Now that J.J. Abrams is officially onboard to direct the seventh Star Wars film, the question on everyone's mind is: But what does that mean?!
To help out, TVGuide.com put on our best deerstalkers and dived deep into Abram's television past, from Felicity all the way through Revolution. And based on our investigation, here are eight things we could expect to see in Star Wars: Episode VII:
J.J. Abrams to direct Star Wars 7
1. Daddy Issues: Since this is a theme that likely would have been included anyway, why not enlist the expert? Abrams is, for all intents and purposes, the King of Daddy Issues. Lost, Fringe, Alias Alcatraz, Revolution— what do they all have in common? Absent or estranged father figures! Abrams' deft hand when it comes to dealing with dads will blend perfectly with the series that gave us the ultimate bad father, Darth Vader.
2. Kick-butt women: While Leia is undoubtedly fantastic, she's best remembered for wearing a skimpy bikini. Not exactly the stuff of a feminist's dreams. Of course, she's also the one who singlehandedly killed Jabba the Hut, but (frustratingly enough) that's not her claim to fame. To keep up with the Katniss Everdeens and Kara Thraces of the world, Star Wars VII needs a strong woman who's known for more than just her beach bod. If Abrams' television history tells us anything, it's that he's up to the challenge. We'd love to see a female character as tough as Olivia Dunham, Sydney Bristow or Kate Austen fighting aliens (fully clothed, of course) right alongside her male peers.
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3. Clandestine operations: Sydney Bristow encountered her fair share of secret organizations long before the Dharma Initiative took the Island by storm. Maybe our heroes in a galaxy far, far away will get involved with an underground division of their own. Rebel Jedis perhaps?
4. Melodramatic orchestral score: Original Star Wars composer John Williams is almost 81 years old and has been Steven Spielberg's go-to-composer as of late, so while traditionalists might love for him to score the seventh installment, there's no guarantee he'll do it. Enter Michael Giacchino, Abrams right-hand (music) man. Giacchino has composed music for five of Abrams' shows, Lost, Alcatraz, Fringe, Alias and What About Brian, in addition to work on many of his feature films.
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5. A new kind of family: Once again, this is something we probably would see without Abrams' involvement, but we can't blame Disney for hiring the best. Isolated on an island away from everyone they've ever known, the characters of Lost best display Abrams' skills at crafting a rag-tag group who eventually bands together as one. But when it comes to Star Wars, the family is most likely going to include a few more robots and aliens, and far fewer diamond thieves (we hope).
6. Resurrection: If someone is declared dead in an Abrams project, don't expect them to stay that way for long. Michael Vaughn, Christian Shephard, Rachel Matheson — those are only a few characters that kept walking long after they "died."
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7. Familiar faces: When Abrams finds someone he loves, he tends to cast them as much as possible. Fortunately, we share a lot of the same tastes. Namely, Mark Pellegrino. We've seen Pellegrino kick butt using magic and revolvers on Lost and Revolution, but we'd love to see what he could do with a lightsaber in hand. Pellegrino aside, there's one face that's sure to pop up in some way, shape or (CGI) form: Greg Grunberg. Abrams' childhood best friend has appeared in almost every one of the director's projects, both TV shows and feature films.
8. Time-jumps: Abrams loves to mess with time, a fetish that oddly started with Felicity. After four perfectly chronological seasons, the series ended with a "what if" episode where the show went back to see what Felicity's life could have been if she had chosen Noel instead. Since then, Abrams has stepped it up with flashbacks, flash-forwards and even flash-sideways (OK, alternate timelines, but flash-sideways sounded better) in nearly every single one of his projects. As a sequel to Return of the Jedi, time-jumps might be a way to work our original heroes, Han, Luke and Leia, into a new cast of characters.
What do you think we'll see from Abrams in Star Wars: Episode VII?