J.J. Abrams On Star Wars, Not Abandoning Trekkies, And Disney’s Approach To Episode VII
J.J. Abrams is a man with a lot of irons in the fire. He will soon begin work on Star Wars VII, he’ll help find a new director for Star Trek as he hands over the captain’s chair and instead takes on a producer’s role, and he has a few TV shows in various stages of production. The most powerful nerd in the world recently appeared on The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS to talk about all the plates he’s spinning right now. The director touched on what makes him say yes to so many projects, how he’s not abandoning the Trekkies so he can go off to work on Star Wars, and how Star Wars won’t be ‘Disneyfied‘ at all.
From the outside looking in, it seems Abrams can’t say no to anything. The director said that’s not really the case. He sees all of these opportunities and there’s usually something to it he just can’t pass up. When discussing what draws him to different projects, Abrams talks about his first meeting with Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy:
Sometimes it could be that it’s a writer whose work has just blown you away and you think I would be lucky to be a part of whatever that thing is. Sometimes there’s a character. Other times, like with Star Trek…frankly I was not a big Star Trek fan when I first got involved with the films, but the idea of a Star Trek that did appeal to me was an exciting challenge. With Star Wars, it was something that I loved so much when I was a little kid. I went into a meeting knowing I was going to say no, but talking to Kathy Kennedy [the producer], the idea of it was so surreal to be involved with that world. I ran downstairs to Katie, my wife, after the meeting was over and said ‘I know I was just going to say no, but that was a really compelling meeting.’ And Katie was like ‘Oh God.’ It’s that thing that you feel. It’s like casting a role in a movie or a show. More importantly, by quite a bit, meeting the person you know you should be with for the rest of your life. You could talk about it forever and try to quantify what the qualities are, but the truth is when you walk into that restaurant and you see that person, it just hits you and you know. It’s hard to know exactly what those qualities are.
His excitement for Star Wars, mixed with his numerous comments about becoming a Star Trek fan while working on the first film, have led many Trekkies to believe that Abrams jumped ship the second he got the chance to play in the Star Wars sandbox. The director assures that section of fandom that he’s not abandoning them and that there’s more than enough room for both Star Trek and Star Wars:
That’s crazy. I would say this: as someone who has become a late in life Trekkie, I really think there’s room for both these things. It’s funny because Star Trek in some ways informs Star Wars. We did Star Trek…my love of Star Wars, the energy of it and sort of the comedy and rhythm of it I think effected Star Trek. There such different worlds though. The stories, the characters, the universes. One is sort of our future, much more science based in theory. Star Wars is like a fairy tale that happens to take place in space. They’re very different beasts.
Finally, Abrams tackled the biggest question fans have had on their minds: what does Disney owning Star Wars mean for the new films? When asked about fans’ fears of Disneyfication, Abrams assured everyone that Disney is well aware of those fears and is doing everything possible to make sure that doesn’t happen:
The beauty there is Disney doesn’t want that. They are well aware of this and they are very careful to make sure that…they are sensitive to that. They don’t want that at all, that’s the last thing they want. But that company, which is Marvel, they have…it’s incredible the scale of that company. They are as aware of that as anyone. Back to your other question though, I think there may be a lot of Trekkies that would be thrilled if I abandoned them.
Abrams sounded very passionate about both Trek and Wars during the interview. You can tell he really respects both franchises and wants to do what he sees as best for each. We don’t know much about what’s in store with the new Star Wars, but with production starting in a few months announcements should be coming soon. What do you think about the director’s comments? Are you happy to hear Abrams‘ take on the two franchises? Does the Disney comment calm any fears you might have had?
Source : The Tavis Smiley Show