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Joe Johnston weighs in on the hiring of JJ Abrams for Star Wars: Episode VII

2 years agoby:

Director Joe Johnston has had a long career that goes all the way back to working on the original STAR WARS trilogy. At one point his name was thrown in contention to direct STAR WARS: EPISODE VII, a job that eventually went to J.J. Abrams. But, Johnston is not bitter. In fact, he supports the choice of Abrams.

Johnston recently said "J.J. Abrams is the perfect choice to get the third trilogy off the ground. These films are big logistical nightmares to direct, like any $150 million plus project. They're like military operations in the attention to detail required while trying to retain a grasp of the big picture. J.J. has more than proven he can handle the pressure, plus it doesn't hurt to have a guy at the wheel who has produced, written, and created shows of his own. If anything he may be overqualified."

While many of you are not in favor of Abrams as the final choice for EPISODE VII, he is definitely more creative behind the camera than Johnston. I enjoyed CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and THE WOLFMAN, but they both lacked something magical to elevate them from the screen to something more. I feel Abrams definitely has the ability to do that and I hope he will when we finally get to see STAR WARS: EPISODE VII on the big screen.

Source: ComicBookMovie

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9:31PM on 02/05/2013
How gracious of him. These big-budget franchise blockbusters are indeed like military operations and not any director can handle them; I think JJ Abrams will do really well.
How gracious of him. These big-budget franchise blockbusters are indeed like military operations and not any director can handle them; I think JJ Abrams will do really well.
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6:33PM on 02/05/2013
I love Abrams and all will be well, but I just think Star Wars should be making new stars out of no name directors, not adding to an established director's resume. It's a weird stance to have because I'm basically arguing against a good movie, but Star Wars is unique. Let's use it for the better of the industry.
I love Abrams and all will be well, but I just think Star Wars should be making new stars out of no name directors, not adding to an established director's resume. It's a weird stance to have because I'm basically arguing against a good movie, but Star Wars is unique. Let's use it for the better of the industry.
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4:45PM on 02/05/2013

The Verdict is....

In JJ we trust!
In JJ we trust!
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4:25PM on 02/05/2013
Its not that i can't be pleased, i have a long list of directors who can do this movie. I just think Abrams is the wrong fit. Abrams doesnt do kids movies, he does smart sci-fi movies. Star Wars are kids movies. People are forgetting that. Its what made the films so universally loved, because they appealed to us at a child's level. Abram's Star Trek movie, and even Super 8, were really good movies but they were not meant for kids. Its a certain element that is gonna get lost with Abrams
Its not that i can't be pleased, i have a long list of directors who can do this movie. I just think Abrams is the wrong fit. Abrams doesnt do kids movies, he does smart sci-fi movies. Star Wars are kids movies. People are forgetting that. Its what made the films so universally loved, because they appealed to us at a child's level. Abram's Star Trek movie, and even Super 8, were really good movies but they were not meant for kids. Its a certain element that is gonna get lost with Abrams directing. We all had our first Star Wars experience as a kid and now that we've seen movies like The Dark Knight and Star Trek, we think thats want we want from all our movies. But i can't sit down and watch The Dark Knight with my kids the way i can with Star Wars. I love JJ Abrams, i really do, but i'd rather see Andrew Stanton, Joe Johnston, Henry Selick or Robert Zemeckis get the job
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4:28PM on 02/05/2013
I dont have a doubt that the new Star Wars movie will be good. But i was just hoping to get a movie more in line with the Star Wars we remember, and i dont think Abrams is gonna give us that
I dont have a doubt that the new Star Wars movie will be good. But i was just hoping to get a movie more in line with the Star Wars we remember, and i dont think Abrams is gonna give us that
4:15PM on 02/05/2013

No real issue with JJ

I'll admit that I'm someone who is not entirely on-board with Abrams directing. But like smooveluv said below, I will try my best to reserve judgment until I at least see a trailer.
My biggest concern is how much control Disney/Lucasfilm will give him. Ep.7 is the first step in launching a new trilogy and has to tie into THEIR overall picture, not just what Abrams wants to do. And Abrams strikes me as that whiny little geek that sulks until he gets his way. In two of his past movies, his
I'll admit that I'm someone who is not entirely on-board with Abrams directing. But like smooveluv said below, I will try my best to reserve judgment until I at least see a trailer.
My biggest concern is how much control Disney/Lucasfilm will give him. Ep.7 is the first step in launching a new trilogy and has to tie into THEIR overall picture, not just what Abrams wants to do. And Abrams strikes me as that whiny little geek that sulks until he gets his way. In two of his past movies, his villains' motivations were never entirely clear and to some extent left me wanting a little more (MI:3 we never know what the Rabbits Foot does, and Star Trek, travelling back in time to blow up Vulcan and Earth doesn't necessarily mean Romulus won't be destroyed 100 years in the future). But having said that, they were both two amazing movies, especially Star Trek. It's just to some extent I question is true ability to get creative with telling a story. So I have confidence that he can pull it off, only if he puts his ego in check and lets Disney/Lucasfilm have their creative input to ensure the story goes in a proper direction. Overall, I don't think anyone can fault the decision to go with a creative director who has a true love for the source material.
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4:14PM on 02/05/2013

No real issue with JJ

I'll admit that I'm someone who is not entirely on-board with Abrams directing. But like smooveluv said below, I will try my best to reserve judgment until I at least see a trailer.
My biggest concern is how much control Disney/Lucasfilm will give him. Ep.7 is the first step in launching a new trilogy and has to tie into THEIR overall picture, not just what Abrams wants to do. And Abrams strikes me as that whiny little geek that sulks until he gets his way. In two of his past movies, his
I'll admit that I'm someone who is not entirely on-board with Abrams directing. But like smooveluv said below, I will try my best to reserve judgment until I at least see a trailer.
My biggest concern is how much control Disney/Lucasfilm will give him. Ep.7 is the first step in launching a new trilogy and has to tie into THEIR overall picture, not just what Abrams wants to do. And Abrams strikes me as that whiny little geek that sulks until he gets his way. In two of his past movies, his villains' motivations were never entirely clear and to some extent left me wanting a little more (MI:3 we never know what the Rabbits Foot does, and Star Trek, travelling back in time to blow up Vulcan and Earth doesn't necessarily mean Romulus won't be destroyed 100 years in the future). But having said that, they were both two amazing movies, especially Star Trek. It's just to some extent I question is true ability to get creative with telling a story. So I have confidence that he can pull it off, only if he puts his ego in check and lets Disney/Lucasfilm have their creative input to ensure the story goes in a proper direction. Overall, I don't think anyone can fault the decision to go with a creative director who has a true love for the source material.
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4:15PM on 02/05/2013
And also to the above, Disney better ensure Damon Lindelof does not come anywhere near the script if Abrams needs to do any re-writes.
And also to the above, Disney better ensure Damon Lindelof does not come anywhere near the script if Abrams needs to do any re-writes.
+13
3:39PM on 02/05/2013

peopel griping about JJ Abrams

are proof that fanboys can't be pleased. People have been griping about Lucas for years, and now they they are getting their wish - it's not good enough. Seriously, if Spielberg committed to directing the reboot, you'd still get some guys coming out of the woodwork whining that Neill Blomkamp wasn't directing it.
How about people wait until the movie comes out before they render final judgement. Or a freaking trailer.
are proof that fanboys can't be pleased. People have been griping about Lucas for years, and now they they are getting their wish - it's not good enough. Seriously, if Spielberg committed to directing the reboot, you'd still get some guys coming out of the woodwork whining that Neill Blomkamp wasn't directing it.
How about people wait until the movie comes out before they render final judgement. Or a freaking trailer.
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3:34PM on 02/05/2013

Have faith in JJ

After the quasi-disasters that were Ep.I and II, and the semi-redemption of Ep. 3, I think the new trilogy has to start with a solid established director and take no chances by pissing off more Star Wars fans. It was like producing Mad Men for SyFy channel. A major disconnect with loyal fans of the original trilogy. JJ has shown he has the skills to go a lil retro with the movie design (see Super 8) but yet give it a modern feel (see Star Trek). Indeed JJ is overqualified but I'de rather take
After the quasi-disasters that were Ep.I and II, and the semi-redemption of Ep. 3, I think the new trilogy has to start with a solid established director and take no chances by pissing off more Star Wars fans. It was like producing Mad Men for SyFy channel. A major disconnect with loyal fans of the original trilogy. JJ has shown he has the skills to go a lil retro with the movie design (see Super 8) but yet give it a modern feel (see Star Trek). Indeed JJ is overqualified but I'de rather take those chances rather than having Ep. I all over again.
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3:13PM on 02/05/2013
Thats why the choice isnt sitting easy with me. I think Abrams is over-qualified for the job. Like Tarantino and Wes Anderson, when you watch a JJ Abrams movie, you know your watching a JJ Abrams movie. He has a certain style to his directing that, while good in its own right, just meshes with the rest of the movies. Im sure the movie will be good, i was just hoping a simpler director would get the job, freeing Abrams to do Star Trek 3 and other original projects
Thats why the choice isnt sitting easy with me. I think Abrams is over-qualified for the job. Like Tarantino and Wes Anderson, when you watch a JJ Abrams movie, you know your watching a JJ Abrams movie. He has a certain style to his directing that, while good in its own right, just meshes with the rest of the movies. Im sure the movie will be good, i was just hoping a simpler director would get the job, freeing Abrams to do Star Trek 3 and other original projects
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3:08PM on 02/05/2013
Joe hit it right on the head. By the way when they make a solo STAR WARS film for Boba Fett, Kathleen knows who to call.
Joe hit it right on the head. By the way when they make a solo STAR WARS film for Boba Fett, Kathleen knows who to call.
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