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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Will he bring balance to the force?

J.J. Abrams will direct the next "Star Wars" movie, slated for 2015.

I'm a little annoyed.

"Star Wars: Episode VII" got the best director it could to restart/relaunch/refresh the franchise.

J.J. Abrams, the director of the 2009's borderline-brilliant "Star Trek" and its upcoming sequel, "Star Trek Into Darkness," is an admitted "Star Wars" fanatic. His style isn't for everybody, but I find his films, which also include the wonderful "Super 8," to be popcorn masterpieces. They're focused, their exquisitely paced and their expertly edited.

And, yes, I'm a little annoyed that he took the job.

Why, because until the announcement on Friday, I was doing a good job barely caring about this new "Star Wars" effort, slated for 2015.

When Disney bought Lucasfilm Ltd. and announced they'd be pumping out new movies set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I figured they'd be cash cows of the uninteresting variety. And, frankly, after the prequel trilogy, I was tired of getting my hopes up and then being disappointed. (I should note, however, that while I didn't rave about them, I gave the second two movies reviews that were more complimentary than they should have been, realizing later just how flawed these George Lucas-directed films were.)

When Michael Ardnt ("Little Miss Sunshine," "Toy Story 3") was announced as the writer, I felt they could have done worse, but they could have done better. And when the director I first hoped would take the job, Brad Bird ("The Iron Giant," "The Incredibles," "Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol") announced he had too much else going on to be considered, I kept my expectations sensibly low.

I had certainly considered Abrams, of course, but I thought he wouldn't do "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" in the same period, and the longtime fan said he'd be "thrillified" -- a combination of thrilled and terrified" -- to watch this new "Star Wars" film as a fan.

But he did take the gig, and now I'm excited. Too excited. Imagine -- a new "Star Wars" with none of the bloat and lifelessness that Lucas brought to the prequels! Oh man.

I guess it's more accurate to say I'm excitified now. Don't screw this up, Mr. Abrams.

-- Mark Meszoros | | @nhfeatures


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