An open letter to new Star Wars director J.J. Abrams

The Star Wars saga is a series of movies created by a man that looks like a hairy ham sandwich and is also one of the most iconic film series ever created. For over 30 years, the Star Wars franchise has dominated pop culture.

To put the massive fandom and importance of this franchise into perspective, typing “Star Wars” into Google yields 483,000,000 results, while the combined results for “moon landing” and “boobs” yields a mere 340,000,000.

That’s right. Star Wars is somehow more worthy of Internet discussion than actually landing on the real moon. (Suck it, Buzz Aldrin!)

It is perhaps the most memorable series in history. Even someone who hasn’t seen Star Wars since the first movie came out in 1977 knows exactly which character I’m referring to when I say, “butt-face alien.

A character with no lines, maybe five seconds of screen-time and a butt for a mouth was so memorable that everyone who sees “A New Hope” will remember that butt-faced alien creature until the day they die.

The amount of influence Star Wars has on our collective consciousness would seem excessive were the movies of the original trilogy not as totally rad as they are.

The films had an incredible ability to pull the viewer into the Star Wars universe and captivated the audience in a way that I have yet to see before or since.

For example, when Obi Wan Kanobi and Darth Vader have their lightsaber duel aboard the first Death Star, most of the audience was too distracted by the radiant awesomeness that is a lightsaber duel to notice that the whole fight sequence was actually incredibly awkward. (Seriously, go watch it).

Obi Wan was supposed to be a master lightsaber duelist, but the way he fights in that scene looks like he was channeling the spirit of someone gently trying to flick a light switch with a fly swatter. Not to mention, maybe 20 seconds into the fight, Kanobi inexplicably does a 360-degree spin that was so slow that legends say Alec Guinness was actually just watching the moon orbit the Earth.

As someone who has watched the original Star Wars trilogy probably a dozen times and who loved the series enough to watch “The Phantom Menace” without giving up on the franchise, the relatively old news that Disney is working on a sequel trilogy frightens and excites me.

After the mess that the prequels were, even a lukewarm sequel trilogy could basically spell the end for one of the greatest movie franchises in history. With all this in mind, if I may give a word of advice to JJ Abrams, the director assigned to the first new sequel.

Thanks for what you did with “Star Trek.” Seriously: Great shot, kid, that was one in a million.

But please, heed my advice and don’t get cocky. Star Wars is too important to a nerd like me to have to watch die. I can only imagine that would feel like a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Anyway, I gotta finish this column. I need to go head out to the Tosche Station and pick up a few power converters.

 

Reach the columnist at Jacob.Evans@asu.edu or follow him at @JacobEvansSP

 

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