Rewind three decades ago (give or take a year or two), and you would have seen the monumental moment when “The Empire Strikes Back,” was looking at directors like Kershner to be the vehicle to the big screen successes. However, those were in the days prior to social media platforms, the internet, and the buzz that it creates and foments. So announcements to that degree barely raised a wiggle from fans. More recently, when J.J. Abrams was announced as the new director for the forthcoming “Star Wars Episode VII,” naturally there was some speculation brewing.
Now Abrams, by all means, is highly experienced and is fully qualified. He’s successfully delivered big screen blockbusters such as "Lost," "Fringe," "Super 8" and the new "Star Trek." Now that he’s tasked with rebooting a Disneyfied Star Wars, all eyes on are on him to see if he can take Lucas’ brilliance and translate that to Disney’s masterpiece. Considering that Disney has about $4 billion (yes, that’s billion with a B) invested in the franchise, that’s a rather hefty heavyweight belt to carry around the midsection for Abrams.
The internet blew up in heated response following the announcement, much of which was spurred by loyal, fanatic and panicked fans, many of which were not fans of Abrams’ prior works. And perhaps one might say they are panicky, as Abrams has already received a pontiff worthy blessing from Lucas himself.
"To be a part of the next chapter of the 'Star Wars' saga is an absolute honor," Abrams said in a statement released by Disney, the new owner of Lucasfilm. "I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid. It galvanized for me; not for what was exciting about how movies were made, but rather for what movies were capable of."
So what did George Lucas really have to say about all of this? Well to be quite honest, he’s quite impressed by the rising directing
"I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a filmmaker and storyteller," Lucas said in a recent interview. "He's an ideal choice to direct the new 'Star Wars' film, and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."
So can Abrams pull it off? Many are calling him the “Master of the Reboot.” That’s because he’s successfully revived dying franchise to the likes of: "Star Trek," and "Mission: Impossible 3.”
Considering those were big money blockbusters, and also considering how well received Star Trek was by its unwaveringly loyal, die-hard fans, who have little retribution for error, it’s safe to say that Star Wars is in the best hands it could be (as Lucas is certain to agree).
Of course, only time will tell if the black mouse ears (Disney) let this director truly apply his vision to the next potentially great science fiction film of our time.