J.J. Abrams May Face the Ire of Star Trek Fans Over ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’


Star Trek director Abrams may find himself facing some ire from the fans of the series, when Star Wars: Episode VII is released. Despite the relief among fans over J.J. Abrams’ 2009 revival of the Star Trek series, 2013 saw him face scathing reviews over allegations of the poor treatment of the franchise’s characters in the sequel Star Trek: Into Darkness. First, the world’s largest media corporation, Disney, acquired Lucasfilm, the Holy Grail of science fiction feature films, in 2012. The two largest science fiction franchises on the planet were then placed in the hands of one man: J.J. Abrams.

Abrams’ meteoric ascent to director and writer of the Star Trek series is as impressive as the impact of the two television shows he created: Lost and Alias. While the latter may be consigned to the back room of collective celluloid memory, albeit with positive reviews, the former occupies a special place as one of the most engaging science fiction dramas of modern television. Both give him a solid resume with the genre.

With at least two Emmy Award winning series, Abrams’ candidacy as director for two of the longest running science fiction series on television and on the big screen may be justified. This, however, may leave die-hard fans with a degree of uneasiness and even ire that Abrams may find hard to overcome when Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters in 2015. Some of this discomfort comes from the fact that Abrams appears to have reneged on his own claim of loyalty to the Star Trek franchise. In a 2012 interview, he declared that “because of my loyalty to Star Trek, also just being a Star Wars fan, I would not even want to be involved in the next version of those things.”

Nine months later, Lucasfilm confirms his involvement, not just as replacement screenwriter, but as director of Star Wars: Episode VII. This is not the first of the turnarounds that J.J. Abrams can be accused of. Within the industry, rumor mills continue to generate hype about the possible fallout between Abrams and IMAX’s Richard Gelfond. Back in September 2012, Gelfond, the chief executive officer of IMAX made a very public announcement that Star Wars: Episode VII may be shot on IMAX. This month, Abrams announced that he prefers to shoot the movie on film, citing the noise and unreliability of IMAX as a significant problem. Sci-fi fans around the world may suffer his choice to direct both franchises, but the question remains as to whether the industry will tolerate such a quick decision to change formats.

Finally, there is the admission that could see Abrams expelled from Star Trek conventions around the world. In several interviews, Abrams has admitted to not being a fan of the original series

“Frankly, I was not a big Star Trek fan when I first got involved with the films,” he said, “but the idea of a Star Trek that did appeal to me was an exciting challenge.”

There is only one problem with creating a film that appeals to a director’s interpretation of a franchise with a cult following; admitting to loving his own interpretation more than the original films or television series. To an extremely faithful fan base, this has been the most damning revelation. It is one that may see J.J. Abrams face their collective ire when Star Wars: Episode VII is released. Abrams may still be able to redeem himself with an untitled Star Trek sequel that is currently said to be in development. Until then, despite all the rumors, Abrams remains securely in control of two of the greatest science film fiction franchises on the planet.

By Grace Stephen

Comic Book Therapy
The Independent
The Hollywood Reporter

10 Responses to "J.J. Abrams May Face the Ire of Star Trek Fans Over ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’"

  1. Matt   February 11, 2014 at 6:56 am

    My issue with the Abrams Trek films is the fact that they all take place in an alternate reality. I would have preferred that they take place in the Roddenberry universe. However, that is not the fault of the director but of the writers. As long as Star Wars VII takes place in the Star Wars universe that already exists, you’ll hear no complaint from me.

  2. Parker Gabriel   January 29, 2014 at 7:34 am

    “If ever ‘Star Trek: Unhappenings’ were needed to be produced, so as to destroy everything evil of which the Bad Roboticist is guilty, then it’s even more DESPERATELY needed now than ever!!!”

  3. Dale   January 26, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Nicholas Meyer didn’t know or love Star Trek either. While JJ takes most of the heat for STID, I put the majority of the blame on the writers. They just can’t seem to stay away from TWOK and refuse to be creative and create their own story. So as a life long trek fan, I remain frustrated. ST09 was unique and imaginative and set the table for fantastic new story telling in the Star Trek universe. The writers failed to seize that opportunity. JJ put trek back on the map, and I don’t know that having someone else direct STXIII is the right thing to do or not.

  4. Cisco   January 25, 2014 at 11:31 am

    The new Star Trek was garbage, as a huge fan of both… As YES such a thing is possible, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I saw the reboot. More deus ex machina in one movie than in recorded history…plot lines simply for directorial convenience. And the idea that he brings characters to life is absurd. His storytelling is shallow and for an ADHD generation with more flashing blinking lights than development. I cringe when I think of what Episode VII brings… He had stated he was a fan of Trek before he did that as well… Now all of a sudden he’s a fan of Star Wars… He’s an opportunistic douche with little talent and too much “vision”. Some humility is needed when usurping such gigantic and timeless franchises. I admit, it’s better than Lucas doing any more….but he’s a mistake. Time will prove this… I only hope Carrie, Mark and Harrison can carry it like they did the original scripts.

  5. John   January 23, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    I can’t wait until the glorious day comes when Abrams and his ilk are no longer involved in Star Trek.

    I hope they all go over to Star Wars and STAY THERE. He should’ve never, ever taken the reigns of Star Trek.

  6. kevin   January 22, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    …except that Abrams is skillful when it comes to giving a character depth. If anything, we should hope to expect an attempt at very dynamic characters with a solid feeling of reality attached.

  7. Jack R T   January 22, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Best thing ever. Abrams doing Star Wars means that someone else can do Star Trek & not mess it up. Come on, into darkness is awful. It’s stock sci fi & Star Trek should be more than that. Let him do Star Wars… Thats stock rubbish that any idiot can handle.

    • darthlocke   January 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Bad Robot is currently still producing and writing to finish off THEIR trilogy, whether Paramount will give Mr. Abrams more time to direct or not.

  8. Brian Davison   January 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    This article is simply ridiculous. Star Trek Into Darkness made over $467 million worldwide, meaning more than just bitter old Trekkies enjoyed the movie enough to make it a box office success. No, the movie wasn’t perfect (because no movie is), but it continued bringing Star Trek to a new generation of fans that want to see something adventurous and fun instead of sitting around conference tables.

  9. Robert   January 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

    This article proves my point that Abrams never should have neen involved with this film. Star Trek was always about the characters & the story. This “muppet show” was ridiculous. So much story sacrificed for non believable Star Wars type action. This was NOT Gene Rodenberry’s vision. Thumbs down.


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