So this is exciting news in the Star Wars galaxy. I have to say, I was very relieved when LucasFilm got rid of Colin Trevorrow for so many reasons. First, I didn’t like Jurassic World that much, and mainly because of the woman in the film. The fact that she was running from dinosaurs, trekking across mud, and never once got rid of those heels she was wearing was not realistic and rather irritating. You can’t have a director who treats their female characters like that in charge of a movie about heroines like Rey, that just doesn’t work. And secondly, the movie he directed this year, The Book of Henry, was so terribly critiqued that I was really starting to become nervous for Episode IX. Would he end this fantastic trilogy in the wrong way? Would it become another blotch in the Star Wars timeline like the prequels? So, obviously, LucasFilm didn’t like what they were seeing and got rid of him and I was ecstatic to see who they would replace him with.
And then it was announced two days ago that J.J Abrams would write and direct Episode IX and I’m two parts excited two parts disappointed. This is why.
1. Once Again, No Female Directors
Several months ago LucasFilm got a little bit of backlash for not having any female directors helm their films and I believe it was justified. Star Wars is a wonderful franchise and I understand Kathleen Kennedy wants visual and creative people to direct these movies but why can’t a female director get a chance to break even more records and possibly make one of the best, if not the best, Star Wars movies of all time?
Patty Jenkins showed the movie industry that not only can a woman make one heck of a superhero flick but that people will go watch it too, no matter who directs the film. Wonder Woman broke monumental records and ended up becoming the highest grossing movie of the summer. Can you imagine what Patty Jenkins could do with characters like Rey and hopefully Rose, if she does in fact, make it to the next film?
And then you have wildly creative, visionary directors like Ava Duvernay who has made quite a few important movies of her own. She directed Selma, a historically resonant event in American history and did it justice. I watched it in the movies and there were a couple of times that I had to wipe some tears. And now she’s doing A Wrinkle in Time which looks like it’ll be one of the most visually stunning movies I have ever seen. To have a director like that make a Star Wars film would not only be incredible but would probably end up one of my favorite Star Wars flicks, on cinematography alone.
The fact that there still won’t be a female director at the helm of a Star Wars is ultimately troubling and disappointing.
2. J.J Abram’s Habit of Recreating Films
J.J Abrams is a magnificent director, no doubt about that. He made Star Trek relevant again, he revived Star Wars from its prequel woes, and his movies are very enjoyable. The only problem is, he likes to make movies based off of classic films’ storylines. Here are two examples of that.
I watched Star Trek: Into Darkness (I think that’s what it’s called) in the movies a few years ago because the trailers looked incredible. And, for the most part, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be but it wasn’t terrible either. But then as I was leaving the theater my father told me and my sister that the movie was basically the 80s’ film Star Trek: Wrath of Khan all over again. I was shocked.
Then to prove that it really was, we watched Wrath of Khan and I was flabbergasted. In Wrath of Khan, Spock died saving the ship and Captain Kirk avenged him, or something like that. In Star Trek: Into Darkness, the same exact thing happened except Captain Kirk was the one who died and Spock was the one to go after Khan. I was stunned. The movies were basically two replicas of each other. And the same thing happened with The Force Awakens.
The Force Awakens was wildly original in some departments but the premise was nearly identical to A New Hope. Rey was basically Luke, she lived on a sandy planet that she wished to leave, she ended up having the force, and she had an elder as a mentor, which was Han Solo instead of Obi-Wan Kenobi. StarKiller Base destroyed the Hosnian System halfway through the movie much like the Death Star destroyed Alderaan. Han Solo faced Kylo Ren like Darth Vader faced Obi-Wan, both scenarios involving the elder dying. The Resistance had to blow up StarKiller Base just like the Rebellion had to blow up the Death Star. The Resistance pilots even had to fly through a trench just like in A New Hope, I mean there were a lot of similarities between the two films.
Now, that didn’t keep me from going to see it five times and it becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time but still, I don’t want Episode IX to be an updated, modern version of Return of the Jedi. That would not only be disappointing but a rather cowardly way to end the trilogy. I want Episode IX to have original situations and have a groundbreaking outcome. I don’t want to be able to predict how the movie is going to end because I’ve already seen it before.
Now, these are the reasons I am excited that he’s directing Episode IX.
3. Because He’s A Great Director
The Force Awakens was fun with a capital F. The characters were incredible, the storyline was impeccable, and the overall look of the film was brilliantly simple and stunning at the same time. It is wasn’t for J.J Abrams vision I wouldn’t be counting down the days until The Last Jedi. He was the one who helped revive Star Wars and make it worthwhile again. He was the one to make a whole other generation of Star Wars fans. Yes, he does kind of recreate movies but I understand why he did it. The last thing he needed was to make an original Star Wars film that people wouldn’t like. By going off of A New Hope’s model he basically assured himself a win.
4. And Finally, He’s Already Done This Before
Back in 2015, I was so nervous. Would The Force Awakens really be as good as it looked or would it be a flop? Thankfully, it really was as special as it seemed it would be and more. Now with him directing Episode IX, I don’t have to worry as much. I’ve seen his style, I’ve seen how he makes a Star Wars film, and I frankly love it.
Now, he doesn’t have an eye like Rian Johnson. I’ve only seen a little bit of The Last Jedi from a short teaser and I already know it’s going to be jaw-dropping visually but J.J Abrams does know how to make an enjoyable film. The Force Awakens is not only brilliantly made but there are so many moments when I just want to jump and down with joy because the movie is so good. He’ll bring that feeling to Episode IX.
He’s also been here before. He knows what to expect, he knows the formula he needs to make a great movie, and he’s now a huge part in the creative direction of the three films. It only makes sense that he would return to end the trilogy. He started this story with these characters, now he’ll have to finish it and I’m beyond excited to see what happens. Of course, I’ve got to watch The Last Jedi first before I even start thinking about Episode IX.
Well, that’s my post. It’s one day from being exactly three months until The Last Jedi and I can’t wait. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and I wish you a beautiful day.