“Finally” is probably not an entirely fair word to use to describe JJ Abrams’ silence on Star Wars Episode VII. First of all, the man is releasing the biggest movie of the summer in six weeks with Star Trek Into Darkness. Second, JJ Abrams doesn’t show his hand about ANY project he does. Third, it’s actually not been that long, it just feels that way to those of us who are whipped into a lightsaber-wielding Force frenzy.
Abrams sat down with Empire magazine to talk Star Trek and the transition to Star Wars and it sounds like he’s trying still to wrap his mind around it as well. There’s not any big reveals, but it’s nice to get some insight on what he’s thinking.
I don’t know because we’re just getting started [transitioning from finishing Star Trek to starting Star Wars]. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.
How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.
My knee-jerk reaction [to being Ep. 7 director] was that I’m in the middle of working on the Star Trek movie and I can’t even consider it. But then time went by and I got further along working on the movie and getting to a place where I had done most of the heavy lifting. So when I met with Kathy Kennedy we just started discussing it and I was able to actually engage in the conversation. I went down to tell Katie, my wife and I said ‘I had just a very interesting conversation with Kathy.’ That was the beginning.
The only other reveal offered is that Steven Spielberg had been in on all of the developments the entire time, which isn’t much of a surprise given his closeness with Lucas. Once Star Trek is out, hopefully we’ll see more news start to come out about Episode VII. Unless there’s a lot happening behind the scenes that will be announced in a big lump (and there very well could be), the 2015 release date looks really optimistic to me.