Months ago, the internet exploded with the announcement of Disney purchasing LucasFilm, Ltd., and the promise of a new STAR WARS film to be released in 2015. There was immediate speculation as to who would direct the film (as well as sighs of relief when George Lucas himself confirmed that it would NOT be him). Every notable director from Joss Wheden (Avengers, Firefly, Buffy...) to Zach Schnieder (300, Watchmen, Man of Steel) was mentioned in blogs, tweets, and YouTube videos by SW fans everywhere. Days ago, the official word came down that the film's director will be none other than JJ Abrams, famous for LOST, Alias... and STAR TREK.
Abrams hit the reset button on SW's biggest rival in 2009. The fim was exceedingly successful. It did what few ST properties could do: appeal to existing fans while reaching film goers outside of the "Trekie" club. Instead of striving to make the perfect Trek film, he focussed on making a good, entertaining film.
Can he do the same with STAR WARS?
I turned to the fans at large to measure their reactions. Feelings were mixed. Here's what they had to say:
"Hey, did you like the last Star Wars.. Yeah, wait no, wait.. the one JJ Abrams directed ...Star Trek.. no wait ... um #Univers(al)Confusion" -Sara Parker
"I'm looking forward to what Abrams will bring to the franchise. Lucas has disappointed me since the release of Willow." Shane Shellenbarger
"A great choice? Yes! A predictable and safe choice? Also yes. It would have been nice to see a relative unknown take over the franchise, a la George Lucas himself in the Original Trilogy days. A romantic notion, to be sure; Lucasfilm/Disney would probably be insane to hand over a multi-billion dollar franchise to an unknown...but still.
"J.J. is a fan and that's what's most important. He'll respect the history, respect the fans and respect what George created. I hope he realizes it's Star Wars first and THEN a J.J. Abrams movie (I'm confident he will, but insert lens flare jokes here).
"I still hold on to hope that we will one day see a Joss Whedon Star Wars movie, especially if a female lead is introduced in this new trilogy as rumored - no one does female leads more justice than Joss. But with a slew of new Star Wars coming to us in the foreseeable future, even after this new trilogy, I can already see several J.J. and Joss Star Wars films on my DVD shelf..." -Dustin Diehl (SW Expert and Superfan)
"Since the announcement last October about Disney taking over the franchise I have felt a renewed excitement I've not felt in many years. As a life long fan having seen A New Hope in the theaters back in 1977, I have ridden the highs and lows that come from loving a franchise that has made bad moves. I never thought I'd see Lucas hand the franchise over in my lifetime. Disney is the perfect house for the franchise as they know how to look after their brands. Michael Arndt coming on board was great news. Abrams coming on board was outstanding news. I am not a Star Trek fan and I loved the reboot. He was aiming at two markets. He needed to keep the existing fans interested and he needed to appeal to new fans and he certainly achieved that. His eye for detail and certainly character development will be a welcomed addition to the Star Wars franchise. Can you imagine a Star Wars film with the character development of Toy Story 3 or Star Trek? Exciting is an understatement.
"Disney has a lot riding on the new movie. The important on the new movie. Fan good will is at a low with the prequels. Abrams is also a fan and I think that will be key to this movie working. It needs someone at the helm who understands the universe from a technical/creative perspective and from a fans perspective. I hate to use the term,
but it needs a fanboy in charge. Someone who just gets it. I think the franchise is in very good hands and the future is very exciting. It's a good time to be a Star Wars fan." -Craig W. Chenery, author of Blood Splatter.
I think Arturo Ruiz summed it up best:
" It's cool, a good thing. Will go see it. Reserving judgment until it's here."
Peanut Butter Oreos.