Following news that J.J. Abrams was hired to direct Star Wars: Episode VII, fans let their opinions be known about Abrams landing the new Star Wars job.
Although the Star Trek director previously denied rumors of his involvement in Star Wars: Episode VII, word broke on Thursday that Disney and LucasFilm had indeed hired J.J. Abrams to direct the next Star Wars movie. As a result, fans stormed forums, message boards, and social networks everywhere to share their opinions on what J.J. Abrams will bring to the Star wars franchise.
For Star Wars: Episode VII, J.J. Abrams will join Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt, who was hired to pen the upcoming Star Wars film following the sale of LucasFilm to Disney. Although LucasFilm and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot didn’t confirm or deny the news, it didn’t take long for fans to sound off once the reality set in that Abrams was on board.
So, how did Star Wars fans react after the news?
At TheForce.net, some fans were mixed about J.J. Abrams picking up the directing reigns from George Lucas. One user named “Zuckuss the Ruckuss” broke down the reality of Abrams and Episode VII.
“People freaking about Abrams, here is the reality,” said ZTR. “He isn’t a bold choice (Duncan Jones), he isn’t a great choice (Brad Bird), he isn’t a bad choice (Michael Bay). He is a safe choice. The man is an imitator/conformist. He is pretty the exact guy you want directing a Star Wars film for its first go around. He knows how to work in an established visual identity. The next trilogy is going to be corporate and safe. He fits into that description.”
Any negative opinion about J.J. Abrams simply comes with the territory. It was refreshing, however, to see how fans of both Star Trek and Star Wars could find common ground.
On Superherohype.com, a user called No Charge for Awesomness was excited about J.J. Abrams.
“Awesome, I’m on board,” said NCFA. “Abrams rocked Star Trek. Fock the fanboiz!”
Although another Superherohype user named Axia777 wanted Brad Bird over J.J. Abrams, the sentiment was hopeful given the success of Star Trek.
“Well, at least we know and can stop speculating,” said Axia777, “I did [think] Super 8 was a great movie. So I am none too surprised by this choice though I was hoping for Brad Bird. I did not like the new Star Trek because of the drastic changes but it was a very well made movie.”
The hiring of Abrams is similar to the long gap between the original Star Wars trilogy and the prequels. There was a sixteen year gap between Return of the Jedi and The Phantom Menace. By the time Episode VII hits theaters in 2015 with J.J. Abrams in the director’s chair, it will be exactly a decade since Revenge of the Sith in 2005.
Interestingly we found some fan sentiment from way back in 2002 at the JediAssembly forum where a user named Xana made it clear that even back then fans simply wanted to see a good film when it came to the prequels.
“I think that whether or not you enjoy a movie,” said Xana back in 2002, “has a lot to do with your expectations. When I went to see TPH [The Phantom Menace], I hadn’t even seen the trailers for it. I wasn’t online yet, either. I had no idea what to expect–only that it was SW and of course would ROCK!! And I loved it! Now I hear that a lot of people were disappointed in TPM because it wasn’t what they expected, blah, blah, blah … and on and on the list goes. I intend on seeing Episode II, being blown away, and loving it like every other SW movie no matter what!”
Well, as we know, MANY Star Wars fans would beg to differ on that one.
So, what does it all mean for Star Wars: Episode VII?
In the end, like the prequels, Star Wars: Episode VII will be a huge financial success at the box office with J.J. Abrams at the helm. That much we know for certain. Despite the heated debate surrounding the directors for the new Star Wars movies, fans will turn out in droves. The financial numbers will speak volumes. As for the final product and critical opinion, however, the fans may be louder.
How do you feel about the fan reaction to J.J. Abrams directing Episode VII?