I had a ton of different ideas for my first post on Geek Goes Rogue. All those ideas got pushed aside with the news announced last night.
J.J. Abrams is going to direct the new set of Star Wars movies.
I couldn’t be any happier. There is NO one better qualified in Hollywood to these movies. Why?
Before I explain myself, I want to make a small digression. I didn’t hate Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III. I know the badge of admission into Star War geekdom to slam the prequels. I know the height of cool is to kick Jar Jar Binks. Here is the thing; they aren’t terrible movies. They are just “meh” to me and that’s what is so hard as a Star Wars fan.
In 1999, I didn’t just want “meh”. I wanted something more. I wanted to be blown away. The reason they were “meh” is they had no seemless humor and wonder. Everything felt forced. It’s as if George Lucas was saying, “you must GASP in wonder at this and you MUST LAUGH AT JAR JAR. HE’S FUNNY, DAMN IT.”
I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “When does the Lord of the Rings come out?”
Which brings me to Super 8.
If you have not seen this film, you must. In my opinion, it’s J.J.’s coming out party. The movie is centered around a group of kids in 1970’s Ohio. One of the kids has just lost his mother in a horrible steel accident. As the kids sneak out late at night, a terrible train wreck in their town unleashes something mysterious in their town.
I will say it without restraint. I love this movie. There is nothing cynical about it at all. It’s full of deep, natural wonder and humor. This is not a whistling in the dark, stick your head in the sand wonder. It’s a wonder that knows full well the pain, the sadness, and the tragedy of life. Joe, the main kid who lost his mom, becomes our vehicle to see this wonder in our universe. J.J. uses his story to crash our cynicism, our jadedness, and put magic back in the world. He make us see again the magic that’s already in our world. This is what a powerful story tends to do.
Plus, it’s a hilarious movie. Its about a bunch of kids running trying to make a movie and encounter something more. The humor isn’t forced. J.J. doesn’t tell us what to feel, he just lets us feel it. He doesn’t say, “THE KID WITH THE FIREWORKS IS FUNNY, DAMN IT. LAUGH! LAUGH!”.
This is why J.J. is THE MAN to do Star Wars. He has the power, the ability and the talent to bring back the wonder. He has the ability to take us back to 1978 when the trumpets sounded, the Lucasfilm emblem appeared on the screen and we’re kids again.
Star Wars was my creative “big bang”. The original trilogy and the Indiana Jones films made me realize I wanted to tell stories. I want them to move people. I want them to be giddy about the tale I’m spinning. I want to fill them with wonder and humor at the mysteries in our world.
This is what I want for my kids from the next Star Wars. I want a creative “big bang” for them. I don’t want just “meh”.
J.J., I’m counting on you……