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Last week Disney released news again of agreeable differences with a director. This time it was Colin Trevorrow. The man in the director’s seat for episode IX. The film that may or may not be the close of the Skywalker Saga. This came shortly on the heels of Disney cutting ties with Lord and Miller on the Han Solo Anthology film. Disney took on the task of recreating the awe all Star Wars fans had when watching the original trilogy. In doing this they may have stressed themselves out trying to be perfect. As a fan I say “Bravo, we deserve something perfect” – but as a follower of the House of Mouse I say “control issues much?”
[The Fallen Directors of Disney Star Wars]
With the departure of Trevorrow it was asked who would Disney put in his shoes? Did they have another Oscar winning director (i.e. Ron Howard) waiting in the wings? No instead they went back to their first man up to bat – J.J. Abrams. What does this mean for Episode IX? Let’s look at the pros and cons.
Why J.J. is a good fit for Episode IX
First and foremost J.J. has been the director that twice has been willing to put his neck on the line to breathe new life into an old franchise. He first did this with Star Trek, another sci-fi franchise with a rabid fan base. You may have heard of it. J.J. took an approach to the series in a way that had never been done before, and I’m not talking about the multitude of lens flares seen in the film. He helped make it exciting, a series that until then had more going on with politics then it did interstellar space battles. He again took on this task with Episode VII, consequently the bar was set much higher.
Star Wars had a film already considered to be one of the greatest sci-fi films ever made in Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. Not only considered one of the greatest sci-fi films, but one of the greatest films, period. Add to this the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope created a new scope of sci-fi films. Not to mention the film being nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. Those are some pretty big shoes to climb into. Star Trek had Wrath of Khan an amazing movie in itself, but due to the other Star Trek film performances there wasn’t as much pressure to live up to. J.J. lived up to the hype giving us something that resembled Star Wars of old, and got us excited for new films.
Not a Basic Director
J.J. also has a great visual eye for everything required for a space opera. Both in beautiful character shots and massive spaceship battles. Say what you will about the pre-quels but the first 10 minutes of Revenge of the Sith’s space battle is a great watch, and you need a director that can duplicate that. He was also able to tie us back into these characters we have longed to see on screen for so long. Han Solo’s heroics at the cost of his own life. The look of foreboding on Princess Leia’s face at the fate of her family. Done masterly through the visuals.
Lastly, this film now gives J.J. the chance to put his vision from a fan’s perspective on Star Wars. J.J. was a Star Wars fan growing up, not a Star Trek fan. He knew very little of the Star Trek franchise. Episode VII was his ode to the original trilogy. Now he can make his vision for the franchise, with the set up out of the way. Bryan Singer tried this with Superman Returns. Very much a love story to the Donner films, which Singer had a large attachment to. Singer didn’t get to continue the franchise and show his true vision for Superman. J.J. is being given the chance to do that.
Why J.J. Shouldn’t Be Doing Episode IX
Many of the same reasons that Abrams should be directing Episode IX are also some of the detractors. First and foremost, I stated Abrams sitting back in the director’s chair lets him create his vision for the franchise. Not the love story from a fan, as he did with The Force Awakens. It is very easy to fall into the trap of repeating what came before. As a fan of Star Wars, consequently he may be stuck in recreating previous history. The Force Awakens is considered by many a carbon copy of A New Hope. This creates fear that Episode IX will be a copy of Return of the Jedi.
Along with that concerns it’s also evident that J.J. doesn’t rock the boat with companies fighting for his vision. Which is a high probability of why Disney brought him back on. Abrams is considered a company man when working with Disney. For all we know Trevorrow’s vision may have been the better one, but because Disney has their own ideas in place he got pushed out. Sometimes it’s better to fight for a better product then to just say “Yes Maam”, and collect your paycheck.
The final reason is we have seen bringing in other director’s work on a high level. Rogue One directed by Gareth Edwards is put up against Empire Strikes Back as one of the greatest Star Wars films ever. The small portion that we have seen of The Last Jedi looks to be stepping up as well. Keep in mind vision and directing don’t always work together. Lucas was the visionary, but his best Star Wars film was directed by Irvin Kershner.
Time will tell
Now we just play the waiting game, and find out what the end result will be. I personally feel Abrams is one of the best directors in the industry right now. Trevorrow has some great films in his resume, but Abrams is a definite upgrade. This is just a proper justice for Abrams. Give the man that started the new era in Star Wars films the opportunity to finish up the Skywalker Saga. A chance that was never given to Bryan Singer with Superman.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel that this is the way it should have been in the first place? Is Disney making a mistake by bringing J.J. Abrams back in to direct Episode IX? Who would you prefer to direct? Let us know in the comments below.
If you want to see some of the thoughts from the other members of the Malice Corp crew. Check out episode 26 of our MaliceCast on Youtube. Where they discuss their opinions about the news. While your there hit that subscribe button, and join us for our future casts.
Keep Nerding On!