JJ Abrams is not the Droid I was Looking for…

by christypaul2013

First things first, let’s address Christy stomping my oversized toes with last night’s Clint Eastwood post. I thought the purpose of this blog was pretty clear. She writes the interesting posts that actually bring people to the blog, and I write the odd film rants my mother won’t even read. She’s the talent, I’m Ringo Starr. She’s the lead singer, and I’m the guitarist with mystique. That’s the dynamic we agreed on!

I kid, I kid. There’s plenty of nonsense going on with Star Wars for everybody to get their shots in. Also, I’d kill to see Clint Eastwood poop his Depends once a fat nerd with back acne asks him what a Tonton is.

I knew this day would come. The day Lucasfilm got sold, I went to the nearest Disney Store, begging whoever would listen to keep JJ Abrams’s greedy paws off Star Wars. The term “scruffy nerf herder” may have been thrown about. My biggest problem with how Disney’s handled the new Star Wars films so far, is every decision they’ve made feels a little safe. Disney has the best story department on the planet with Pixar, so of course that’s where they would draft a writer. Personally, I thought Brad Bird should get the job, but Michael Arndt is Pixar’s Golden Goose right now, so it makes sense. Also, Arndt is the only Pixar writer who’s won an Oscar for writing a live-action film, so he had that going for him, which is nice.

JJ Abrams getting the directing job forced me to realize George Lucas wasn’t lying. He’s done. He’s taking his 4 billion in blood money, and running off to find a cure for his turkey neck. Once George’s heterosexual life partner, Stephen Spielberg, turned the job down, George Lucas could care less who directed. He’s passing the baton lightsaber off to Disney. JJ Abrams was the new head of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, and Disney’s pick, plain and simple. They wanted some of that Star Trek voodoo to rub off on their revived franchise.

The one thing keeping me from storming the Magic Castle right now is that JJ is directing, not writing. Don’t let the fact that JJ Abrams’s name is attached to 87% of the shows on network tv fool you, that man is not a writer. My fellow nerds might be hoping that the new Star Wars could have a LOST feel to it, considering the JJ connection. We would be wrong. The beauty that was Lost had nothing to do with JJ, that was all the work of his Sith apprentices, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse. I could have SWORN Damon Lindelof was going to get the Star Wars writer gig, but I think the geek venom that spewed all over Prometheus lost him the job.

Here’s what confuses me; if JJ was brought on solely for his visual style, which I believe he was, couldn’t they have found a better guy? Some may say that JJ Abrams got the gig because he’s a brand now. Disney doesn’t need brand recognition, they’re DISNEY. They are the Death Star. Personally, I felt that Guillermo Del Toro would have been the perfect fit for this job, but his sensibilities are a tad too creepy for Disney’s tastes. JJ Abrams is vanilla, Del Toro is mint chocolate. Disney’s only real option, outside of JJ, was Joss Whedon, and he’s signed on to make Avengers sequels until 2073. Disney already had him doing their bidding. If Disney really wanted to make a splash, they should have hired a true auteur for the job, someone who thinks a lens flare in a pitch black room isn’t artisitc, it’s just plain dumb.

Alfonso Cuaron should have gotten the Star Wars job. He’s done franchise work before with Prisoner of Azkaban, and knocked it out of the park. Children of Men is the 2nd most beautiful film I’ve ever seen, and it’s only 2nd to what he’s got coming next.  Shhh, don’t tell, but I’ve seen bits of his new film, Gravity, and once Disney sees what a REAL director can do with Space, Mickey Mouse is going to be kicking himself right in his red undies. Sadly, I won’t be able to see Gravity in theaters, due to our ban on watching films. However, I advise anyone with a working set of eyeballs to watch it, that film is a game changer.

Like I mentioned before, Disney is playing this one incredibly safe, which worries me. If these Star Wars films are just a cash grab, they might be fine, but if they want to make something great, they have to take risks. A safe movie will make money its opening weekend, but tail off eventually. A great movie will make money its opening weekend, and keep right on making money for the next 40 years. I have a feeling Disney will take a BIG risk with casting. I expect that the lead will be an unknown, or a relative unknown like Zachary Quinto as Spock. You don’t need Johnny Depp as a Jedi to sell this film. Expect some of Abrams’s normal cast to get work on these films. Jorge Garcia will be painted green and play Jabba. I don’t think JJ will be able to resist casting Josh Holloway as a member of the Solo clan. That man was born to fly the Millenium Falcon.  Disney is keeping the story for this film under wraps, but I’d personally like them to revolve around the third generation; Han and Leia’s kids, and Luke’s son. I always liked how the Star Wars books really let Han and Leia’s luck run out after Return of the Jedi. They had like 3 kids, and 2 of them didn’t live past 25. One even turned to the Dark Side and killed Luke Skywalker’s wife. Now THAT’s a movie. Probably a tad dark, though. Expect this movie to be the stuff theme parks are made of: a few thrills, chills and a big happy ending.

While I disagree with the director choice, the main thing I appreciate is that the new Star Wars film won’t release in 2013. I GET TO WATCH IT! That is my only hope.

Paul just blasted a womp rat. Actually, it may have been Christy’s cat.

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