At The Helm
There's no bigger story in the world of geekdom than who will direct the new Star Wars. It now appears to be J.J. Abrams (after he denied it at first). I have mixed feelings about this.
Actually, I have mixed feelings about new Star Wars. The original trilogy is classic, but the second trilogy is a disaster. It's not only three weak films on its own, it also tarnishes the lustre of the original. On the other hand, a trilogy set after the original is not only a new hope for good films, but should not retroactively makes the earlier films worse because (presumably) it won't show us dumb characters and plotlines that make the original less interesting.
But is J.J. up to it? Years ago, Spielberg would have been willing, but he's beyond such stuff now. James Cameron certainly has the talent, but doesn't want to do anything where he doesn't have complete control. There are certainly a number of decent action and sf directors out there, but we need the absolute best. Does J.J. measure up?
On the other hand, he won't be writing the screenplay (though no doubt he'll have input), he'll be directing it. And lately, he's done some good work on big action films. His Mission: Impossible was one of the better in the series, and I like his reboot of the Star Trek franchise (no doubt the main reason he got this gig). Still, this is Star Wars we're talking about, so he's got to raise his game. It's a chance to restart the greatest franchise of all. Guess we'll be watching his new Star Trek movie closely to see if he's got what it takes.