Update: J.J. Abrams will direct Star Wars VII, the upcoming sequel to the Star Wars trilogy and prequel trilogy. The Star Trek filmmaker will helm the new sci-fi movie, according to reports published by TheWrap.com and Deadline.com.
In late 2012 Disney approached J.J. Abrams to work on Star Wars: Episode VII. He turned it down because of Star Trek.
The only appropriate sentiment here is this:
In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, the man behind Lost, Star Trek, and Mission Impossible III stated, “Because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn't even want to be involved in the next version of those things.” Abrams further stated, “I declined any involvement very early on. I'd rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.”
This decision raised a significant question about the entertainment industry: Who in their right mind picks the rebooted Star Trek over Star Wars? Star Wars has Shakespearean drama; Star Trek has bestiality jokes. Star Wars has an intergalactic scope; Star Trek begins and ends on ships. Star Wars has Liam Neeson; Star Trek has someone who looks like he was on Twilight.
Here, of course, it should be emphasized that the disdain on display is for the reboot, not Star Trek: The Next Generation. Back in the day, the series had THE Patrick Stewart, because of whom Star Trek could legitimately be called the Best. Sci-fi Franchise. Ever.
Captain Picard probably brought several sleepless nights to George Lucas, in itself an accomplishment because that man did not even lose sleep after crushing the dreams of fans from several decades. To this day, Stewart’s performances keeps Star Trek lovable in our memories, even when Abrams is trying his best to outdo George Lucas in disappointing his fans.
However, despite the fact that someone actually committed the crime of picking Chris Pine’s Star Trek over anything, let alone Star Wars, this announcement is positive. Why? Well, obviously because it confirms that JJ Abrams will not be directing Episode VII. Of course, Abrams not agreeing to this is still problematic because it means that the director’s slot is open again.
Disney is already difficult to trust with hiring someone appropriate, and to make matters even more terrifying, Jon Favreau has actually expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming project. Yes, this is the same Jon Favreau behind Swingers and Iron Man, the same Jon Favreau that can’t tell the difference between someone who is suave and someone who is obnoxious.
Actually, Robert Downey Jr. is always suave but that’s doesn’t have anything to do with Favreau.
This also demonstrates that fanboyism is prevalent at every level of entertainment, not just the viewer. Abrams did not highlight any scheduling conflicts or practical concerns; his exact reasoning was, “Because of my loyalty to Star Trek.” So, it logically follows that Paul Greengrass should stop directing thrillers simply because he has worked on Bourne and Clint Eastwood should never make an action movie again because of his work on Dirty Harry, right?
Until Disney decides whether they are going to kill another childhood dream or make something awesome, fans of Star Wars will be holding their breath. For now, however, there is peace because Abrams is keeping away.