Now that it has been officially confirmed that JJ Abrams is directing Star Wars Episode VII, the universe is already close to exploding. However, another drop of fuel has been thrown into the fire with some really bad news: because of Star Wars, Abrams may very well leave directing duties for Star Trek 3.
Once Abrams decided to come on board with George Lucas' mammoth franchise, fans started to worry if he could handle both that and Star Trek. According to a recent interview with Paramount Vice Chairman Rob Moore, the worrying was justified.
Already facing tremendous excitement for his upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness, a sequel to the very successful reboot, Abrams stunned fans by accepting Star Wars Episode VII, a decision that worried many because they felt it would interfere with his "Trek" duties.
When asked about Abrams' future with Trek, Moore confirmed the director's involvement with the third Star Trek film but only expressed certainty for his producing duties and was not sure if Abrams would actually direct the third film in the rebooted franchise.
“J.J. will continue to develop projects for us including a new Mission: Impossible, and he is committed to produce another Star Trek,” Moore said.
Of course, just because Abrams may not be director anymore doesn’t mean Trekkers and Trekkies have to worry. The Star Trek franchise’s Award-winning writers Damon Lindelof, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are all perpetual creative partners with Abrams and could naturally step up to helm the third installment.
Since Abrams is slated to produce anyway, it wouldn’t necessarily be so dangerous to hand the franchise to someone else.
However, it still is a cause for concern that Abrams’ role for the third film may be diminished because fans truly did rejoice when he successfully brought the franchise into the modern era. That he could be limiting his award-winning influence on the series because of another, admittedly awesome project is a little painful to see.
Either way, the thing that decides the merit of Abrams’ decision is going to be the quality of both the upcoming “Star” films. If the Trek sequel isn’t as appreciated as the original, perhaps fans will more easily accept a less-involved JJ. However, if the famed director does a fine job on both Into Darkness and the Star Wars sequel, his presence will be severely missed.
If there is another cause for concern here, it’s that Disney has perhaps made the same mistake that sci-fi n00bs often make, which is to automatically link Star Wars and Star Trek just because both are science fiction.
Other than the conventions present in all futuristic tales of space travel (aliens, gadgets, etc.), the two franchises are remarkably different and two assume that Abrams can bring success to one just because he brought it to the other is a little worrisome.
Abrams is a talented director; of that, there cannot be much doubt. However, can he handle two franchises that have almost exclusively targeted two very different demographics and prided themselves in having two very different approaches to storytelling? Only time will tell.
However, one thing is certain: less JJ Abrams for Star Trek is definitely a little scary.