Will Star Wars be Lost?

JJ Abrams promises a grittier, more mysterious take on Star Wars. He’s got the tools – can he utilize all of them?

So JJ Abrams, of Lost and Star Trek fame, is taking over the next set of Star Wars movies. What will that mean for the franchise?

 

Hey JJ…less of this

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…and more of this

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At the very least, it can’t get worse (right?). The first 3 films, episodes 4-6, were iconic (aside from the Ewoks). Episodes 1-3 (the second set), were forgettable. You had the annoying Jar Jar Binks, the ham-handed explanation of the Force (midi-chlorian – a word invented by George Lucas to totally f-up the mysticism surrounding the Force, as per Urban Dictionary), and the eternally mopey and never likable Anakin (AKA baby Darth Vader). George Lucas, it seemed, was trying to murder his franchise.

But nothing is truly dead if there’s money to be made.

Along comes JJ. He dazzled and frustrated us with six seasons of Lost, winner of several Emmys and endless Internet diatribes. He rejiggered Star Trek with a clever reboot. And his plans for Star Wars?

To quote from this report at The Verge, Abrams “says that he is set on returning the sense of mystery that so pervaded the original trilogy…. To pull that off, audiences can expect to see a dirtier aesthetic more akin to the frontiers of the Old West than the gleaming futurescapes of the prequels.”

Sounds like he’s on the right track.

In Lost, he gave us strong, complicated characters with rich stories. He also led us into plot labyrinths with no logical way out (time travel to the 1970s and an atom bomb that does–or does not–detonate??).

In Star Trek, he gave us stupendous effects and clever plotting, but his characterizations were flat. Captain Kirk, I’m looking at you. Then again, how could Chris Pine–or anyone–hope to fill William Shatner’s uniform? Only an actor like Shatner could pull off Captain Kirk’s cockiness without turning him into a supreme ass.

If he marries Lost‘s characterizations with Star Trek‘s crisp storytelling, then he might have a formula for success. He can do it. Will the studio allow him?

We’ll find out in 2015.

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