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ST J.J. Abrams (Director Of TFA & TROS) Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Sequel Trilogy' started by Pro Scoundrel , Jan 3, 2020.

  1. JeanNo

    JeanNo Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2015
    I wish they could release a novel of Colin's take on Episode IX.
    JJ's is a disaster.
     
    The Chalk Jedi likes this.
  2. Rogue Knight

    Rogue Knight Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2020
    I think JJ gets Star Wars and had a specific task with TFA that he accomplished. To say that he is a disaster is unfair considering the great story he was able to start off, and amazing casting that led to new characters becoming immediately likeable. I would have liked seeing him in charge of the whole ST as I think we would have gotten a more cohesive story. With that said I think he was able to right a lot of the wrong that in my opinion was caused by TLJ. I understand that everyone has their own opinions and I respect that but this is truly how I feel.
     
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  3. rocknroll41

    rocknroll41 Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    May 28, 2013
    I agree with pretty much all of this!
     
    Rogue Knight likes this.
  4. Darth PJ

    Darth PJ Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2013
    In my opinion there’s nothing great about Abrams as a filmmaker... nor is there a ‘great’ story... given it’s hugely derivative. One of the fundamental issues of the ST (IMHO) is that Abrams was given the first film. He shouldn’t have had any control over the ST other than the technical direction of a film.
     
  5. cratylus

    cratylus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    Abrams' attitude definitely differs from my own at least in emphasis. I do not care for all the lightspeed tricks and the preponderance of "wow" moments. Importantly, he seems to have a lower regard for the prequels than I do. Your milage may vary, but I completely understand why Ahmed Best for example said he didn't want to talk to J.J.

    What bothered me most in the beginning of the ST was the feeling that these films were being offered as an alternative to the prequels, or as some sort of competition. At the very least there was a tone in some of the press work and marketing to the effect that "You may not have liked the prequels, but don't worry this will be different--more like the originals." There were precious few allusions to the orignals in The Force Awakens.

    Last but not least, there is a matter that to my mind has been mostly fixed, namely the issue of Rey being so unspeakably powerful and becoming competent so quickly. The scene where the lightsaber jumps into her hand is a case in point. Now I see it as similar to the lightning scene. She is flowing so strongly in the Force that she doesn't even realize what she is doing; her power practically leaks out unbidden. This is due to her dyad with Kylo, the restoration of balance in the force, and her awesome midicholorian level being a descendant of her Grand Palpy.

    Please note that I do not necessarily credit Abrams with having had all that worked out when he wrote and filmed this scene. I can see it that way because I'm an active fan and I read things creatively and generously to look for how it can work.
     
  6. Rogue Knight

    Rogue Knight Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 4, 2020
    The story may be derivative at a surface level but from a character standpoint what Abrams did with Episode VII cannot be discredited. I think Abrams had a specific goal with TFA, to inject new life into the series by bridging past and future. He accomplishes this well by hitting on recognizable story points while making the next generation of characters interesting and exciting.

    I appreciate and respect everyone's different opinions but I really like Abrams' style and I think his execution in TFA ans TROS was overall successful even though there were some flaws. I'd go as far as to say that no Star Wars movie (maybe with the exception of TESB) is flawless.
     
    Iron_lord likes this.
  7. Darth PJ

    Darth PJ Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2013
    No Star Wars film is perfect (or flawless) we can agree... but I think the sequels have by far the biggest issues in terms of expanding the concepts, progressing the story and making the GFFA fit for telling more stories in. Time will tell. But we're currently left in a position where, 5 movies in, there aren't any more currently in production. Regardless of Disney on-demand TV shows, I think that's a bad place for Star Wars to be in i.e. having no films in production... and it needn't have been in this position. I blame the sequels specifically for that (I thought Rogue One and Solo were fine), I believe they've been lacklustre (primarily because of how they've been developed/fast tracked) and I can understand completely why Disney have made the commercial decision to put them on hold (even if I don't agree). But as you say, it's just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  8. cratylus

    cratylus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    We can moan about all the missed opportunities or bad things, but on the other hand it's worth framing the sequel trilogy in terms of its natural restrictions given the position in which the creators found themselves when conceiving it. They had a few thin remnants from Lucas; outline but they were just about starting from scratch. They were taking over an aircraft carrier with a hundred moving parts or more, and it had to work both commercially and artistically. There was the weight of two trilogies that had been differently received, and inherently it was a challenge to both introduce a new generation of heroes and retire the old ones with respect. I think both Abrams and Johnson ought to be cut a little slack, and Lawrence Kasdan as well. These guys were doing what they could to keep the saga alive without offending the wrong people too much. It was a project like Indiana Jones walking among the booby trap tiles. One false move could wreck it. Some people think this actually happened, in one or more of the films. I'm annoyed at some things for sure. But I think the whole process is much more enjoyable when you give it the benefit of the doubt up to a point and Rise of Skywalker mostly made this a heck of a lot easier for me.
     
  9. Darth PJ

    Darth PJ Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Personally speaking, I don't think they could have done any worse... given all the resources at Disney's command.
     
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  10. MagnarTheGreat

    MagnarTheGreat Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 21, 2016
    J. J. Abrams: "[Reaction to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was] good, bad, some people hated it, some people loved it. It was all over the place. To those who didn't like it, I totally get it, respect it. To those who loved it, I'm grateful and dubious of your taste...kidding! I'm nothing but grateful. Obviously, a lot of people worked a lot of hours to do something that would make people feel good and that they'd love and anytime someone doesn't like it you think 'oh, yeah I could've done that better, I should've done that.' You try to like take it in but for the most part I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who worked so hard to do it and for the people who saw it and loved it I'm grateful to them too." "I'm incredibly proud of the entire crew and cast and I think they all deserve to be recognized for extraordinary work." "Maybe [that criticism is inevitable], I don't know. It's easy to say that but I don't know if that's true." (February 7, 2020) (archive)
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  11. Darth Buzz

    Darth Buzz Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2018

    Sounds like Rian had a concrete plan and stuck with it, while JJ was very unsure of himself and they were improving a lot on the fly. You can easily tell in the films quality.
     
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  12. Darth PJ

    Darth PJ Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2013
    I think that's very true. If only they could have come up with a coherent story worthy of telling in the first instance... they could have done something amazing with the return of Luke, Leia and Han. As much as I knock Abrams as a filmmaker, and as much as I don't like what Johnson did with his film, if they'd been working under strict guidance to a locked down story/vision, it could have been something wonderful.
     
  13. I Are The Internets

    I Are The Internets Shelf of Shame Host star 9 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Nov 20, 2012
    I wouldn't say Abrams is a hack, but he played it much too safe with TROS
     
  14. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Had LFL not thrown out JJ’s plan for 8 and 9, perhaps JJ could have proceeded more confidently.

    And, ofc, had JJ had nearly as much time to make TFA and RoS as RJ had to make TLJ.

    Makes it a bit harder to directly compare the two.
     
  15. Darth PJ

    Darth PJ Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Let's be in no doubts... That a film can even make it to the screen is, in and of itself, an achievement. It takes a lot of technical skill to direct a film... it can take even more skill to direct a film with a multi-million budget and producers breathing down your back. Abrams can do that. But, IMHO, that doesn't necessarily make a good filmmaker. Indeed, it can sometimes make for a worse one.
     
    Pro Scoundrel likes this.
  16. godisawesome

    godisawesome Sequel Trilogy Manager star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Johnson is definitely more of a “pregaming” creator than Abrams, a bit like how Christopher Nolan does his films, where there’s a lot of decisions made to ensure that time isn’t wasted in filming. Abrams is more similar to Jon Favreau by way of Spielberg; he values emotional connection so much that he’s willing to freestyle quite a bit as a matter of course.

    Though I’d argue there are extenuating circumstances in comparing TROS to TLJ...
    ...because Abrams was indeed trying to play it safe for TROS, implicitly under orders from LFL, and I have to say I don’t think there was anywhere to “play it safe” after TLJ, not when there *was* reportedly a mission statement to “win back” TLJ critics. Winning back TLJ critics would pretty much require trashing TLJ, and it was a mistake on several peoples’ par tin production to think there was some middle ground around there.

    Abrams made the most middle ground movie I think he could. And I think that did pay off for plenty of people. But it also didn’t help the film stack up to either TFA or TLJ, and there!s plenty of good reasons why the storytelling decision in TROS have left many disgruntled.

    And on that note...
    I do think both time for production and the incredible dissonance between TFA and TLJ left Abrams in a predicament. TLJ rerouted the trilogy against what he’d built it on, and clearly shuffled LFL!s priorities this time around too. His selected male lead, John Boyega as Finn, was clearly viewed in a lesser light by LFL compared to Kylo/Ben, and Terio has all but confrimed that Palpatine’s return has to do with trying to make sure that Ben’s redemption was a highlight of the film. That’s two major problems with TROS right there, and it sure sounds like the the kind of thing that happens when given an impossible request with a limited work time.
     
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  17. Darth Buzz

    Darth Buzz Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2018
    I mean after TFA, I would have thrown out JJ’s idea for 8/9 also. JJ was just trying to make a new version of the OT. Rian atleast tried you change it up a bit although he was constrained a bit due to TFA being what it was.
     
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  18. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    I wasn’t aware that JJ’s plans for 8 and 9 had been made public. Link?
     
  19. Darth Buzz

    Darth Buzz Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2018
    I’m just inferring based on TFA mirroring ANH, and TROS being similar in ways to ROTJ. JJ used a lot of original ideas from his early planning for TROS, so it seems he always wanted to mirror the OT, but with fresh paint.
     
  20. PendragonM

    PendragonM Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 7, 2018
    Why do I have to give them the benefit of the doubt or any slack? They got paid a veritable fortune to get to make a SW movie. They tossed out George’s ideas and decided to start from scratch, no one forced them to, in fact JJ insisted on it. I’m sorry, the second JJ decided to drag Luke, Han and Leia apart, destroy their character growth from the OT and never reunite them is the second he ceases to get any sort of pass on anything. Everyone involved in those decisions should be banned from ever making movies again, and that includes Mr TV Weather Guy Bob Iger and his platinum back account. The sooner he decides to run for office so I get the pleasure of seeing him poll at 0%, the better. They certainly failed at retiring the old heroes with respect and that they are constantly defended with how hard it is to make a SW movie - well, they had zero qualms about subtly trashing Lucas’s work and thinking they knew better, including “subverting expectations.” Kasdan got his final revenge on Lucas and got his ROTJ ending plus a nice payday twice and I’m supposed to feel bad for how difficult it was? Yeah, no.

    I’ll believe JJ had plans for 8 and 9 when someone actually produces them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  21. Darth Buzz

    Darth Buzz Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2018
    How the **** can we expect the actors to be able to perform well when they don't even know there lines until moments before they perform? We should honestly be giving the cast more praise considering what they had to deal with with JJ. The script constantly changing and not being able to go deep into your lines makes it very difficult to give an authentic performance.
     
  22. cratylus

    cratylus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 9, 2001
    I'm just here to express my own approches and feelings about these things. To me they had an extremely steep angle to climb and if they failed, you can do what many fans are doing and reject the sequel trilogy as canon. If, like me, you are interested in giving it a chance and recognizing the inherent challenges to making it, you can derive some pleasure from doing that. I'm not the boss of anyone here nor am I telling anyone to feel bad.
     
  23. JeanNo

    JeanNo Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2015
    I have no big issues with THE FORCE AWAKENS - and I actually believe JJ can be a great movie director - but THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is a disaster IMO. Frantic, messy, all over the place, uninspired (Palpatine, again, really?!) and, too many times, illogical.
     
  24. Count Zero

    Count Zero Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2014
    I didn't see much wrong with TFA other than it was a ANH remake. I hated ROS. Just hated it. No matter what the guy says, he retconned all the great stuff in TLJ and just gave us a halfassed movie that just didn't stick the landing. Relegated Rose to a cameo (Which, considering all the racist crap she went through from the 4chan crowd) seemed like a capitulation to the worst non-fans in the world (Seriously, do you think those people were actually fans? Or some alt-righters following their 4/8Chan commands). Has Poe light-skipping in atmosphere. And pretty much just gave us nothing but action sequences and no story.

    They should have split ROS into two movies to give everything some room to breathe.
     
    JoJoPenelli likes this.
  25. JoJoPenelli

    JoJoPenelli Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 14, 2000
    Daisy said he had done outlines that LFL subsequently threw out.

    So there ya go.