Five Directors Who Should Take On Star Wars: Episode 7

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Ever since the news broke that Disney had bought Lucasfilm, the internet has been exploding with excitement from fans. Rumors about the plot, casting, and who will direct the films, especially the first one, Star Wars: Episode 7have been circulating at an alarming rate.

Stepping into the huge gap that George Lucas (and Irvin Kershner and Richard Marquand) left is going to be a daunting task for whoever is brought on as director for the next trilogy. This decision is one of the biggest that Disney is faced with and it should also be one of the first that they tackle.

So in order to ease their decision making process a bit, we’ve come up with a list of the top directors to take on Star Wars: Episode 7. 

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Rian Johnson

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Looper showed that Rian Johnson can work with futuristic sci-fi concepts, but would that translate to a long time ago and a galaxy far away? It would certainly be a different vibe than the film would have with a more space-focused sci-fi director and where Johnson is strongest is in character development.

While the Star Wars films have cool effects and an awesome story, people fell in love with the characters and therefore the films. That’s where Johnson would be excellent for the series. He’s shown the ability to create realistic, multi-dimensional characters, which is incredibly important for the amount of new characters these films will likely be bringing in.

Johnson also works well at balancing humor and more serious moments in his films, which is something that many of the major sci-fi directors fall short on. What would Star Wars be without its funnier, light moments? Johnson is also incredible at getting the best out of his actors, coaxing some phenomenal performances from established and not-so-established actors. The problem here is whether Johnson would want to work with something he didn’t write, but if he agreed, he would make an excellent Episode 7.

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J.J. Abrams

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J.J. Abrams is such a brilliant filmmaker and sci-fi visionary that many fans are already begging for him to take the reins of Episode 7, and rightfully so. A Star Wars done by J.J. Abrams would pay proper homage to the original films, not deviating from the established formula enough that fans would be upset, but he would also add a fresh spin and a bit of modern rejuvenation that would propel the films to the high standards that have already been set.

Super 8 was an excellent film showcasing a bit of what Abrams can do with the right story. He’s also shown he can make an event out of a film (Cloverfield) and he has a great respect for the genre. Plus, he did a phenomenal job at breathing new life into the Mission Impossible series.

The major problem here would be his involvement with Star Trek. It may be a bit too much of a risk for the same man to direct the modern versions of both Star Trek and Star Wars. However, his involvement with an array of dystopian shows and films would play perfectly into the post-war galaxy he’d be working with.

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Sam Mendes

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The odds that Sam Mendes will be considered may largely be determined by how well Skyfall does in the U.S., but if reviews or the U.K. numbers are any indication, Skyfall should certainly put Mendes in high demand. Some are saying the 23rd Bond film is the best ever.

Though his sci-fi background is limited, Mendes has proven he is more than adept when it comes to high stakes action films, and he thrives when working with a huge budget. He’d also bring a grittier feel to the films, which is exactly what the trilogy needs.

One of the major concerns die-hard fans have expressed regarding the purchase is the fear that the series will end up being “too Disney.” Mendes would be a great choice to steer the films away from a simply fun, friendly feel, to the direction that fans would rather see.

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Neill Blomkamp

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District 9. Do I really need to say anything more?

Part of the reason fans loved District 9 so much is it had a grimy quality to the technology, incredibly reminiscent of a certain 1977 space film. And it had one other similarity with the original Star Wars that few share: a sci-fi film nominated for best picture. Blomkamp’s films have been a bit more mature than where Disney will let this trilogy go, but if he toned back just a bit, his Star Wars would be a dream come true for hardcore fans.

Episode 7 takes place after Return Of The Jedi which means the galaxy is rebuilding after a war. The feel Blomkamp created for District 9 would be a perfect take on the state of the galaxy. Plus, it sounds like he’s already created his own version of the Death Star (minus the blaster ray) for ElysiumThe man is one of the most brilliant sci-fi minds in the game today and Disney certainly wouldn’t be going wrong if they handed him Episode 7.

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Christopher Nolan

Christopher Nolan Five Directors Who Should Take On Star Wars: Episode 7

Maybe it’s become impossible to make a list of dream directors for any film without including Christopher Nolan, but just look what the man did with Batman, taking it from the ruins of Batman And Robin to one of the coolest and most well-made trilogies of all time. So why not let him take on this trilogy and make Star Wars better than it’s ever been?

His realistic take on Batman is just what fans want right now for any film. The industry is moving away from fun spectacle into gritty realism, and these Star Wars films should be no exception. Nolan is no stranger to fantasy, bringing realistic vibes to not only superhero movies, but films about sharing dreams and magicians as well. There’s no reason he couldn’t do the same thing in a galaxy far, far away.

He’s shown that he can work on a huge budget film, and his name alone would be enough that there would be few complaints about him at the helm of any film. Nolan would, without a doubt, be an excellent choice for Disney.

So that’s my list, but there are certainly a ton of other directors who would be great at the helm of Star Wars: Episode 7.

Did I miss your top choice? If so, sound off in the comments section below. 

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  • serious

    Nolan! Abrams! WTF! Are you on drugs?

    • http://twitter.com/Jason__Elliott Jason Sapp

      They’re very good choices. I prefer Rian Johnson and Neil B. myself, however.

  • my thoughts are…

    Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Peter Jackson, Joss Whedon,

  • milo

    Brad Bird. Favreau is worth considering too.