Dear JJ Abrams

jj-abrams-star-warsSo, here we are, within sight of the start of filming for Star Wars Episode 7.  Actors are auditioning, scripts are being typed, and fans have been falling all over themselves to tell JJ Abrams and Disney what needs to happen in the next trilogy.

Imagine you’re George Lucas.  You’ve created Star Wars and rode the wave of that for decades.  Generations soaked up your work; parents showed their children the movies and their old toys.  And all people do is complain.  Those ungrateful bastards.  I can see both sides of this, really.

George created Star Wars.  It must be incredibly frustrating to have people complain about everything you do (even when it’s sort of deserved).

Obi-wan-obi-wan-kenobi-23720174-665-814

“Midi Chlorians?  What the hell?”

He had a particular vision of how it all had to go, and stayed true to his own designs through thick and thin, despite all the complaining, and created an amazing universe that had spawned countless books, comics, and people who wear Stormtrooper outfits around town.  The rich galaxy he created for us is so much more than a simple movie setting.

The thing is, he created something that people identify with so deeply and feel such ownership in that folks really believe their input is important and needs to be heard.  They’re so invested that anything that seems to deviate from their ideal is seen as a mistake.  Yes, I count myself among those at times because, for the love of all the spice on Kessel, Han Solo shot Greedo.  He shot him first, then would have shot him again had he so much as twitched.  Then he tossed a credit across the bar and apologized for the mess.  Han drew down on Vader on Bespin during their surprise dinner party.  He didn’t complain about the ambush, yell at Lando, or duck and cover.  He drew on Vader and let him have it.  Any attempted wussification of Han Solo is met with scorn and disdain by me!

The point is, I see why the fans are so rabid about that.  Star Wars is so big and wrapped up in our culture that we’re all looking over their shoulders, making sure the makers of the series ‘get it right’.

Now, there’s a new Jedi in the picture.  From Padawan to Jedi Knight, JJ Abrams is now in charge.  I saw a film made by some fans imploring JJ to keep to a few simple ideas in order to get the new trilogy right.  I think they’re spot-on.  You can watch it here…

This guy has it right.  Stick to the origins, be inspired by the original trilogy, but yes, JJ, make it your own.  That’s why you’re here, to bring some new blood and fresh air into the process.  I think there are a lot of people who are cautiously optimistic about breathing new life into the franchise.  But please, make the interior and exteriors of the ships match each other, get the actors to tell an amazing story, and keep your hands off the Millennium Falcon!

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