Now that Star Trek Into Darkness has been released, my attention turns to the next J.J. Abrams film - Star Wars: Episode VII.
I've been wrestling with the news of Abrams controlling both franchises ever since the rumors were confirmed in January. Abrams made Star Trek cool again and I worried his departure could mean a return to crappy Star Trek movies. I started to think about other franchises with failed third acts (The Godfather, Terminator, X-Men) and kept tracing their failures to a change in leadership. The worst part was Abrams originally pledged allegiance to Star Trek and denied any interest in directing Star Wars. I felt betrayed. Lots of cognitive dissonance!
I've come to terms with this now. Having seen Star Trek Into Darkness, I'm confident in the strength of the franchise. Star Trek also has a history of flourishing under new directors. Just imagine what Alfonso Cuarón or Brad Bird could do at the helm of the Enterprise!
Sending Abrams to Star Wars also repays a 34 year old debt Trekkies owe our Jedi brethren. Star Trek was cancelled in the 1960s and returned as a film series because of the success of the first Star Wars film. Now, after 3 lackluster prequels, it's Star Wars that needs re-energizing. Abrams will undoubtedly deliver a fantastic Episode VII, if he can keep his fanboy love of Star Wars at bay.
But it seems like I'm in the minority on this. Lots of Trekkies are upset about Abrams's role in Star Trek and his treatment of canon in the new film. Sujay Kumar's explores this issue at The Daily Beast. Here's a preview:
The man at the helm of the Star Trek reboot is making the seventh installment of Star Wars. The same guy controls over four decades' worth of intergalactic pop culture. The Greek chorus of geeks, ignored by Hollywood for seven years between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Trek, should be mad as hell. J.J. Abrams is genre bogarting.
Check out his article for more on Abrams and the future of Star Trek/Star Wars (including a quote about me turning my couch into a Return of the Jedi speeder bike).
How do you feel about J.J. Abrams controlling the future of both franchises?