it's a swashbuckling adventure and nothing more. Don't expect anything any deeper than that.

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: Instructions for enjoying Sci Films

      Fiction isn't automatically enjoyable just because it's not a documentary. The Phantom Menace didn't become enjoyable just because it was set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (it was crap and El Reg has proved it with commentard-based science).

      Yes, movies (and especially sci-fi) have basic elements that we ignore because it's a standard of the genre (fiery explosions in the vacuum of space, visible lasers etc...) and we've been trained to accept them without affecting our suspension of disbelief. I'm perfectly happy to just assume everyone lives happily ever after at the end of Return of The Jedi and not worry about the potential damage to Endor from Death Star debris.

      If you want to drop Midichlorians (for example) or most of the scenes in "The Day After Tomorrow" (but especially the bit with the medicine and the cgi wolves that were obviously trained by the velociraptors from Jurassic Park) into your film, however, you're going to create a WTF moment and the audience are going to be pulled out of your story and find themselves back in the cinema or living room going "Oh yeah, I'm watching a film. And it's shit."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Instructions for enjoying Sci Films

      I take keep delight in never turning off my brain. It's rather difficult to, as it won't let me. Also becomes a problem during the night when I'm suppose to sleep.

      But, no. I cannot turn my brain off for the plot. I'll let small holes of fictional "gimmies" go, but big holes and logical "WTFS?" mean it's the screen that get's turned off, not my brain.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Instructions for enjoying Sci Films

      Good sci-fi is what makes your brain turns on at high-speed. I'd suggest you to start reading very good sci-fi books - Bradbury, Dick, Asimov and others - and you'll discover sci-fi is not about starships, lasers and monsters.... is a way to look at ourselves from a very different viewpoint, and question... but Star Wars and tons of videogames turned sci-fi into just a show for people who want to turn off their brains...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will it be like his TV programs?

    30 mins of watchable, followed by a bewildering pile of pap, finalized with the axing of the film, just as it was getting slightly better.

  5. Scott Pedigo
    Devil

    "Beyond having such great instincts as a filmmaker, he has an intuitive understanding of this franchise - he understands the essence of the Star Wars experience."

    He has an intuitive understanding of lowering the target demographic of a half-way decent film franchise for teenaged males to a gaggingly sappy one for prepubescent children, marketing of action figures, and Burger King tie-ins?

  6. Imsimil Berati-Lahn
    Meh

    McFilm sandwich with a side order of McSpecialeffects, McPlot and McMerchandise

    Whenever you start to hear story titles alongsie the word "franchise", you can be sure that you're going to get centre-of-the-bell-curve, appeals to all the spending demographics, adequately entertaining, entirely inoffensive, but ultimately unoriginal and superficial cinema fodder.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Strange

    I find it very weird that the moment Star Wars gets take over by Disney and they appoint well, whoever to direct the next film, everybody instantly forgets what an atrocious job Lucas did to the last three films and pretends that the franchise is now suddenly ruined.

    I mean, at this point they could make the next film a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse / Star Wars crossover and it would probably be better than the last few films in the franchise! There's not exactly a high threshold of quality to aim for here anymore...

    1. Eradicate all BB entrants

      Re: Strange

      Lucas did that years ago with the Star Wars Holiday Special, ..... sorry, I really can't find the words to describe it as it set the bar for so many levels of awful.

  8. Ben Holmes
    Thumb Up

    It can't just be me...

    ...who is happy that someone is making a mainstream sci-fi film? There are so precious few of them made these days.

    I thoroughly enjoyed ST when I was younger, and thought that JJA did the right thing by opening up the franchise to a wider audience. Did it appeal to everyone? No. But it brushed the cobwebs off an otherwise dead franchise, revered only in the minds of an ever-dwindling fanbase. It was fun, it was entertaining, it had the requisite amount of explosions, and it had a half decent plot. Which as far as I'm concerned is all I really need from any film, let alone a ST film.

    Let's just hope that JJ can do the same with the piss-poor wreckage of Star Wars that George 'I haven't had a good idea in years' Lucas has left him.

  9. Richard Wharram

    RedLetterMedia

    Looking forward to the review for the new film already!

  10. RISC OS

    If anything fuck5up starwars

    it will be either anal fans complaining that "that's not what happened if the last film", or it will be because disney own it... they fuckup everything and their films seldom do well outside of the USA because of their sickening US family political correctness... I'd be more worried about what disney instist happens in the film than the director having once directed a star trek film... on that was successful and appealed to people who wouldn't know if helmsmann pressed the greenbutton to go to warp in episode #34 or the red one, and whether it was the same red or green button that he pressed in the film.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If anything fuck5up starwars

      Your opinions on Disney are about as out of date as your OS namesake. You are aware of modifiers to your argument such as John Lasseter now being creative head of Disney? Their distribution of non-US stuff (eg Studio Ghibli) to a wider english speaking audience? Their generally well-received-for-the-genre Marvel films? Not to mention the whole Miramax thing and that all the classic Tarantino films were technically Disney films? Nope, Disney are definitely one of the more interesting major studios.

      1. Ben Holmes
        Happy

        @AC Re: If anything fuck5up starwars

        How very dare you, sir! RISC OS is a timeless OS - vintage, I tell you! Vintage!

        OP's opinions on Disney however, leave a lot to be desired...

  11. Stryker007

    he could do a marvel style mashup!

    and call it "Star Wars!" .... ugh no that don't work... how about "Star Wars Trek!" yh.... lets be honest I'm not bothered by the fact he didn't script the last star trek movie.... he just happened to be instrumental in the trashing of the whole franchise

  12. 404

    Fun Fact

    Per JJ Abrams: You only talk about Spock's mother in respectful terms. The 'No, You Didn't' look on his face was vastly amusing before he whipped James T's ass all over the bridge.

    :)

    P.S. Jean-Luc Picard would whip the original James T's butt, not so must the new James T.

    ;D

  13. Steve I
    Go

    Real scirnece:

    When asked the question "How do the Heisenburg compensators work?" on a program about the science in Star Trek, a representative of the show replied "Very nicely, thank you".

  14. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    >implying

    A number of friends and I (okay, that's a lie -- I don't have any friends) have discussed whether Disney will ruin the "Star Wars" franchise. These debates rely upon the assumption that the franchise wasn't decimated on May 19, 1999.

    Paris, ruined a LONG LONG time ago.

  15. NomNomNom

    anyone who wrote on Lost shouldn't be allowed near sci-fi. rule of thumb.

    1. IsJustabloke
      Unhappy

      re Lost

      I'm about 6 episodes from the end of the boxset, every episode makes my eyes feel like that bloke from Utopia's eyes must have felt like after torture blokey had finished.

      sadly, I'm what's known as a completist.. I can't have half of something, its all or nothing. I started watching LOST.. the first couple of season were ok but the rest? so I've got tofinish it.

      Dear oh Dear.

      I've got no problem with "clever" TV . films... I like 'em but Lost is utter, utter drivel, its not even particularly good drivel, its just utter utter shite. Anyone raving about the show needs help.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Childcatcher

    Being an American child growing up in the 70s....

    Coming home after school I saw every episode of Star Trek (TOS) at least a half dozen times. I have to say that I really don't care about whether or not it's "canon" be able to transport to a ship moving at warp speed.

    Growing up in the 70s I also saw all the Star Wars movies so much that I once drove my college roomates nuts by saying the dialogue of the last 5-10 minutes of "The Empire Strikes Back" before the characters said it themselves! I also don't care whether someone talked into a woman's shaver in a Star Wars franchise.

    What I care about is whether the movies are good. The Star Trek reboot was fine. I didn't care for Kirk's narcissitic demons driven by the memory of his dead father, or the time travel angle (I was always put off by Star Trek episodes where they traveled through time or recycled sets from westerns/gangster flicks/Roman costume dramas/world war 2 movies to save money. However, while I digress, "The City on the Edge of Forever" was a good episode.) Be that as it may, it was an entertaining movie with some good characterizations.

    As for Abrams directing Star Wars--better him that Lucas, especially if Lucas is no longer writing as well and we don't have to endure romantic dialogue between Han and Leia that was as bad as Anakin and Padme in the second trilogy.

    1. Rattus Rattus

      @ Marketing Hack

      Are you me?

      Though I thought Han and Leia's romantic dialogue was fine in the first two movies at least. Immortal lines like,

      "I am NOT a committee!"

      and

      "Either I'm gonna kill her, or I'm beginning to like her."

      :D

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Unhappy

        Re: @ Marketing Hack

        Yes, the first trilogy actually worked out well. Including the classic "I love you"--"I know" exchange in Empire Strikes Back. But WOW was the romance bad in the second trilogy, where such groaners as "I'm haunted by the kiss you never should have gave me." left me scarred for life.....

  17. Madboater

    To do a good Job on Starwars Ep VII

    They need to remake Eps IV to VI or completely leave the Skywalker years behind and concentrate on another part of the history of the Starwars Galaxy. I know what the safer bet is, but it would be good to see Luke in a proper light-saber fight.

  18. Splatcat

    Does this mean they'll be a cross over film?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, I can sum up both Star Wars and Star Trek in 3 words

    They're dead, Jim.

  20. graeme leggett Silver badge

    Next trilogy, will it suffer in trying to top the previous ones

    One problem with Star Wars is how each film gets "bigger" than the last.

    Now part of the problem is the advances in film-making technology. It is far easier to make big sets from cgi than matte paintings and to have casts of thousands when most of them are just pixels. While absolutely needed to recreate Coruscant, it seems to be overused in other places So Phantom Menace can have some huge cavernous energy complex under the palace for no particular reason, Attack of the Clones has a huge droid factory. All three have huge armies fighting.

    Of necessity the original trilogy had to be more focussed on smaller scale events. Eg although given a bigger budget than Ep 4, after the battle of Hoth, the scenes in Empire have only a few characters in each. Revenge saves it up for a massive space battle at the end and a smaller furry one on the ground but the focus is still mostly on Luke/Vader/Emperor, Lando/Millenium Falcon and Solo/Leia/the droids.

    So will this next trilogy try to top the others in scale and over-reach itself in doing so, or are we to have a more intimate style where lapses in character and plot might be more noticeable?

  21. Tank boy
    Trollface

    Irony

    The same people that are eviscerating a movie that has yet to be made are the same folks that will pony up the dough to go see it in the theater, just to tell everyone how hard it sucks.

    1. Esskay
      Trollface

      Re: Irony

      Unfortunately they're also the type of people who refuse to listen to anything other than their own opinion - until someone misquotes (or worse, confuses with similar-but-different franchises) their favourite series. Then the wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues, and you know it's time to get the popcorn.

      Personally I'm looking forward to the adventures of James T. Kirk on the Warship Enterprise, boldly going to infinity and beyond. I just hope they can escape the emperor!

  22. tuxtester
    Trollface

    I thought Star Trek (2009) was terrific.

    Mr JJ, could you accidentally-on-purpose add a reference to the Borg, to a (girly) Jedi's script, that would be awesome.

    P.S. I thought Star Trek (2009) was terrific and have watched it many times.

    Mr JJ does read the reg's coments, right?

    P.P.S. Spok or Sulu would wipe the floor with any (girl) Jedi and Kirk would lay Solo out in the first round!

  23. Tom 11

    @ Marvin

    WTF!!! are you forgetting the quite litteraly mind blowing THX1138???? A masterpiece, I don't know how Lucas can have fallen so low after such an amazing film.

  24. Will 20

    I hate JJ Abrams for Star Trek 09. I thought Lost and Alias were a waste of time. I'm amused he won a Razzie for his screenplay for Armageddon. I think he lacks talent, and vision, and believes he is better than he is.

    But it could be worse.

    Midichlorians.

    That is all.

  25. Kirstian K
    Coat

    Darth Micky..!

    That is all.

  26. Jonjonz
    Childcatcher

    One More Corporate Monopoly In Place

    Just one more corporate monopoly established. The corporate money counters have consulted their spreadsheet oracles and they all get the same answer, min/max the bottom line, go with what works.

    Abrams is really Michael Beye with more shaggy dog endings.

  27. winrez
    Angel

    Wouldn't Mind

    If Abrams gave up on the Star Trek franchise instead of a 3rd Trek, I would love to see one based on Enterpirise which was underated but now that its over people are taking a second look at.

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