Opinion: Is an Abrams Star Wars a bad idea?

So, it's official - J.J. Abrams is the man leading Star Wars into a bold, daring new era with Episode VII . But is it a good idea? Total Film's Matt Risley weighs in with his thoughts...

If it's one thing we can all definitely agree on, it's that the original Star Wars trilogy was one of the most iconic and timeless sci-fi adventures of all time.

If it's one thing we can all definitely argue about, it's that the prequel trilogy was a misfire of the most disastrous, childhood memory-ravaging order.

Any nostalgic goodwill that hadn't already been eradicated by the laughably naff Holiday Special, Lucas' insistent tinkering and re-editing of the original trilogy, or the soul-destroying array of tack-tastic tie-in merchandise (because a R2-D2 aquarium or spatula (opens in new tab) just screams artistic integrity), was all but smothered by sexy, fantastical talk of trade embargoes and midichlorians, maddeningly annoying miscasting, brain-dissolvingly stupid dialogue and The CGI Monstrosity Who Shall Not Be Named (if Yoosa Getsa Me Drifta).


In short, there wasn't really a huge audience outside of the nerdcore clamouring for more Star Wars after Episode III .

So when news broke that the House of Mouse had nabbed the rights to the force, I was pretty worried it was a deal more driven by the Dark Side (read: accountants and businessmen) than the Light (read: creative arty geeky types).

But while the attraction of unleashing countless new lines of Happy Meal toys is still an undoubted factor, the news that J.J. Abrams will helm the relaunch has me simultaneously relieved and unsurprised.

We suggested way back in 2010 that Abrams would be a great fit for the Wars-iverse , and our reasoning still stands.

He's proved he can balance both creative nous, studio concerns and fan fear, and treat a beloved franchise with reverence without falling into sappy nostalgic fawning (*cough* Superman Returns *cough*).

Throw in the facts that he's been a genuine fan since he was a child, he has a proven track record with crafting intelligent, heartfelt and kick-ass sci-fi and fantasy ( Cloverfield , Star Trek , Super 8 , Lost, Alias and Fringe ), and has worked with Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound on all his features, and it seems like a no-brainer.

Check out this cleverly edited Wars/Trek mash-up for an idea of how exciting the result could be....

Sure, there are concerns - what the chuff happens to the Star Trek franchise, which - from everything we've seen so far - looks like it's soaring to even higher heights with Into Darkness ?

Will he be able to wrangle the demands of not only the Lucas camp, but Disney's new controllers?

And more importantly - will lightsabers + lens flare = disintegrating corneas on a global scale?

Whatever happens, I'm definitely along for the ride. And whatever your doubts, at least we know it can never get any more awkward than this:

Matt is Total Film's Online Editor and a part-time Star Wars nerd. You can follow him on Twitter @spliggle .