J.J. Abrams is Focused on ‘Star Wars: Episode 7′; Not Involved with Spinoff Films

Published 2 years ago by

Millions of voices cried out in terror (among other emotions) earlier this year, when Disney and Lucasfilm announced that J.J. Abrams – the man who rebooted Star Trek back in 2009 – would be taking the helm on Star Wars: Episode VII.

It has since been confirmed that Abrams’ installment in George Lucas’ operatic sci-fi saga will be a jumping-off point for additional spinoff movies that revolve around certain supporting characters from the Star Wars Universe - and, will then be released in theaters during the years between Episodes VII-IX. (… And beyond?)

That raises an interesting question: if the new era of Star Wars movies is following Marvel Studio’s model for success (as it appears to be doing), does that mean Abrams is going to serve as one of the main architects, a la The Avengers director Joss Whedon on Marvel’s Phase 2?

JJ Abrams Star Wars Episode 7 J.J. Abrams is Focused on Star Wars: Episode 7; Not Involved with Spinoff Films

Well, during an interview with Abrams about the fast-approaching Star Trek Into DarknessMTV asked him if he’s consulting, producing or involved in developing any Star Wars spinoff movies right now. The director answered:

“We’re focusing right now on [making 'Episode VII'] because this movie feels like this is the one that has to work for anything else to work.”

Abrams’ reply harkens back to his recent comments about a potential Star Trek trilogy, wherein he stated his focus is on making each individual movie a success, rather than him attempting to look ahead and plan for upcoming installments. Fortunately, with the Star Wars universe, he doesn’t have to either, if only because the new Lucasfilm president and Episode VII producer, Kathleen Kennedy, is the one who appears to really be running this show.

To quote Abrams:

“There are discussions about what would happen later [after 'Episode VII'] and how to make this thing and to tell [that] story, you can’t look at it in a binary way. It’s obviously part of something much greater. To talk about those off-shoot films, that’s something [you] have to talk about with Kathleen Kennedy.”

kathleen kennedy star wars 7 jj abrams J.J. Abrams is Focused on Star Wars: Episode 7; Not Involved with Spinoff Films

It sounds as though Abrams is to Episode VII what Jon Favreau was to Iron Man - while Kennedy being to the Star Wars franchise what Marvel head Kevin Feige is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – as far as being the talented directors, who were hired to start everything off on the right foot (as opposed to being the captain for the entire ship).

We’ve already seen proof of that, with the recent comments from Kennedy about how she expects to embrace fan interest in scrutinizing every aspect of Episode VII, rather than go out of the way to preserve secrecy (like what Abrams prefers). That should be taken as encouraging news, for those who approve of Abrams lending his filmmaking know-how and blockbuster sensibilities to the table for Episode VII – but, would rather have someone like Kennedy be the person in charge of making larger creative decisions that concern the future of the Star Wars franchise.


Star Wars: Episode VII is on course to begin production by early 2014, so it can reach theaters by Summer 2015.

Source: MTV

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. good… though some continuity is bound to get screwed up but i aint a massive star wars fan and especially of the lore with the books and stuff to care enough. but non the less i like star wars so im looking forward to this movie

  2. I like the fact that he’s focused and that he realizes that ep 7 has to for other things to work. I’m encouraged by his comments.

    • +1

  3. Wait till you see the new fangle Lensflaresaber!

    • @ Jeff W


      Lenssaber flare! Lenssaber flares everywhere!

      • Haha awesome

  4. Dear Internet,
    Please stop making snarky remarks about J.J. Abrams and lens flares. It’s getting old, and besides, J.J. is a Star Wars fan from childhood. I’m sure he wants the new movies to resemble the old ones as closely as possible, and also to be visually distinguishable from Star Trek ’09. And that proooobably means no lens flares. So shut up.
    People Who Don’t Mind J.J.’s Lens Flares To Begin With

    • Lol!

      • He was never a big Star Trek fan in the first place, plus the Star Trek (2009) was an extraordinary step for bringing Star Trek back into this century.

        • Yea, in the popcorn century. people will eat popcorn and watch just a normal movie from hollywood, cuz they like to get entertain. good night star wars 7.

    • Yeah like he was a Star Trek Fan from childhood and look what he did to that franchise. Rape is too subtle a word.

      • People should look up the word rape.

      • Aleric, he WASN’T a star trek fan when he was growing up. He was a huge star wars fan, which is why he was so hesitant to take on the directorial position.

        And Star Trek 09 was pretty great, although I do admit – like a lot of people – I have never seen any of the original star treks, so he’s done a good job of updating it for new audiences.

        And lens flares are amazing.

        • You just proved in one sentence how clueless you are.

    • Personnally I love the lens flares. Does that make me wierd? I wanna see some space ship flares. then again I also agree to make it as different from Star Trek as possible. Im sure its in good hands with JJ. as long as there are no jarr jarr’s and crap it should be epic ! cant wait!!!!

    • Cant wait to see that giant lensflare laser beam going off inflicting massive lensflares explosions on a lensflare scale

      There will be a warning.

      The Lensflares in this movie have been known to eliminate cataracts.

      • Especially if viewed in 3D.

    • Dear 11,
      Quit stealing writing style templates that make your comment seem funny or original which in reality this comment is just as lame as a lens flare joke.
      The real world.

      • If anything IS lame is your comeback.

        • Seriously, Star Wars is completely ruined now.

  5. Speaking of J.J. Abrams, I just read an interview in Macleans with the director and he said an inspiration to him growing up as an aspiring director was David Cronenberg. Abrams said he particularly loved The Fly (1986) and had been begging Cronenberg to go back to doing Sci-Fi.

    Cronenberg for Star Trek 3 while Abrams is doing Star Wars? That would be intriguing.

  6. I loved the trademark lens flares in Star Trek. It added to the futuristic and dramatic vibe, especially in the space scenes.. Didn’t like the use of it in Super 8 though.

    That aside, as a hardcore Trek fan, I am so pleased with what Abrams did with the Star Trek reboot/alternate timeline. He wasn’t even a trek fan, yet he streamlined the movie into something that made it commercially successful to a new, younger audience, while maintaining much of what made Star Trek.. Well, umm… Star Trek.

    I really look forward to seeing what he can do with Episode VII. There are very few directors I would trust with such a loved franchise, but Abrams in on my list of the select few directors that could pull it off. And even if it doesn’t live up to the original trilogy, so what? We still have the trilogy to watch back on Blu Ray. And for those of us that actually liked the I-III trilogy, we have that too. Let’s at least give the next generation of Star Wars (and Star Trek) fans the opportunity to delve into the franchises that we all love – with a modern feel that is more relevant to them. Who knows, we might even enjoy them too!

  7. JJ is right. If Episode VII is a financial or critical failure, that will not bode well for future SWU movies.

    • VII won’t be a financial failure.

      • I never wrote that it will.

        • I know that, I’m saying that VII won’t be a financial failure at all.

          • But it could be…

            • You’re delusional then.

  8. Oh look another reason why I WONT be going to see any future Star Wars movies. One name sealed the fate of that movie JJ Abrahms

  9. No one cares if you don’t see it.

    • Your assumption is false, hence all the hype and fan boy anger at people that dont bow down and worship hack directors like Abrahms. Not to mention the studios trying to entice people into seeing a movie that will be nothing but a slick version of Attack of the Clones.

      • Lol what? it seems that angry fanboys don’t worship J.J Abrams at all hence nonsense like “J.J Abrams is going to rape my childhood” is thrown around. You or angry fanboys don’t make a big part of the audience at all. Last I check the prequels were a big success and made billions of dollars because people loved them; if you want to be in denial about that part then maybe you should move on already.

        • I thought the “rape my childhood” statement only came around with Bay comments?

          • Nah people started using it with the prequels.

            • And rightly so, Lucas not only raped peoples childhood he charged them for it then conned their kids into paying for the pictures of the rape.

              • Uhh what?

  10. Well my faith in JJ has just taken a massive knock. Just got out of Star Trek. I implore everybody to temper their expectations…. It was massively underwhelming despite having lots to still enjoy. It’s a bit of a mess.

    Hurts to say that as I was super excited.

  11. I just want a good Star Wars film. I don’t care if it leads to spin offs, if there’s lens flares, blah blah blah. I just want to get the experience with Episode 7 that I did when I saw Star Wars in the theater back in 1977!! I trust JJ to make a good film.

  12. Can’t trust J.J. Abrams. He will somehow have Darth Vader the main villain again.

  13. Geez… people are blowing the lens flare thing way out of proportion. They are nowhere near as bad all these lens-flare-wah-wah babies make it out to be. I love both of Abrams Trek movies and I’m absolutely sure that he’s the perfect choice for Star Wars.

    Or as the kids say these days: deal with it!

    • I like JJ, I don’t understand this whole lens flare thing. Unfortunately the new trek film is pretty bad and choc full of wasted opportunity. Very well directed with great performances though…. Just a really bad script :(

  14. I can’t be the only person who really doesn’t care about/want these spin-off films?

    • You REALLY don’t think a Boba Fett solo film wouldn’t be cool? I think it would freaking awesome.

      • Directed by some of the tools Disney has in mind?? How about we let Oliver Stone direct it or Quentin Tarentino? Just making a movie is not the same as making a GOOD movie.

        • Hopefully Disney won’t get a tool like you to direct a movie. Bwahaha.

          • Talk more about what you dont know Waldorf.

            • I know you’re a tool. Bwahaha.

              • The Tool speaks.

    • I don’t want them. Write me down in your list.

  15. The Star Trek reboot is a fun, popcorn eating thrill ride but it will never be the cerebral, Carl Sagan-esque masterpiece that the show or even some of the movies were. Star Wars Ep. VII will most likely be better then Ep. I-III but it will never be the gritty ships, real dramatic story lines and puppet yoda that we all liked.

    I fear sci-fi has become too dependent on CGI like “pilots had become dependent on missiles” –Top Gun


    • Ooooh, you got clever and used adolescence. Not childhood. Shouldn’t your name be thesaurus, not dictionary?

  17. I want to see a salt and pepper buddy movie. Han and Lando chasing much tail throughout the universe in the Falcon, with Chewie acting as their wingman!

  18. Star Trek Into Darkness is great so I have great faith in what he might do with Star Wars.

  19. I am just sitting here thinking about all the pressure he is under ! How can someone handle that?

  20. In the book “Tales from Jabba’s Palace”, Boba Fett had his own short story about what happened after he fell into the Sarlacc, the lost souls within slowly being digested, and his ESCAPE, that’s right… escape. The literature saw him worthy of bringing back, the films should follow suit.

    Heck, the best character in the prequels, Darth Maul, who was foolishly killed in ep.1, returned for The animated clone wars and he’s awesome, I’m happier for it.

    Funny how Lucas killed off these characters who had such potential, yet saved the idiots like Jar Jar or Chewie (I know here comes the hate, chewie is cool, yeah… but he’s a freakin bigfoot! he should’ve been ripping through stormtroopers like a razor through tissue!

  21. I hope Jar Jar appears in VII. It would be a cool cameo for a character who got so much undeserving hatred for being nothing more than a comical sidekick. All that racist BS people threw around was/is overreacting to the Nth degree, and I don’t see how C-3P0 is much better in comparison; just because he’s from the OT? Ok… so every character in the OT is flawless and will always have seniority then?

    Just knock it off anti-Gungan-ites. But I know that’ll never happen.

  22. personally, I don’t give a damn about the lens flare or anything of that crap. I just want to see a good new trilogy…then I can possibly forget how bad the prequels were. Abrams will do alright,no need to stress and if he doesn’t, greedy ass disney will commission more star wars movies anyway haha.

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