J.J. Abrams (and 3D)

When I posted back on January 17th that I was going MIA for a while, I mentioned that by the time I was done moving into my house, perhaps we would have news on who the Episode VII director is.  Though I said that, I was kind of hoping we wouldn’t know just yet because I wanted to post on the news right away and also not read about it in a hurried glance at Twitter on my phone.

Fate is against me.

In the end, not a big deal, because either way – this is still big news and I still get to post about it!

Lucas and Abrams

Lucas and Abrams

First of all, when I heard J.J. Abrams was directing the movie on Friday (back when it was still unconfirmed, but a very solid rumor), I was intrigued.  Though I am not a Star Trek fan, I saw the reboot he made with series in 2009 and I really liked it.  I was almost ashamed at how much I liked it.  It was one of those moments where I felt disloyal to my True Love…did I fall in love with another movie?  It’s a similar reaction to that moment when your husband catches you checking out another guy and you have to hastily cover it up.  No, of course you weren’t looking at his big muscles; you were thinking that he really is overly jacked and it’s so not attractive anyway.  What’s the point of muscles like that?  Eew.  No thanks.  This is all a hypothetical situation anyway as I would never think that about any other man.  Ha.

But that is what my quick love affair was like with the Abrams’ Star Trek movie.  A attractive glance over, nothing else, but I remembered it when I heard the news this weekend.  If J.J. Abrams can make a die hard Star Wars fan see the appeal in a Star Trek movie, then aren’t we in good hands?  Will he help the jaded, disillusioned older Star Wars fans that have been burned by the prequels?  Will he revive a franchise that people are beginning to think has turned into a Lucas cash grab?  No one can say until 2015 (though there is a rumor that Abrams wants to push it to 2016 now; I’m fine with it if he thinks his work will be better, I don’t want a hasty Episode VII) if he will end up doing a good job.  We won’t know, but I have hope.  He may bring to Star Wars what Daniel Craig brought to James Bond.

My minor tease with Star Trek makes me think that this guy knows how to do a good sci-fi movie, and that is so important to me.  With Michael Arndt as the writer, he will hopefully bring in a more character based/slightly humorous script, which was severely lacking in the prequels.  The two combined could bring us a great sci-fi movie with a depth that outshines the prequels.  I am surprised that I am this positive about it as I tend to skeptically view every bit of new Episode VII news that has been released thus far.   At its core, the original Star Wars is a character driven sci-fi movie, which is what makes it so relatable and enjoyable.

JJ Abrams Star Wars

My other question is that I wonder how the Star Trek fans are taking this news?  How would I feel if I had a beloved director who decided they would “fraternize with the enemy”?

Also, Abrams originally said he was not going to direct our movie, so what kind of offer did they give him that he couldn’t refuse?  When the speculations of directors started back in October, he mentioned he would prefer to be watching it as an audience member.  So what changed?  I know, I know, it is probably the money, but I’m wondering if something else went on morally?

And if I hear one more mention of Abrams and his love of the lens flare trick, I will scream.  Such a minor thing to be obsessed about!  People really do like to get annoyed by the smallest things.  “Oh no, lens flare will make the movie look newer and take away from the old school Star Wars look.”  Get over it.  We will never have the Original Trilogy again, those days are over.  Maybe the New Republic is so far advanced by the point of Episode VII that lens flares will totally make sense.

Finally, officially from starwars.com: looks like the 3D release dates of II & III have been postponed because they want to focus on Episode VII.  By “postponed”, I think they mean “will never happen until we have exhausted Star Wars in every way and need more money”.  Yes, I am cynical about the 3D releases.  I went and saw TPM 3D in the theaters at midnight with Mr. Reticent.  Waste of time and precious sleep.  I figured, hey, it’s Star Wars, I should uphold my reputation.  I definitely almost fell asleep.  The prequels were not filmed with 3D in mind.  It was really a waste of money and time on the Lucasfilm side.  I don’t care how “fleshed out” Rick McCallum was claiming it was and how it looked like you were in the room with them…if the movie was not made with 3D in mind, it really is a pointless move to convert it to 3D.  The effect of 3D is wasted.

That also brings up the question – will they film VII with the thought of releasing it in 3D?  Will that be a move that Abrams wants to make, therefore bringing in more “popping out” shots?  I really don’t know what to call it, but I’ve noticed that all 3D movies I’ve seen lately have had so many scenes of objects/people falling right at the camera so that they get to create that scare effect in the theater when you have your 3D glasses on.  “Ah!  A ship just fell on me!”  I don’t know if I want Episode VII to be 3D, but I’m not sure that Abrams will have a choice.  Disney will definitely want to bring in more money wherever they can, and 3D is all the rage right now.

star wars 3d

Overall, I’m still very interested to see where this all goes and I think J.J. Abrams is a good fit – but more specifically, I like the combination of Abrams and Arndt together.  Will 3D happen for VII?  Not sure, but I’m hoping it won’t affect the outcome of the movie too much if it does happen.

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6 thoughts on “J.J. Abrams (and 3D)

  1. I can tell you, going into Star Trek, I knew I was going to like it. After the first episode of Lost, I knew I was going to watch and love the whole thing. After the first episode of Fringe, I knew I was in for the long haul.

    I trust J.J. Abrams to help turn out a worthy science fiction epic while both pissing off and winning over everyone.

    But then again, I’m notorious for being overly optimistic.

    I think Star Wars is moving into good hands …

    … It’s Dune I’m worried about.

    • Dune. I love that book. However, the problem with books being made into movies is that I feel like the movie will always fall short therefore creating an insurmountable problem. At least with Star Wars, there is a blank slate (kind of) to start with and it can constantly reinvent itself. It’s more difficult with Dune.
      Recently, I rewatched the first Harry Potter movie. I was surprised at how boring it was. I honestly think the reason why it was so boring was because they stuck exactly by Rowling’s novel, therefore pleasing the fans but making a somewhat boring movie. And that’s the problem that is always faced when turning a book into a movie. Do you try to keep it exactly like the book and therefore possibly lose a good movie? Or do you try to find a balance and make a movie similar to the book, but take creative liberties and maybe alienate some fans/critics?
      There is only one movie I have ever seen that I thought was better than the book: “Chocolat”. I loved the movie so much and thought the use of color was astounding.
      But I digress…
      I think that J.J. Abrams could be a good director for Star Wars. However, are you a Star Trek fan as well? I am not, but if you are, I am wondering if you felt like he did Star Trek justice when you came out of the theater in 2009? Because that is what we SW fans will be feeling when we leave the theater after Episode VII.

      • I am a Star Trek fan. Science and science fiction are my passions, with the rest of speculative fiction right behind. I believe my experience with such a large range of speculative fiction makes me a fair judge of quality, and a prognosticator of some merit. I know that Attack of the Mutated Zombie-faced Fish Man Vs. Ubercrocodolphinbadgersaurus Rex on Acid playing on SyFy at 2pm on a Saturday is garbage, but I’ll only half-heartedly say I was disappointed in Episode I, II, or III – because deep down I’m just glad the story continued. Frank Herbert’s Dune was a masterpiece, and a lot of people say the rest of his series isn’t worth reading. I cry foul. I also cry foul when people bash Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s Dune books. It’s science fiction – and its science fiction done well even if they are making the Baron Harkonnen rape Mohiam.

        I’ll be honest – and perhaps my overall enthusiasm for science fiction in general excludes me from a conversation about whether someone else’s creativity and vision (given that they are in the position to create, when I’m merely a spectator) is worthy of an existing epic fictional universe – but, a Disney-owned, Abrams-directed Star Wars movie is going to leave me smiling when I walk out of the theater even if its got Kristen Stewart as Mara Jade’s Clone humping Chris Evans as Boba Fett. Whether St. Mary’s Catholic School for Epileptic Interpretive Dance is performing Hamlet, or its the Royal Shakespeare Company, I love Hamlet. And I think THAT is what makes me a true fan – and its what makes a good chunk of the overcritical and hard-to-satisfy fan base, whether Star Wars or WoW, a bunch of poseurs. : D No offense if you are overcritical and hard-to-satisfy …

  2. The first big Episode VII announcement and so far things are looking good. I like Abrams’ films. His work has been compared to old-fashioned Spielberg, and I would agree with that sentiment. They tend to be fun stories with a good mix of action, character moments, and special effects.

    It is a little weird to see the guy the just rebooted the Other big space opera franchise take the reins of the Star Wars universe. But, the fact that Abrams and Co. (specifically writers Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman) intentionally added a “more Star Wars” to the Trek was one of the few complaints I heard from purists. So, I think this move fits him. I don’t really share the worries of some others that I have read that now the Trek and Wars universes will look almost indiscernible. I trust that J.J. Abrams is a skilled enough director and fan of the Original Trilogy to give Episode VII its own unique visual style.

    If I’m going to nitpick, the only thing about choosing Abrams that bothers me is just how “safe” a choice it is. As epicipseity has mentioned, we already know and love Abrams’ science fiction work. In fact, he already brought a huge event sci-fi franchise back to the silver screen. Without knowing anything about the plot of Episode VII, we can start to get an idea of what to expect from a J.J. Abrams directed Star Wars movie. This is good news for Disney (and probably fandom as a whole), but when Star Wars hit screens in 1977, George Lucas was relatively unknown and audiences were in a position to be wowed by an unexpected vision. There were other names mentioned that would have had unique and possibly interesting perspectives to add to the Star Wars mythos, but at what risk? And Hollywood certainly is not in the risk-taking business these days.

    • Personally, I think they may need a “safe” choice right now. I don’t believe that now is the time to take creative leaps with the Star Wars universe. Star Wars is in a fragile state since the prequels and then the announcement of VII. There’s a lot of hype and A LOT to live up to. But most of all, I don’t think we will ever have an “unexpected vision” on Star Wars again because there are always expectations on Star Wars now. I see what you mean with “interesting perspectives”, but I firmly believe that, in the words of Mace Windu, “now is not the time for this” with Star Wars.
      I also like what you said regarding Trek fans…I honestly don’t know many Trek fans so I had no idea what they thought of the 2009 reboot. I don’t remember thinking it looked like Star Wars though. I just thought it looked like a really cool sci-fi movie.

      • At the end of the day, J.J. is one of the best choices out there. Mostly I was playing devil’s advocate. As much fun as it may have been to see Guillermo Del Toro’s or Matthew Vaughn’s or Edgar Wright’s version of Episode VII, Abrams is one guy out there who will hew closely to George’s vision. And ultimately that’s what the saga needs.

        As far as the 2009 Trek reboot, I think most people really liked it, but there was a contingent that thought it “felt” more akin to Star Wars. The writers were literally interviewed at the time about adding Star Wars elements into the movie, and really Kirk’s story is Luke’s. Star Trek featured the Hero’s Journey front and center and let any sci-fi elements serve that narrative.

        Traditionally, that’s the big difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. Trek is recognized as “science” fiction, and tells stories that deal with technology, psychology, and sociology. Star Wars is more science fantasy. The stories are more archetypal, mastering a magical power, clear good versus evil, transformation from ordinary to hero. Its literally Knights in space. And that is why its awesome. 🙂

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