J.J. Abrams Explains Why He Wants Star Wars To Stay So Secretive
J.J. Abrams insists that he wants to maintain a strong sense of mystery regarding his Star Wars: Episode VII Ö proving he learned very little about the frustrations whipped up by the vagaries and misdirections that swirled around his Star Trek Into Darkness.
The Trek and Wars director opened up Ė a little Ė to the Times of London for a feature-length article (you need a subscription to read it in full), but THR breaks down the previous few details Abrams spills about his work on the beloved franchise. Specifically, Abrams talked about how he appreciated just how little fans knew about George Lucasí universe back when they bought a ticket for A New Hope back in 1977. And he suggests that heíd like to somehow resurrect that aura of mystery when the series resets starting with Abramsí new installment.
If you watch the first movie, you donít actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. Theyíre going to rule by fear Ė but you donít know what their end game is. You donít know what Leia is princess of. You donít yet understand who Jabba the Hutt is, even though there is a reference to him. You donít know that Vader is Lukeís father, Leia is his sister Ė but the possibility is all there. The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went."
Iím not entirely sure what Abrams is hoping for with this sentiment, however. You canít put the metaphorical toothpaste back into the tube when it comes to Star Wars. Heís correct that audiences in 1977 were blessed with an ignorance of the universe BECAUSE they hadnít yet seen a single frame of footage. But audiences who will be turning up for Episode VII when it opens in 2015 (or, you know, whenever) will have obsessed over every minute of six Star Wars films, and Abrams better start figuring out how to cater to THAT crowd. If itís nostalgia for pre-Star Wars days heíd like to tap into, dude better invent a time machine, not a Mystery Box.
It concerns me that Abrams is sticking to this notion of guarding everything from the fan base. He tried that with Benedict Cumberbatchís identity in Into Darkness. So when he finally revealed that the character was Khan, it largely created resentment, not awe. Iím of the belief that Abrams needs to open up and share something with fans regarding Star Wars, because the more that the series gets bogged down in the directorís cloak-and-dagger horseshit, the more convinced I am that there is serious trouble behind the scenes. Do you agree?
The Times of London piece is also the source of a rumor that Chiwetel Ejiofor was seen auditioning for the film...and that remains a rumor because no one at Bad Robot or LucasFilm will bother to confirm anything about Episode VII. We donít have a title, a release date or a cast. The project just lost a screenwriter. But Abrams hopes we all remember how great things were in 1977. I just donít get it.
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