J J Abrams set to direct Star Wars VII!
Who's saying what
Let's get one thing perfectly straight here: Abrams nailed the Star Trek reboot. I mean, he absolutely nailed that sucker to the wall. It was funny, passionate, epic and tight. Sure, it had one too many lens flares, but focusing on that kind of cosmetic non-issue is sort of like buying a (expensive car) and criticising the (part of the car that doesn't matter) (I don't drive cars).
Secondly, Star Wars VII is being written by Michael Arndt, Oscar winning screenwriter of Little Miss Sunshine, and Toy Story 3. If you can name two films that better exemplify superb character dynamics and dialogue, films that better embody the complex, bright and stupefyingly vital core of what it means to be in a dysfunctional family group, I'll eat every hat I own. Arndt is going to be perfect for this job.
So now, we have Arndt and Abrams as writer and director of Star Wars VII. Which is the kind of news that is nine kinds of wonderful, provided they approach the new movie the way I outlined in my somewhat expansive blog right here. But I'm now far, far calmer, seeing as how Abrams handled Trek mythology so deftly. Here, he'll have an easier job; whilst there's a wealth of expanded universe material which really should be taken into account (did you know Boba Fett escaped the Sarlaac pit and had a whole series of adventures? Because he totally actually did!), and whilst (unlike with most Trek novels and comics) Star Wars EU material is considered canon (meaning, it's considered locked-in and part of the universe by Lucasfilm), it'll all be fine. Because Abrams is going to nail it.
I hope. He managed to skirt the ocean of backstory and other material in Trek by hopping us over into a mirror universe, thereby letting everything from The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise (huuuurk) and all the films exist untouched. With Star Wars, he can't very well pull that trick off again. We have until 2015 to see whether he can help make this a non-heartbreaking event, but let me just reiterate: Lucas ruined Star Wars. Now we have talented, passionate people involved, and that awful prequel trilogy there as a bloody smear next to the electric fence giving us pretty clear indicators as to how we shouldn't be trying to get past it.
So… fingers crossed.
I hope you Arndt worried.
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