Yes, J.J. Abrams boned Star Trek: Into Darkness. Yes, I am disappointed. After the first reboot, can you blame me? After years of the same suffering concept dragging itself to the cinemas for the same vicious bashing, someone actually did a new, viable Trek that made sense within its context. Time travel? Check. Alternate universes? Totally established. Spock? SPOCK! The horizon looked bright. I distinctly remember leaving the theater after seeing the reboot and thinking, “wow, we might get a good Trek series again.” And, God help me, I blessed the name of J.J. Abrams.
But Into Darkness…Oh, it is to shudder. I revoked my blessing through every bitter minute of that blind, overwrought fraud of a film. I cringed whenever Benedict Cumberbach’s white, white face assaulted my eyes. Every single time I heard that goddamned theme song, I could feel my mind splinter ever-so-slightly, like a branch bent almost to the snapping point.
I swore never to look at anything J.J. Abrams did ever again.
Then he signed up for Episode VII.
Let’s be clear: I will see this movie whether I want to or not. Most of my formative years were spent with Messrs. Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson in a long continuation of gritty Star Wars
fanfic Expanded Universe paperbacks. In fifth grade, I knew much more about the spice mines of Kessel than I did about France. I’ll go to see Episode VII like I’ll drive five hundred miles for my grandma’s spaghetti sauce this Christmas. It’s not going to be good, but I have feels about it.
That is why I, like you, dear reader, must now desperately concoct reasons to get excited about December 2015.
To begin with, Episode VII is going to be a Disney venture. That means that it will occur in the same corporate universe as The Little Mermaid and, of course, the Marvel Universe. The opportunities for crossovers are simply panoramic. How about Wolverine vs. Darth Vader vs…uh…Ursula? Tell me you wouldn’t take your nine-year-old to that. By my estimate, a Disney/Star Wars crossover will be a thing by 2020. Think of the cosplay possibilities.
Furthermore, Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Empire Strikes Back, will surely dilute some of that leftover Into Darkness mojo. This is the man who gave us Yoda. (Original Puppet Yoda, not the CGI-generated flying battle meatball.) The Force isn’t just strong with Kasdan, he’s probably generating it personally. He’s Yoda’s dad.
Finally, consider what it’ll be like for any director who works with that cast. The minute J.J. Abrams starts to noodle, Mark Hamill busts out the Joker voice. “Don’t you think Luke Skywalker would be a little more FORCE-ful in this situation? Hehehehahahahaha!” After recovering from his panic attack, J.J. gets right back in line.
The thought alone makes me smile.