Disney and Lucasfilm have called upon the mighty JJ Abrams to breathe new life into one of the most iconic franchises in film and pop culture history. In December of 2015 we are set to see Han, Luke, and Leia on the big screen once more to teach the newest recruits the ways of the Jedi. However, JJ is only set to introduce the new trilogy, not continue it. Lucasfilm and Kathleen Kennedy have been snatching up very talented young directors who really aren’t that well-known. Thats where Free4Geeks comes in! We hare here to introduce you to the guys responsible for leading us on the journeys into that galaxy far, far away after Abrams steps down.
Who: Gareth Edwards
Resume: Monsters, Godzilla
Monsters was Edwards first foray into the world of film. It was a sci-fi flick that got a release at Cannes film festival, and was received quite well by critics. His big break at Cannes however ended up turning into the opportunity of a lifetime when Edwards was picked to helm the 2014 Legendary reboot of Godzilla. (You can see what I thought about that here.) He will be directing the first of the standalone spinoff movies, which has yet to be revealed, with a script penned by Gary Whitta (Book of Eli, After Earth) set to hit theaters in 2016.
Why he is a good choice:
Edwards surprised everyone in May when Godzilla ended up being a fantastic summer blockbuster monster movie. His respect for the source material was evident in his direction of the film, and he has proven that he can handle a beloved film franchise and do it justice. His use of visual effects is stunning and will be a perfect fit for the world of Star Wars, and I can’t wait to see what Edwards has up his sleeve.
Who: Josh Trank
Resume: Chronicle, Fantastic Four(2015)
Trank, in my opinion, is the biggest gamble here. He hasn’t really proven himself in a big enough way for me to feel super excited about his standalone movie. His first Film Chronicle was very surprisingly enjoyable. The writing and direction were fantastic and it was a refreshing take on the sci-fi genre. Unfortunately, although the movie was enjoyable, it was a found footage style movie, which is not really one of my favorite styles of filmmaking. His Fantastic Four Reboot he is doing for Fox isn’t looking like the most promising or faithful to the source material, but it is impossible to judge a movie before you see it.
Why He is a good choice:
Kathleen Kennedy has faith in him, stating,
“He is such an incredible talent and has a great imagination and sense of innovation. That makes him perfectly suited to Star Wars, and for this new slate of movies that reach beyond the core characters and storylines of Episodes I through IX.”
He directed a short 1:30 minute long Star Wars fan film called Stabbing at Leia’s which definitely shows his interest in the franchise. Hopefully the love of the subject matter will result in a fun and memorable standalone film. Also, he is risky. Disney knows that going with a director with a “just okay” resume is tricky and may not pay off, but it shows that they aren’t afraid to take risks, which is an incredibly refreshing sentiment with big studios today.
Who: Rian Johnson
Resume: Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper
Johnson is the newest addition to the list of directors set to helm the biggest franchise in the galaxy. He’ll be directing the next episode in the trilogy, and writing both Episode IIX and IX. It is unsure if he will be directing Episode IX, but rumor is strongly suggesting he will be at the wheel of the Falcon for the last episode of the trilogy as well. His first two films were independent films. Brick, his first film, was the breakout movie for Joseph Gordon-Levitt and it earned plenty of praise from critics for its character depth and great dialouge. His biggest film to date, Looper, was just plain awesome, and was his first big mainstream release.
Why he is a good choice:
Looper. Looper is the reason why he is the man for the job. It is an awesome movie. Compelling, fun, deep, and interesting. It shows that he is able to create movies with depth in characterization and in plot. It was such an enjoyable movie that kept audiences on the edge of their seats. Plus it was all about time travel. Everyone knows writing a story about time travel can be really challenging. Lots of different lines get created that need to get brought to a head. Johnson was able to put together a coherent time travel story with ease, showing his prowess as a writer. The last two movies of the trilogy are in capable hands, and I’m excited to see what he can do.
Disney has only announced the three new trilogy films and the two spin-offs, but they are sure to announce more. They’ve made clear their plan to turn Star Wars into an annual franchise, which leaves plenty of room for talented, young, and unknown directors to stake their claim within the franchise. What do you think? With an essentially infinite budget, there are endless possibilities for many different directors to bring their unique vision to Star Wars. Who would you like to see? Let us know your dream directors in the comments!