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Why the future SW films concern me

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            I am scared for the future of Star Wars. The original film in ‘77, the original trilogy, the moments of the prequel trilogy, and the continuing stories throughout the saga are a dominant force (heh) in a culture, not to mention to me, personally. There is a lot at stake with the upcoming trilogy for Lucasfilm, Disney, the fans, and the film industry in general. But there is one thing that bothers me more than anything else: inexperience.  

Here is rundown of confirmed and rumored directors for the upcoming Star Wars films:

Film

Director

Age

Directorial Debut

Number of films

VII

JJ Abrams

49

2006

4

IIX

Rian Johnson

41

2005

3

IX

Colin Trevarrow

39

2012

2

Rogue One

Gareth Edwards

40

2010

2

???

Josh Trank

31

2012

2

Han Solo

Phil Lord, Chris Miller

39

2009

4

           

An average of the seven directors shows an age of 39 years old,  directing fewer than three films, and who began their directing careers just six years ago. Now the filmography between these filmmakers has made generally-liked movies – Super8, Looper, Monsters, The Lego Movie – movies I’ve enjoyed. However, even though they could knock them out of the park, I still do not trust these men to make a solid Star Wars movie. So I have to wonder what the logic is by Kathleen Kennedy and the Disney leadership that they make these moves. Or to put it another way, why not hire within the plethora of veteran directors who have a proven track record of +20 years? A small sample of recognized and established are the following: Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Joe Johnston, James Cameron, Wolfgang Peterson, David Fincher, Mel Gibson, Robert Redford, Frank Darabont, Kathryn Bigelow, Fernando Ferreira Meirelles, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Sam Mendes, Guillermo del Toro, Denis Villeneuve, Jonathan Demme, Brian De Palma, Joe Wright, Sam Raimi, Danny Boyle, and Andrew Niccol.

            Disney’s argument could be that they have more control over the less-experienced directors. With a veteran, there is a greater potential for unwanted back-and-forth arguing with story, scenes, and look of the films. The auteur in some of the aforementioned directors may want things their way (although we are not talking about the Terrence Malicks or von Triers of filmmaking). With just two films under a couple of these guys’ belts does not instill confidence in me.   

            A related concern of mine is that they only have experience in the sci-fi genre. Although that helps with the eye-candy that we are beginning to see with every new VII image released, are we all not concerned with the storyline? The precedent was set with Irvin Kershner for Empire Strikes Back – arguably the best of the six feature films.  Because his specialty was not in the sci-fi genre but rather in drama, he brought out the best in each character, climaxing in the greatest reveal in cinematic history. A shining example of this is the Harry Potter franchise. The Boston Globe wrote a good comparison of the four directors of those films. None of them had sci-fi/fantasy experience, but they understood drama. Four directors on the younger side (to appease the Disney execs) who I can see handling both action and drama well (a la Kershner) are Sophia Coppola, Steve McQueen, Jonathan Glazer, and Garth Jennings. Admittedly, the Potter movies’ drama might have been a little heavy-handed, but they no doubt brought an exponential maturity to the films – something that the directors of the upcoming Star Wars films do not yet have.

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In 1977, George Lucas was only 33, and had made just 2 movies before (the first one, already a sci-fi movie, in 1971)

Han: Hey Lando! You kept your promise, right? Not a scratch?
Lando: Well, what’s left of her isn’t scratched. All the scratched parts got knocked off along the way.
Han (exasperated): Knocked off?!

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My counter to that is that it was his story and he had been working on it for the previous 4 years. It was a surprise hit and had no expectations put upon it. I feel that its different in a franchise. I loved Brick, liked Chronicle and Super 8, and Godzilla was awesome on IMAX.

My main question, I guess, is why they have exclusively chosen fresh faces.

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Hooterdear said:

My main question, I guess, is why they have exclusively chosen fresh faces.

Because they want to try new things, push boundaries, explore new aspects of the universe, take risks, etc. If you want tried and true, watch TFA.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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Because of their youth. They have a fresh outlook and a reverence for the material.

Look at the contemporary films of the likes of Spielberg and Scott. As they've gotten older they've lost touch with what made their earlier films so spectacular.

Help back OMNO!

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This is dumb as shit. First of all *Trevorrow is not directing Episode IX, at least not yet. And Josh Trank is directing absolutely nothing ever again, Star Wars or otherwise. 

Dismissing Lucas's inexperience when he made the original is silly. Also, let's not forget that the three worst Star Wars films were made by the director with the most experience.

Sure, Kersh was in the business for awhile, but he made absolutely nothing of note before Empire. Same goes for Marquand. If someone with their credentials were hired for a new Star Wars film, I bet you wouldn't trust them either.

What's funny is if you look at most of those "established" filmmakers you listed, most of them made a big film like Star Wars when they were still a "fresh face."

The main reason why veteran directors aren't being hired is that veteran directors want to make their own stuff. Christopher Nolan made the Dark Knight trilogy and it was brilliant, and now he wants to move on to tell his own stories.

I know Marvel uses young directors because they can control them, but I think it's the opposite with Lucasfilm. They want fresh faces because they want fresh talent and fresh ideas. 

Look no further than Abrams, who took the script Lucasfilm gave him and completely rewrote it with Kasdan. (Abrams, by the way, is possibly the most qualified director in the business to make a Star Wars film.)

So yeah no.

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Why a future film would concern anyone is beyond me.  But then again, I have life experiences that make me realize that films are just films.  If it sucks, it will suck, but life will go on.  And it probably won't suck.

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TV's Frink said:

 If it sucks, it will suck, but life will go on.  And it probably won't suck.

 But what if it does!?!?!?!

Ok, I see that I'm in the minority. Nobody finds it just a little curious. Let's just move on and wait until December to see that I'm right after all.  

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DominicCobb said:

This is dumb as shit. First of all *Trevorrow is not directing Episode IX, at least not yet. And Josh Trank is directing absolutely nothing ever again, Star Wars or otherwise. 

Dismissing Lucas's inexperience when he made the original is silly. Also, let's not forget that the three worst Star Wars films were made by the director with the most experience.

Sure, Kersh was in the business for awhile, but he made absolutely nothing of note before Empire. Same goes for Marquand. If someone with their credentials were hired for a new Star Wars film, I bet you wouldn't trust them either.

What's funny is if you look at most of those "established" filmmakers you listed, most of them made a big film like Star Wars when they were still a "fresh face."

The main reason why veteran directors aren't being hired is that veteran directors want to make their own stuff. Christopher Nolan made the Dark Knight trilogy and it was brilliant, and now he wants to move on to tell his own stories.

I know Marvel uses young directors because they can control them, but I think it's the opposite with Lucasfilm. They want fresh faces because they want fresh talent and fresh ideas. 

Look no further than Abrams, who took the script Lucasfilm gave him and completely rewrote it with Kasdan. (Abrams, by the way, is possibly the most qualified director in the business to make a Star Wars film.)

So yeah no.

 

I could dispute everything you said, because I don't think I agree with any of it. I don't think it's "dumb as shit"- It was a coherent thought written by a university graduate and the math and spelling was all correct. 

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Too soon to say; there are still so many other variables unaccounted for. It's much less painful to simply not concern yourself with this. See the movies, decide if they're any good or not. If not, just watch the trilogy again.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

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 (Edited)

A SW film directed by Mel Gibson? Yeah ... not going to happen. I think Mel's a good director, but there's no way in the sixteen Buddhist hells that Disney's gonna allow a man with his reputation to ever direct a SW film.

As for Sam Raimi ... God, I hope not. In the '80s and '90s? Sure, I'd have loved to have see him direct a SW flick. These days, though? NO.

STRANGE

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 (Edited)

The key to a good film is a good story and screenplay. Director is of secondary importance.

真実

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Hooterdear said:

TV's Frink said:

 If it sucks, it will suck, but life will go on.  And it probably won't suck.

 But what if it does!?!?!?!

Ok, I see that I'm in the minority. Nobody finds it just a little curious. Let's just move on and wait until December

 First thing I agree with.

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imperialscum said:

The key to a good film is a good story and screenplay. Director is of secondary importance.

 They're of equal importance.

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TV's Frink said:

imperialscum said:

The key to a good film is a good story and screenplay. Director is of secondary importance.

 They're of equal importance.

Our opinion is of higher importance.

Canada

真実

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imperialscum said:

TV's Frink said:

imperialscum said:

The key to a good film is a good story and screenplay. Director is of secondary importance.

 They're of equal importance.

Our opinion is of higher importance.

Canada

 Discussing the opinions of Canada was the last place I wanted to take this discussion.

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TV's Frink said:

imperialscum said:

The key to a good film is a good story and screenplay. Director is of secondary importance.

 They're of equal importance.

 Okay but where does the way they combed Chewbacca's hair near his eyes fit into this hierarchy of importance?

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It's of paramount importance.

INB4 Disney joke.

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 (Edited)

Hooterdear said:

DominicCobb said:

This is dumb as shit. First of all *Trevorrow is not directing Episode IX, at least not yet. And Josh Trank is directing absolutely nothing ever again, Star Wars or otherwise. 

Dismissing Lucas's inexperience when he made the original is silly. Also, let's not forget that the three worst Star Wars films were made by the director with the most experience.

Sure, Kersh was in the business for awhile, but he made absolutely nothing of note before Empire. Same goes for Marquand. If someone with their credentials were hired for a new Star Wars film, I bet you wouldn't trust them either.

What's funny is if you look at most of those "established" filmmakers you listed, most of them made a big film like Star Wars when they were still a "fresh face."

The main reason why veteran directors aren't being hired is that veteran directors want to make their own stuff. Christopher Nolan made the Dark Knight trilogy and it was brilliant, and now he wants to move on to tell his own stories.

I know Marvel uses young directors because they can control them, but I think it's the opposite with Lucasfilm. They want fresh faces because they want fresh talent and fresh ideas. 

Look no further than Abrams, who took the script Lucasfilm gave him and completely rewrote it with Kasdan. (Abrams, by the way, is possibly the most qualified director in the business to make a Star Wars film.)

So yeah no.

 

I could dispute everything you said, because I don't think I agree with any of it. I don't think it's "dumb as shit"- It was a coherent thought written by a university graduate and the math and spelling was all correct. 

Still dumb though.

And if you're going to go into TFA thinking it'll be bad, it will be. If you want it to be good, be optimistic. Pessimism will only lead you to not enjoying what you could easily be enjoying.

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DominicCobb said:

Hooterdear said:

DominicCobb said:

This is dumb as shit. First of all *Trevorrow is not directing Episode IX, at least not yet. And Josh Trank is directing absolutely nothing ever again, Star Wars or otherwise. 

Dismissing Lucas's inexperience when he made the original is silly. Also, let's not forget that the three worst Star Wars films were made by the director with the most experience.

Sure, Kersh was in the business for awhile, but he made absolutely nothing of note before Empire. Same goes for Marquand. If someone with their credentials were hired for a new Star Wars film, I bet you wouldn't trust them either.

What's funny is if you look at most of those "established" filmmakers you listed, most of them made a big film like Star Wars when they were still a "fresh face."

The main reason why veteran directors aren't being hired is that veteran directors want to make their own stuff. Christopher Nolan made the Dark Knight trilogy and it was brilliant, and now he wants to move on to tell his own stories.

I know Marvel uses young directors because they can control them, but I think it's the opposite with Lucasfilm. They want fresh faces because they want fresh talent and fresh ideas. 

Look no further than Abrams, who took the script Lucasfilm gave him and completely rewrote it with Kasdan. (Abrams, by the way, is possibly the most qualified director in the business to make a Star Wars film.)

So yeah no.

 

I could dispute everything you said, because I don't think I agree with any of it. I don't think it's "dumb as shit"- It was a coherent thought written by a university graduate and the math and spelling was all correct. 

Still dumb though.

And if you're going to go into TFA thinking it'll be bad, it will be. If you want it to be goo, be optimistic.

 We want it to be goo!

Team Slimer

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Not the goo that first came to mind. ;)

Team Gumby

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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I wrote good I swear! Obviously a ghost changed my post when I wasn't looking.

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Hooterdear said:

         ...there is one thing that bothers me more than anything else: inexperience.  

Here is rundown of confirmed and rumored directors for the upcoming Star Wars films:

Film

Director

Age

Directorial Debut

Number of films

VII

JJ Abrams

49

2006

4

IIX

Rian Johnson

41

2005

3

IX

Colin Trevarrow

39

2012

2

Rogue One

Gareth Edwards

40

2010

2

???

Josh Trank

31

2012

2

Han Solo

Phil Lord, Chris Miller

39

2009

4

           

There are plenty of very respected directors, preeminent in their field, who directed very successful films when they were either younger or had less experience (or both) than the directors in your example.  The films below launched careers and in some cases became standard-bearers for their genres.

Film                         Director          Year    Age      Debut       Films Prior

Jaws                        Spielberg       1975     29        1971          2

Star Wars                 Lucas            1977     33        1971          2

Taxi Driver               Scorsese       1976     34        1967          4

Night Shift                Howard          1982     28        1977          1

Do The Right Thing   Lee                1989     32        1983          3

Stand By Me             Reiner           1986     38        1984          2

Alien                        Scott             1979     41        1977          1 

Not sure about the actual point of your discussion because your examples are hollow.  If you don't think you'll like The Force Awakens, don't go see it.  I saw Phantom Menace and never bothered with the last two films or any of the SEs.  Star Wars as a franchise isn't required viewing. 

If your argument is that you're some sort of completionist who has to see everything and have it all fit together happily, then you may have a problem on your hands.  You might want to give some serious thought to making peace with a multi-format, multi-author, multi-director franchise spanning 45 years.

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

"Why are you here, Rey from nowhere?”