Director JJ Abrams is back in the pilot seat for Star Wars Episode IX!
JJ Abrams will once again helm the writing and directing of Star Wars! After being in the director’s chair of Star Wars: Episode VII, JJ Abrams skipped the next installment and we have Rian Johnson as the director of the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi coming out this December.
Photo via ebay
I remember watching Betamax (you remember Betamax) movies when I was a kid and my dad had an old copy of The Empire Strikes Back! We would watch it every Saturday and I would relive the Hoth battle scenes over and over in my head. A few years later we upgraded to Laserdisc (wow Laserdisc!) and one of the first discs we had was Return of the Jedi! And so we would insert that big old disc into the big old tray and we would watch as Ewoks made mincemeat of a battalion of Stormtroopers!
Great days. Great stuff. I am a true-blue Star Wars fan, I watched all the movies. Yes, even the prequels such as The Phantom Menace, The Clone Wars, and The Revenge of the Sith. I collected books in the Star Wars Universe with titles like Shadows of the Empire, the Thrawn Trilogy, and Han and LEai’s supposed courtship in a planet full of rancors!
But none would prepare me for Episode 7
When the first news and the first trailers came out, I thought I would faint. We never thought that the Skywalker saga would continue. Decades have passed and all hope for a continuation of the Star Wars universe was gone. But there it was! Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia, and Harrison Ford as the swashbuckling Han Solo! Dreams do come true! We also got a first look at the beautiful new characters of Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren (who was and is ultra-cool with his twin-sided red lightsaber) and the cute BB-8!
Did you watch the premier of Star Wars; The Force Awakens? I did. I watched at SM Aura with my family who are all huge Star Wars fans. And all of us gasped and wailed when Han Solo fell to his death from the metal platform at the hands of his son. Tragic!
The movie was expertly done. Critics and fans acclaimed it was the perfect balance to a retelling and a new direction of the Star Wars mythos. It garnered record millions in the box office. And one reason for its success? The genius of director JJ Abrams!
Directing a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Photo via lrmonline
Episode 8 was aptly called Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Here we saw desert scrounger Rey discover her sensitivity to the Force. Many are speculating who Rey really is and what her origins are. We already know that Kylo Ren is actually Ben Kenobi, son of Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo. We are also shown in the film that Ben Kenobi used to be a student of Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. In a few visions and flashbacks, we also see that Ben Kenobi fell to the clutches of the dark side and rebelled against his master. He became part of a group called ‘The Knights of Ren’ and destroyed the Jedi Academy and presumably killed all the Jedi students therein. This was the reason why Jedi Master Luke Skywalker disappeared and vanished into the far reaches of the galaxy.
Throughout the first film, JJ Abrams led us into a fantastic journey into the world of Star Wars
For the older generation, this was a pretty good nod at the original films, with careful and exquisite storytelling that was loyal to the original. I can even remember the first time the camera panned into the scene where the Millennium Falcon was parked. My heart jumped a bit! And when Han and Chewie both entered the cockpit, their faces were the same as it was decades ago. And seeing those red X-Wings fly in the sky while intercepting the TIE Fighters while at the same time showing battle scenes on the ground was a stroke of genius! Such great effect and camera work! And near the end when Rey sat in the pilot seat of the Falco with Chewbacca beside her, that was the clear indication of a sense of continuity.
A passing of the baton
Meaning that the previous heroes of the story are now giving way to the new and younger generation. And of course, I have to tell you about that last crucial scene when Rey was walking up the mountain to meet the Jedi Master Luke Skywalker. Luke was front and center of the entire Star Wars universe. He is the cornerstone of the Jedi world was the undoubted hero and protagonist of the first films. But now here he is, wizened, seasoned, and we can only imagine what may lie in store for our merry band of heroes as they go into the next film, mysteriously entitled as Star Wars: The Last Jedi!
JJ Abrams was the highly-acclaimed director of the film. But even before the success of Episode VII: The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams had several films under his belt! He was a very sought after director! Let’s take a look at some of his more notable films to date!
How about looking at Star Trek first?
The legendary space adventure has been a very beloved TV series, and several successful movies as well! But the latest rendition of Star Trek came from the genius and mastery of JJ Abrams! In Star Trek, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Star Trek: Beyond, we came to know Chris Pine as the fearless captain of the USS Enterprise. Here we witnessed amazing galactic adventures in a trilogy of movies that brought into space…the final frontier!
Did you know that JJ Abrams is was also the writer/director/producer of the most recent Mission: Impossible films! Partnering with box-office and action king Tom Cruise, JJ Abrams took us on a world of super-spy and covert-espionage adventure with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, and many others! Through these films, JJ Abrams mastered the art of filming crazy action scenes and explosive chases, all the while maintaining the entertaining and often funny quirks of their lead…Ethan Hunt!
Do you remember the 90’s film Casper?
Christina Ricci, Devon Sawa, and Bill Pullman star in this beloved movie adaptation of the Casper: The Friendly Ghost. JJ Abrams was also part of the team that brought us this ingenious film back then, combining superb graphic effects of that day with an unforgettable OST in “Remember Me This Way”!
And of course we have to mention one of the greatest and biggest movies made of all time…Armageddon! Starring big names such as Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler, Armageddon told the story of an Earth-ending asteroid that is hurtling towards our planet! Enter the drilling team of Harry Stamper (played by Bruce Willis), together with his fearless band of comical and tough drillers, they board a space shuttle, land on a menacing asteroid, drill and drop a nuclear warhead, and save the day! Everyone loved Armageddon! Everyone still loves it! It is one of the films that when you chance upon on FOX or HBO, regardless how many times you have seen it, you will sit down and watch it again! And yup, JJ Abrams was part of it! Take a look at all the works from imdb of this innovative and talented director, writer, and producer!
Producer (56 credits)
2016-2018 Westworld (TV Series) (executive producer – 11 episodes)
– Journey into Night (2018) … (executive producer)
– The Bicameral Mind (2016) … (executive producer)
– The Well-Tempered Clavier (2016) … (executive producer)
– Trace Decay (2016) … (executive producer)
– Trompe L’Oeil (2016) … (executive producer)
2016 Star Trek Beyond (producer)
2011-2016 Person of Interest (TV Series) (executive producer – 103 episodes)
– Race for the Prize (2016) … (executive producer)
– Pittsburgh Astrobotic (2016) … (executive producer)
2016 10 Cloverfield Lane (producer – produced by)
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens (producer)
2015 Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (producer)
2015 Dead People (TV Movie) (executive producer)
– Memorial Day (2014) … (executive producer)
– Tomorrowland (2014) … (executive producer)
– S#!& Happens (2014) … (executive producer)
– Austin City Limits (2014) … (executive producer)
2013 Star Trek Into Darkness (producer)
2011 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (producer)
2011 Super 8 (producer)
2010 Morning Glory (producer)
2009 Star Trek (producer)
2009 Anatomy of Hope (TV Movie) (executive producer)
2008 Cloverfield (producer)
2001-2006 Alias (TV Series) (executive producer – 105 episodes)
Star Wars Episode VIII entitled The Last Jedi is coming this December
The trailer looks mysterious and we can’t wait to find out what surprises and crucial plot twists the Star Wars Universe will bring our way. Will Kylo Ren return to lights side of the force? Can Rey master her force-abilities? Does Luke return to the battle and have an awesome Jedi and Sith duel against the insidious Snoke? All of these things will have to wait until the end of the year and Star Wars: The Last Jedi appears on theaters around us.
But one thing is for sure, it will be one great setup to Episode IX! Many still say that Star Wars Episode IV: The Empire Strikes Back is still the best of all the Star Wars films. And if that is any indication, Star Wars: The Last Jedi would be a great setup for the next in the lineup…Episode IX!
Photo via digitalspy
Star Wars speaks to all of us
And even though it is set a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It is still the story of a young hero discovering their place in the world. Rey is the perfect similar character to Luke. Alone in the world, unsure about their family origins, unsure of himself/herself. But in the same way that Luke started his journey with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and Chewie, Rey also began her journey with Finn! Star Wars is the eternal story of adventure and heroism. Where evil lurks in the shadows and the light must endure and persist for goodness to triumph.