Jedi Marketing Trick: Is J.J. Abrams Deflecting 'Star Wars' Questions With Inscrutable Answers?
I don't know if J.J. Abrams did this intentionally, but, if he did, it's a real Jedi Master move. I just read the interview that the filmmaker gave to Empire magazine in the U.K. in conjunction with the upcoming release of Star Trek Into Darkness, and the way he answered the inevitable Star Wars question was so loopy and inscrutable that I have to wonder if that's his strategy for minimizing — in the nicest way possible —Episode VII talk during the STID promotional push.
Empire's cover story is on Star Trek Into Darkness, but the publication has been teasing the issue with the below excerpt, which is about Abrams' re-boot of the Star Wars franchise (Bold faced type is reproduced from the original excerpt):
Mention the name JJ Abrams and there’s one question that immediately barges all others aside: what’s the plan for Episode VII? While he was able to approach Star Trek with a detached objectivity, how will he, as a huge Star Wars fan approach Star Wars' bold new era? Empire put that question to the man himself when we recently sat down with him at his Bad Robot offices in LA.
“I don’t know because we’re just getting started. So it’s a great question that I hope I’ll have a good answer to when I know what the answer is. There are infinitely more questions than answers right now, but to me, they’re not that dissimilar. Though I came at these both from very different places, where they both meet is a place of ‘Ooh, that’s really exciting.’ And even though I was never a Star Trek fan, I felt like there was a version of it that would make me excited, that I would think ‘that’s cool, that feels right, I actually would want to see that.
“How we were going to get there, what the choices were going to be, who was going to be in it – all of those things I knew would have to be figured out, but it was all based on a foundation of this indescribable, guttural passion for something that could be. It’s a similar feeling that I have with Star Wars. I feel like I can identify a hunger for what I would want to see again and that is an incredibly exciting place to begin a project. The movies, the worlds could not be more different but that feeling that there’s something amazing here is the thing that they share.”
As I read the well-spoken Abrams' comments in the last paragraph, I half-expected Empire's writer to observe that there was a giant bong shaped like Figrin D'An's Kloo Horn in the corner of the filmmaker's office, but I really think Abrams' rather cosmic word choice was probably just a smart Jedi Marketing Trick. To me, it feels like Abrams used those superlatives — "incredibly exciting" and "amazing" — to connect these two iconic sci-fi franchises and, by extension, their usually rivalrous fans. Beyond that, he gives away nothing about Star Wars, except to drop the neat little morsel that Steven Spielberg "was very encouraging" and "knew all about what was going on."
It will be interesting to see whether Abrams handles future Star Wars questions with similar wondrous cosmic vagueness during the Star Trek Into Darkness promotional cycle. It's certainly a viable alternative to declining to address them at all.
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