J.J. Abrams Hints At The Possible Tone For His Take On STAR WARS EPISODE VII

J.J. Abrams Hints At The Possible Tone For His Take On STAR WARS EPISODE VII

Star Wars Episode VII director J.J. Abrams responds to a recent video featuring "4 Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again", hinting that his take on the seventh instalment in the franchise will go back to basics. However, he adds that he appreciates many younger fans identify with the prequels...

"I would say that [the video conveys] a feeling that we share very much," J.J. Abrams told The Times when they asked him about the "4 Rules to Make Star Wars Great Again" featured above. As for his take on the iconic franchise, Abrams went on to talk more about what he loved about the original trilogies, perhaps giving us an idea at the tone he wil be striving for. "I loved how Star Wars had that sense of a world far beyond the borders of what you can see and have been told," he said. "It's one of the things it did so brilliantly. If you watch the first movie, you don't actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They're going to rule by fear - but you don't know what their end game is. 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." However, Abrams can also relate to the younger generation of Star Wars fans whose first exposure to a Galaxy Far, Far Away may have been with the prequels. "A lot of kids who saw all the prequels when they were young really do identify with those movies as much as my generation identified with the originals." Hopefully Abrams manages to strike a perfect balance between both trilogies.
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Josh Wilding
Member Since 3/13/2009
Filed Under "Star Wars" 11/3/2013 Source: The Times
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Canon108 - 11/3/2013, 6:44 AM
Or he could just try to identify with the older films, lol
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 6:44 AM
That's obviously true, where a lot of younger people still love the prequels, since they grew up with them. But I've known a few children, born after 2005, who find a lot of the prequel material really tedious.
prettynucIear - 11/3/2013, 6:44 AM
I think pacing is everything and Abrams likes to go FAST and HARD. This movie will suck...
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 6:45 AM
"Or he could just try to identify with the older films"

Sounds like he does, but he recognizes that people who grew up on the PT identify with those the way he identifies with the older films...
ndwwrestler2 - 11/3/2013, 6:46 AM
I appreciate that he has a deep love and understanding for the Star Wars universe, but I hope that doesn't get in the way of him making it into a great movie.

And I find his comment on the prequels interesting. When I was younger, I loved the prequels, but now I don't really care for them, I'll watch them for the lightsaber fights or to pass time.
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 6:46 AM
"I think pacing is everything and Abrams likes to go FAST and HARD. This movie will suck..."

Actually...that sounds a lot like A New Hope. My son is NUTS about Star Wars right now, and I've seen Episode IV more the last few months than I think I did when I was a kid. But the pacing on that film is insane. It's almost like a Pixar movie, where it has no drag. Once you meet Han Solo, especially.
ndwwrestler2 - 11/3/2013, 6:47 AM
@prettynuclear I'll take Fast over Excruciatingly slow
Facade - 11/3/2013, 6:48 AM
Oh god...prequels...they NEVER happened (waves hand like a Jedi).
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 6:49 AM
"I'll take Fast over Excruciatingly slow"

Echoed. Anytime they went to Coruscant in the prequels, they just lost all momentum.
ndwwrestler2 - 11/3/2013, 6:50 AM
Storytelling of the Originals + Lightsaber fights of the prequels (and the Old Republic trailers) = Instant Win.
NeoBaggins - 11/3/2013, 6:54 AM
So, he's going to give the Empire a clear motive, purpose?
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 6:56 AM
"So, he's going to give the Empire a clear motive, purpose?"

It seems like that's too literal. He was using that as an example for the tone he's going for, meaning that despite getting a complete story, there's elements, motives, and history BEYOND what you see in the film itself.
MexicanSexyman - 11/3/2013, 6:56 AM
I love all 6 Starwar movies and I can't wait for the new ones.
charlie2094 - 11/3/2013, 6:57 AM
He definitely knows what he's doing. The prequels are still no where near as bad as many make out (I still think Episode 3 is fantastic), and people like me grew up with them. Glad he's still trying to capture the same magic that made the original films so great, but don't disregard the prequels they have their moments. A mix of the storytelling and tone of the originals, plus some of the special effects and lightsaber duels of the prequels, plus some new characters and locations and a good villain, should be great!

Super excited to see what Abrams does
thewonderer - 11/3/2013, 7:00 AM
I'm a huge fan of the prequels,

Especially episode 3, enjoyed it more than episode 6 as a matter of fact.

JJ will rock it.
eviltattooedguy - 11/3/2013, 7:01 AM
I have complete faith in Abrams. He is this this generations Spielberg. His movies are ground breaking and captivating. That said I would love to see him also do a Force unleased movie. The games stories are a fantastic set up to the organized rebellion of the original trilogy which is far more deserving of a movie than just han solo or bounty hunters.
DrRockso - 11/3/2013, 7:02 AM
Mmmmmaybe don't strike a balance? Make them match the classic trilogy. Por favor
MrCBM56 - 11/3/2013, 7:02 AM

I agree. I enjoyed the prequels, the hate is unnecessary.
DrRockso - 11/3/2013, 7:04 AM
You younger "fans" can suck it
Bl00dwerK - 11/3/2013, 7:09 AM
My son is 18 now and even though he saw the prequels growing up he saw the original trilogy first. Those are the three films he identifies STAR WARS as, not the prequels. The new movies need to be much closer to the OT in look and feel...
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:21 AM
I tried to sneak Episode 1 into the bluray player when my son asked to watch Star Wars, mostly in an attempt to give him some variety. When it started, he told me, "No, I said I wanted to watch Star Wars."

I really do get that some people who grew up with them still enjoy them. I grew up on the originals, but have come to admit there's a lot of problems even with those. They aren't untouchable. But I feel like the prequels have a really hard time maintaining the momentum that most of the OT enjoyed. And that, to me, is really what makes it not feel like Star Wars. Yeah, weird dialogue, not the best acting, but at least it's a ride that moves at a breakneck pace. Episode 1 does that in spurts, but then they stop to hang out with anakin, or they stop and talk with the Jedi for 20 minutes, etc. and the other two aren't really any better. Episode 2 has some odd plot issues, and even Episode 3, which I completely agree is the best of the prequels, again...once they get on Coruscant, it just drags. And it continues to drag for a surprising amount of time. I guess until Obi-Wan finally meets up with Grievous.

To be fair, I usually fast forward through the Yoda scenes in ESB, but I've seen that movie more than possibly any other film. Also, to be fair, I showed my son the first act of Episode 3, and when the two Jedi Starfighters fly by the camera in the first shot, he said, "whoa!" with a big smile.
CapFan79 - 11/3/2013, 7:22 AM
Great break down of what SW was and should be again. I don't hate the prequels but the idea of the space western is really the concept that worked best. Many westerns of the 50's and 60's borrowed from Japanese samurai films as well. There's an opportunity here for SW to return to its former glory.

I hope Disney gives us an unaltered blu-ray. I likes the SE and DVD updates but since the last blu-ray release I have longed to see the films the way I first fell in love with them, warts and all.
Super12 - 11/3/2013, 7:24 AM
@MrCBM - no my friend, the hate is VERY necessary.

It's necessary cause it shows how passionate fans really are.
It's necessary cause it holds on to the hope that there can be something better.
It's necessary cause without it Disney and Abrams would have no idea that the reason Star Wars is THE biggest thing to happen to pop culture since the Beatles is NOT because of Jar Jar Binks, poop jokes, and terrible, terrible love stories.
Nomis - 11/3/2013, 7:24 AM
My nephew, who is 14 now, LOVE the Prequels and HATE the OTs.

But he is a big Anakin fan and don't like the idea that he goes bad.

When I try to watch the OTs with him, he he say they are SLOW and BORING.

Which is ironic because one of the things that separated the OTs from many Sci-Fi that had recently came out before it as that is moves along quickly.
ManThing - 11/3/2013, 7:25 AM
Super 8
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:31 AM

I hope they do a bluray of the original theatrical versions, but mostly because I know many people want them so badly. Personally, I'd love if they did a special edition of the special edition. Just update almost ALL the space scenes, as the CG X-Wings really clash with the 70's model shots. You know? Basically, do all of it, or leave it all alone. But I'd even love if they added a bit of a rock to the Blockade Runner when you see the Star Destroyer get a direct hit before it cuts to inside with the droids. And a lot of the Falcon shots, and may as well just redo the entire space battle. And you know, if you're gonna have Temuera MOrrison voice Boba Fett, have him do all the Stormtroopers as well. Lastly, if you MUST have Christiansen at the end of ROTJ, put McGregor in there too. Or else it's basically saying you can stay young forever as long as you repent at the end, but live most of your life as a total bastard.


Eh...that you led with "who is 14", to me, kinda explained the attitude. :)
NeoBaggins - 11/3/2013, 7:34 AM
The Phantom Menace was a devastating disappointment. I remember the day I saw it with vivid recollection.

If the prequel trilogy has any saving grace, that honor would go to this man, who carried the trilogy on his back.

ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:37 AM

I completely agree on all of that. I saw Episode 1 a few times, mostly because I thought maybe I was just missing something. I was a fool.

Also, yes on McGregor. Even at my deepest in hating the PT, I could never deny how solid he was. Yes, there's a few other things I've come to appreciate about the PT here and there, but McGregor is by far the greatest aspect, consistently.
Wolf38 - 11/3/2013, 7:37 AM
One thing that Abrams posseses, that George Lucas does/did not, is a love and appreciation for the original style of Star Wars films. In other words, he sees their appeal through the eyes of a fan, our eyes. So even though I am no huge Abrams fan, I think that he might do a good job.

As far as a mix of the two trilogies? What mix? Cutting edge visual effects have always been there, so these new films will have that, and presumably also great light saver combat by default. As far as style, tone, pacing and so forth, I firmly believe in sticking to the model of the OT.

@Nomis I do think it's interesting, the idea of younger viewers identifying with Anakin. It makes sense for them. But for me, growing up per-prequel, Darth Vader is a bad guy first, with a silver lining of redemption. Vader as evil was one of the first things established in Star Wars.
TimL - 11/3/2013, 7:38 AM
Only thing I liked about the prequels was the music (this doesn't mean I didn't like the classic trilogy music, I just pointed out that this was my favorite thing of the prequels).

He should just go for the classic trilogy style.
Vaportrail - 11/3/2013, 7:40 AM

I couldn't agree more. McGregor is the main reason I'll still watch the prequels, though usually it's just RotS.
Wolf38 - 11/3/2013, 7:42 AM
McGregor and McDiarmid definitely carried the prequels. Without their excellent performances...
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:42 AM

The music actually bothers me just because...each prequel relies soooo heavily on the scores of the previous Star Wars films. Episode 1 probably has the most NEW material. But it just keeps getting recycled, and some of it really sounded a little too Indiana Jones-y to me.

The Duel of the Fates is admittedly awesome. And I love the music during Anakin's duel with Obi-Wan even more.
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:44 AM
To clarify, when I said "each prequel relies soooo heavily on the scores of the previous Star Wars films", I mean Episode 3 relied on the scores of all five released before it, etc. So, not just OT music, but all the new stuff for Episode 1 was used again over and over as well.
maninfinesuit - 11/3/2013, 7:44 AM
Y'know, I'd venture to say that The Phantom Menace was actually pretty decent, and if you ignore what actually came after it (and Jar Jar) then there's a fair reason to be excited for what could come next at the end of that film.
NeoBaggins - 11/3/2013, 7:47 AM

Oh, you're not alone. I saw all the prequel films repeatedly in the theater. It was STAR WARS, or the closest thing to it. We understood what it was and what it wasn't, and just tried to make the best of it. But once the lights go down and you really have to face the music, the prequel trilogy is probably the biggest missed opportunity for greatness in cinematic history.
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:48 AM

There was a fan edit I saw, though I can't recall if it was the Phantom Edit, or another one, but the guy had redubbed all of Jarjar's dialogue as an alien language, and rewritten all of the lines with subtitles. He COMPLETELY changed Jarjar's character, and I don't think he changed anything about how the others talk to him or react etc.

The main part I remember was after Qui-Gon saves Jarjar from the Trade Federation tanks, he goes on to flip it, claiming HE saved Jinn. He later takes credit for a lot of what the Jedi do, and was just a far more interesting character. Kinda a scumbag, but fun.
NeoBaggins - 11/3/2013, 7:50 AM

Yeah, ROTS actually feels like Lucas caught a groove way too late. But the folly began by making Anakin a baby in the first film. Most of the trilogies problems can be traced back to that single element.
maninfinesuit - 11/3/2013, 7:51 AM
@ruadh Yes, Jar Jar would have been a far more successful character had they gone with an alien language. Might have stood a chance of being the Chewy of the new trilogy. (Which I half suspect is what Lucas was going for before the backlash and eventual Binks cutback in Attack of the Clones.)
ruadh - 11/3/2013, 7:53 AM

And now I agree with you again. Particularly with 2 and 3, I can't watch without thinking about the dropped balls in those plots.

I know I've posted these thoughts on another article here, but I really think it was a completely missed opportunity to have Anakin marry in secret, and never have the Jedi Order find out about it. Having them discover this, and boot him out would have served as a GREAT way to put some emotional distance between him and his former allies. I also still think they should have really overtly had Anakin suspecting something romantic between Padme and Obi-Wan, to justify THAT whole thing.

Lastly, I don't think he should have killed kids at all. Stormtroopers shooting them, particularly off camera, fine. But as difficult as it was to buy Anakin's sudden, "yeah, yeah, let's kill the Jedi", believing he's totally fine with murdering children is way too big a leap.
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