Star Wars Episode VII director, J.J. Abrams, is currently on a book tour. This book tour has nothing to do with Star Wars, but of course, it comes up everywhere. Abrams cannot ditch Star Wars for a minute because he is being barraged with questions about it, or because he knows discussing Star Wars in an evasive way will make us all mention his new book “S” in some way or another. See, he just made me do it. Abrams is talking Star Wars while not talking Star Wars. Abrams is also telling everyone exactly what they want to hear while not telling them anything at all.
First, Abrams spoke to The Times. But they are a subscription based service so absolutely no one knows what he really said or what the initial slant was. The Times pretty much gave all the hits away to other papers re-reporting their content. The Telegraph paints their Abrams interview as agreeing with the dopey “Four Rules” Star Wars VII should follow video. But Abrams doesn’t really do that, at least not exactly. He agrees with some of the sentiment. Some of their sentiment is true, if not one dimensional. So Arbams gets to agree with that fan base on their terms while not really agreeing with them.
The Telegraph also claim Star Wars is returning to its “grittier roots.” Once again, that’s a highly questionable statement. The one with Jawas, and fun space adventure or the one that kills women, children, and burns a man alive while democracy crumbles? Hyperbolic language in these types of Star Wars articles resides in a fantasy past that never existed. Anyone that thinks Star Wars was gritty, probably thinks The Jonas Brothers are edgy too.
The slant that Abrams disregards the prequels only goes so far, however;
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.
Abrams has a lawyers command of the English language. He’s literally agreed with both perspectives while pleasing both sides and not really saying anything at all about Star Wars Episode VII. Nice try, but he didn’t fall for it.
THR on the other hand reports the story mainly from a positive angle. He simply praises the original Star Wars story where one did not need to know anything about the subtext of the characters and story:
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. You don’t know what Leia is princess of. You don’t yet understand who Jabba the Hutt is, even though there is a reference to him. You don’t know that Vader is Luke’s father, Leia is his sister – but the possibility is all there. 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.
Abrams’ comment falls into align with what Pablo Hildalgo said back at D23 that anyone will be able to start watching Star Wars at that point and follow along just fine. The takeaway from all of this is that Star Wars and the new films that follow will be about people on the micro level and the story will not delve too deep into the macro politics of the universe.
Abrams refused to comment to THR about Ejiofor being cast in Star Wars VII, only stating:
Ejiofor is a very talented gentleman.
While talking to Scotsman.com, Abrams discussed filming locations, kind of. Abrams jokes about his crew in response:
Tommy keeps pushing locations in Scotland and Trina, who is a wonderful Irish woman, keeps pushing locations to shoot in Ireland, so I’m just going to put the two of them in a room and see who comes out, and I’ll tell you it’s not going to be Tommy. But joking aside, we are looking all over the place for locations and we haven’t made that determination yet.
So we learned they have not made any determinations yet on locations.
Abrams tour for “S” has brought up a lot of Star Wars discussion that is fruitless to us, the Star Wars VII obsessed rapscallions.