Sure, he’s been a producer for a bunch of movies, and created and written a bunch of TV shows, but as for sitting in the director’s chair? The Force Awakens will only be J.J. Abrams 5th feature film directing job. And two of the other four are Star Trek movies.
Does that surprise you? It sure caught me off guard when I went digging into his record.
So he’s directed four feature-length films before this, which doesn’t seem like a lot. And yet it’s twice as many as George Lucas had directed before Star Wars (aka A New Hope). Well, technically, three released films for Abrams, since Star Trek Into Darkness was in post production when Abrams was tapped as director.
There’s also the creation of Felicity, Alias, Lost, and Fringe, his four big TV shows. I can’t say anything about Fringe (not having watched it), but I can say from experience that while Lost and Alias both started with a bang, they both got weighted down by their increasingly complex mythologies, which were resolved with some measure of success by their showrunners.
But the real issue ties back into the nostalgia piece we talked about in a previous episode this week. And J.J. Abrams practically lives there. He knows how to do nostalgia well – using it as one tool in the toolbox, not letting it take precedence over story. This is another good reason to have high hopes for The Force Awakens, and expect that it will turn out better than Terminator: Genisys or Jurassic World before it this year. (I haven’t seen any of the Mad Max movies, but I gather the new one will be a tough act to follow.)
Trivia Time!Test your knowledge of the Star Wars universe!
Previous answer: Peter Cushing
Today’s question: In honor of the character name reveal of General Hux in The Force Awakens, can you name as many as eight generals from the Original Trilogy? Hint: We’re only counting canon characters, which means that a few of the ones in the Death Star conference room from Star Wars don’t count…