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'Star Trek' Guru J.J. Abrams Directing 'Star Wars' Ignites Reaction: Why He Can Do Both

by Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
January 25, 2013 2:27 PM
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Emotions are running high with the news that J.J. Abrams will direct the newest installment of "Star Wars," due in theaters in 2015. Below, a roundup from the web, including Abrams' past words about his reservations to direct the storied franchise, rumors of other directors, a selection of amusing Tweets from fans, and more.

Some folks don't like the idea that the same director would be putting his stamp on both the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" franchises, which are, after all, very different. First, what Abrams knows how to do is create very different movie universes, from "Mission Impossible" to "Super 8," which was an homage to vintage Steven Spielberg. He's nothing if not a chameleon with a wide lexicon of movie knowledge. As a writer he gets the inner workings of what makes these worlds tick. He also works with smart writers. Robert Orci and Alex Kurtzman helped to recreate "Star Trek" from the characters up. And Michael Arndt, of "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Toy Story 3" fame, has written this "Star Wars" reboot. I'm not the slightest bit worried. Not to put to fine a point on it, but this franchise has nowhere to go but up, building on the universe that Lucas and his Lucasfilm/ILM team have imagined.

The Wrap is reporting that Ben Affleck was in contention for the director's chair on "Star Wars: Episode VII," but that LucasFilm's Kathleen Kennedy had been courting Abrams for the job. At one point Matthew Vaughn was rumored for consideration to helm.

The news of Abrams directing came as a surprise, especially because he had previously expressed intimidation about the hallowed series. His words back in November:

“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!”

Twitter roundup:

Adam Best:

Might as well give J.J. Abrams Dancing with the Stars too. Relaunch Star Search. Stargate. Anything, everything with star in it.

Verified Darth:

Rumour has it JJ Abrams will direct the new Star Wars movie. If he screws this one up, going to have to call him "Jar Jar" Abrams.

Dan Hall:

Now that JJ Abrams is directing STAR WARS, it's only fair that George Lucas get to remake Felicity.

Mark Harris:

Just saw a lonely fat dude running toward a movie theater shouting, "It's happening! I'm first in line! I'm first!" What's going on?

Jim Gisriel:

The moral of the story is that Ben Affleck never wins. No Oscar or Star Wars. Just Jennifer Garner, tear.


  • bob | September 20, 2013 7:22 PMReply

    "He's nothing if not a chameleon with a wide lexicon of movie knowledge. "sums it up pretty nice. he can direct any kind of movie. and do it very "pop" style kinda way. Which ruins it

  • cadavra | January 25, 2013 6:20 PMReply

    In a world where pre-judging movies before they've even been produced has become the norm, maybe we should just stop making pictures and instead issue announcements. Would save everybody a lot of time and money!

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