J.J. Abrams has a lot on his plate right now with the upcoming release of “Star Trek Into Darkness” and his commitment to direct “Star Wars: Episode VII.” Many were surprised that he was tapped to tackle both famous sci-fi properties, but he reassures fans in a new interview that they’re very different beasts.
“The worlds are vastly different. Honestly, that was why I passed on ‘Star Wars’ to begin with. I couldn’t imagine doing both. But when I said that my loyalty was to ‘Star Trek’ I was literally working on finishing this cut. I couldn’t even entertain another thought. It was like being on the most beautiful beach in the world and someone saying, ‘There’s this amazing mountain over here. Come take a look.’ I couldn’t balance the two, so I passed on ‘Star Wars,'” he told Playboy.
Of course, Abrams was later convinced by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy to come on board. “I was near the light at the end of the tunnel with my work on Star Trek. I felt I needed a bit of a breather, actually. But then Kathleen Kennedy [the new Lucasfilm head who oversees ‘Star Wars’] called again,” Abrams explained. “I’ve known her for years. We had a great conversation, and the idea of working with her on this suddenly went from being theoretical and easy to deny to being a real, tangible, thrilling possibility. In the end it was my wife, Katie, who said if it was something that really interested me, I had to consider it.”
Abrams has made it very clear that fans of his work on “Star Trek” shouldn’t expect “Star Wars: Episode VII” to look the same. His vision for the new “Star Wars” movie differs pretty significantly from the one he has for “Star Trek” if only because the two properties are so different.
“As with anything, because these are very different worlds, they shouldn’t feel the same aesthetically. They can’t. You’re right. But again, I don’t apply aesthetics first and fit a movie into that aesthetic,” he said. “If I had come into ‘Star Trek’ with those eyes, I would probably have been paralyzed. The advantage here is that we still have George Lucas with us to go to and ask questions and get his feedback on things, which I certainly will do. With ‘Star Trek’ it was harder because I wasn’t a ‘Star Trek’ fan; I didn’t have the same emotional feeling, and I didn’t have Gene Roddenberry to go to. But I came to understand the world of ‘Star Trek,’ and I appreciated what fans felt and believed about this universe and this franchise.”
As for whether or not Abrams would direct a third “Star Trek” movie, he said, “I would say it’s a possibility. We’re trying to figure out the next step. But it’s like anything: It all begins with the story.”